I’ve completed my MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect and I would like to share the experience with all of you. To become MCSD, you have to clear all three certifications offered by the Azure i.e. 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions and 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Solutions.
In this article, I’m sharing information about 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam, which rewarded me Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification. This certification is developer oriented where developers validate their knowledge on Cloud by clearing this certification.
Before discussing about 70-532, I would like to explain about the entire Azure certification track.
As per the below illustration, you will get fair idea about which certification track is suitable as per your job role.
Types of Azure Certification
About Certification Exam
This 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam is targeted towards a Developer audience. In my experience, it was a very comprehensive and advanced exam with a lot of real-time use cases being converted to exam questions. To clear this certification, developer must have working experience on real-life projects, which involves developing applications on Azure. By having that experience, you will be able to answer questions better.
Below, we break down the exam topics and the kind of questions that you can expect from this certification exam.
The pre-requisite for appearing for this certification exam is that:
- You must have hands-on experience with developing applications on Azure and/or some training will be required for clearing this certification.
- Developers should be proficient with development tools, techniques and approaches used to build scalable and resilient solutions.
- The exam has about 65 multiple choice, multiple answer questions. There is no hands-on or writing needed as part of the exam. The duration of the exam is 120 minutes. It’s a long exam so go properly rested as you will be sitting there for two hours.
- The passing percentage of this exam is 70%.
- The results are obtained immediately after the exam.
- In case you fail, the retake policy mentions that you can take the exam again after 24 hours. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score the second time, the candidate must wait at least 14 days before retaking the exam for a third time. You cannot appear exam more than five times per year (12 months).
- The cost for the certification varies as per the country you select.
This is a very comprehensive exam and it covers almost all services like VMs, VNet, Blob Storage, Table Storage, Queue Storage, Azure Web Apps, Cloud Services, Traffic Manager, Azure SQL Database as a Service, Azure Active Directory, etc. although a lot of the questions were based on popular services like Storage, Web Apps and Cloud Services, you can expect questions from all the services. The questions were designed in way where having hands-on knowledge is required.
The exam is divided into five sections with different percentage representation:
1.0 Design and Implement websites (15 – 20%)
This section covers various concepts of designing and implementing websites on Azure. A lot of questions were simulations of what an architect would have to figure out when he designs an application on top of Azure.
For example: configuring deployment slots, app settings, connection strings, handlers and virtual directories; configure certificates and custom domains; configure SSL bindings and runtime configurations; manage websites by using the API, Windows PowerShell and Xplat-CLI. It also covers, configure web app diagnostics, monitoring and analytics of website resources. Module covers how to implement web jobs and perform recurring task based on schedule. Configure auto-scale using built-in and custom schedules, configure by metric, change the size of an instance and configure Traffic Manager for domain level routing to your website endpoints. Basically, you will need a lot of hands-on practice with Web Apps.
2.0 Create and manage virtual machines (20-25%)
This section includes how to deploy various kind of workloads on Azure Virtual Machines. Create specialized and reusable images, prepare images using SysPrep and Windows Agent (Linux), copy images between storage accounts and subscriptions, upload VMs etc. to deploy different kind of workloads. Topic covers: how to automate VMs configuration, PowerShell DSC (Desired State Configuration) usage, chef or puppet implementation, remote debugging for your applications. You will also get questions on how to configure, reserved IP addresses, access control list (ACL), DNS at the cloud service level, load balancing endpoints, HTTP and TCP health probes, public IPs, firewall rules, direct server return and keep-alive.
Exam question also covers how you can scale up and scale down VM sizes, configure auto-scale and availability sets, configure disk caching, plan for storage capacity, configure shared storage using Azure File service, configure geo-replication. Enable endpoint monitoring, configure alerts, diagnostic and monitoring storage location on Azure.
3.0 Design and implement Cloud Services (20-25%)
This section focus on design and develop a Cloud Services. It includes setting up local environment with Installing SDKs, install emulators, develop a web role or worker role, design and implement resiliency including transient fault handling, develop startup tasks. Configure HTTPS endpoint and upload an SSL certificate, instance count and size; configure network access rules, local storage, multiple websites, custom domains and dedicated and co-located caching; scale up and scale down role sizes; configure auto-scale. Module also covers, how to deploy/upgrade Cloud Services, define the application deployment pipeline, configure continuous deployment from source control, configure diagnostic on cloud services using the SDK or configuration file. Enable remote debugging and establish Remote Desktop connection on web roles and worker roles. Enable debugging using IntelliTrace or the emulator. So, in a nutshell, you should be well verse with Cloud Services.
4.0 Design and implement a Storage Strategy (20-25%)
This section covers, how to design and implement appropriate storage options is critical for your application. Azure provides various storage services, which you can provision and design effective solution. Azure storage allows you to provision different storage options like Blob, Table and Queue to access specific type of data. Topic also includes: how to configure Content Delivery Network (CDN), design blob hierarchies, configure custom domains, scale blob storage. Configure Azure Table storage for No-SQL type of data and perform CRUD types of transactions, design and manage partitions, query using OData; scale tables and partitions easily. Various questions on how to develop loosely coupled application by using Azure storage queues, how to add and process messages, retrieve a batch of messages, scale queues are also covered.
Azure storage security by defining various kinds of security policies, generate shared access signatures, including client renewal and data validation; create stored access policies; regenerate storage account keys; configure and use Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), define retention policies and logging levels, analyse logs. So far we have talked about unstructured data, here exam covers Azure SQL databases as a service. You will get questions on database tier and performance level, configure and perform point-in-time recovery, enable geo-replication, import and export data and schema, scale SQL databases.
5.0 Manage application and network services (15-20%)
This section deals with various different services like: application security by integrating an app with Azure Active Directory, use WS-federation, OAuth and SAML-P endpoints; query the directory using graph API. Topic also covers, addition security by configuring a virtual network, deploy VM inside that VNet or deploy cloud service in VNet and secures resources. Develop applications using a messaging solution, which includes service bus queues, topics, relays and notification hubs; create service bus namespaces and choose a tier; scale service bus. Monitor communication between service bus queues, topics, relays and notification hubs. You can expect questions on Caching; Azure supports Redis cach as a service, to store various types of data.
In addition, there could be use cases about migrating in-house application to cloud while minimizing the downtime using strategies like replicating your in-house database to the cloud using data-pipeline or other third party tools before the scheduled time window to perform switchover etc.
How to take the 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam
If you have not already cleared Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam, do it now. To sign up, go to the Microsoft official page and schedule your exam.
Please share your views in comments below if you also took the certification exam, or if you have specific questions.
How to Prepare for 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam
Overall the exam is comprehensive and hand-on experience with Microsoft Azure services is a must. I will also be conducting a bootcamp for this certification. If you are interested to join, please click here and fill out the form.
Good luck!! If you have any questions, please mention them below and will try to answer them. Also if you like the article please share it with others.