[Updates on 11/Aug/2010: Added new link for SharePoint 2010 Hands On Labs + MSDN Virtual Labs links are updated.New links are added for SharePoint content from various conferences]
I recently earned my MCPD & MCITP certifications for SharePoint 2010 by passing all four required exams. Last month I had taken these exams and finally got confirmation from Microsoft that I have actually passed the whole track.
It’s my first experience with MSFT beta exams and definitely a good one one, but one of the most challenging part was limited material and guidance available to start preparing for these exams, plus there is very little information available on the exam themselves which I think is common with all the beta exams. Never the less MSDN and TechNet act as a great source of information including some great hands on tutorials. One thing that helped me a lot is all the hands on activities I have done with SharePoint 2010 beta.
For those who are not aware of SharePoint 2010 Certifications, MSFT now offers two separate tracks namely MCPD for Developers and MCITP for IT Professionals each containing two exams as shown in figure below. This also means that SharePoint professionals (both Developers and IT Professionals) are now better align with other technologies / product certifications (for example .NET 3.5 MCPD track).
MCPD: SharePoint Developer 2010 Track
First you need to pass Exam 70-573 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development and then Exam 70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications to earn MCPD SharePoint Developer 2010.
MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010 Track
First you need to pass Exam 70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring and then Exam 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator to earn MCITP SharePoint Administrator 2010.
Microsoft Official Trainings
MSFT has announced couple of official trainings aligned with these certifications and in fact the links above provides detail on these trainings under the “Preparation Material” tab, so do look for them. Following is simple graphic view of what is available at this moment.
Question:- Where can I get free training material for SharePoint 2010?
Actually Microsoft provides great deal of training material that can help you out. Check following links below that contains hours of training material without any cost.
Get Started Developing on SharePoint 2010
SharePoint 2010 Developer Training Course
SharePoint 2010 Advanced IT Professional Training
Question:- Can I get ready to use SharePoint 2010 environment to do hands on activities?
SharePoint 2010 Virtual Image
You can download SharePoint 2010 Virtual Machine (Hyper-V image) form here. It contains SharePoint 2010 already configured for you along with Office 2010 & Project Server 2010. The Virtual Machines are only for evaluation and will expire after 180 days. Once you have SharePoint 2010 environment ready to use you can download SharePoint 2010 Hands on Labs (You can either download all of them as a single zip file or individually) . Following are the brief details of the these labs.
SharePoint 2010 Hands on Labs
HOL01 – Developing a Visual Web Part in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab introduces the Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint development environment. It shows how to build a Visual Web Part using LINQ to SharePoint, and how to connect one Web Part to another Web Part on the page.
HOL02 – Developing a List Definition and Event Receiver in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a list definition for SharePoint 2010 in Visual Studio 2010. It also shows how to build an event receiver for the list in Visual Studio 2010 and deploy it to SharePoint. After the list and event receiver are deployed, you can use the developer dashboard to evaluate the performance of the event receiver.
HOL03 – Developing Advanced Web Parts for SharePoint 2010 with Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab shows how to build a Web Part using several SharePoint-specific controls in Visual Studio 2010. Investigate advanced built-in Web Parts, including the Data View Web Part.
HOL04 – Developing with LINQ to SharePoint in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab explores a variety of LINQ queries on SharePoint 2010, going into more depth than the introductory hands-on lab. It also walks you through an exercise of creating a custom content type in Visual Studio 2010.
HOL05 – Developing for SharePoint 2010 with the Client OM and REST in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab introduces the Client object model for use in calling SharePoint 2010 APIs from a client machine. It also shows the use of ADO.NET Data Services to call REST services in SharePoint 2010.
HOL06 – Developing a BCS External Content Type with Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building an external content type for Business Connectivity Services using Visual Studio 2010. It also builds a form for Microsoft Outlook and shows the data being edited offline in Outlook.
HOL07 – Developing a SharePoint 2010 Workflow with Initiation Form in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a workflow in Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint 2010. You add an initiation form to the workflow and use an external data exchange activity in the workflow.
HOL08 – Developing SharePoint 2010 User Interface with Silverlight in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building Microsoft Silverlight applications for use in SharePoint 2010. You will access SharePoint 2010 data in Silverlight using the Client object model.
HOL09 – Developing SharePoint 2010 Sandboxed Solutions in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a Sandboxed Solution Web Part for SharePoint 2010. It will also add code to the Web Part that overloads the limits placed by the sandboxed solution, and you will review how the solution is shut down.
HOL10 – Developing SharePoint 2010 User Interface Ribbon and Dialog Customizations
This hands-on lab walks you through adding a custom action to the SharePoint 2010 ribbon, and creating a Web Part that uses the Dialog Framework.
SharePoint 2010 Virtual Labs
Off course for running the Hyper-V Image you need Windows Server 2008 x64 bit and machine with decent memory, if you find it difficult to manage this take a look at Microsoft Virtual Labs below.
Microsoft has launched number of SharePoint 2010 Virtual Labs, these labs are hosted on Microsoft Server so you don’t need to download anything on your machine and there is no constrain related to RAM or OS. Following is the list of Virtual Labs available at the moment, MSFT may add more in the future.
For IT Professionals
TechNet Virtual Lab: Backup and Restore in SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Business Continuity Management in SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Configuring Remote Blob Storage FILESTREAM Provider for SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Configuring Tenant Administration on SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Configuring User Profile Synchronization in SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Introduction to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Upgrade
TechNet Virtual Lab: New IT Pro Features in SharePoint Server 2010
TechNet Virtual Lab: Windows PowerShell in SharePoint Server 2010
MSDN Virtual Lab: Client Object Model
MSDN Virtual Lab: Customizing MySites
MSDN Virtual Lab: Designing Lists and Schemas
MSDN Virtual Lab: Developing a BCS External Content Type with Visual Studio 2010
MSDN Virtual Lab: Developing a Sandboxed Solution with Web Parts
MSDN Virtual Lab: Developing a Visual Web Part in Visual Studio 2010
MSDN Virtual Lab: Developing Business Intelligence Applications
MSDN Virtual Lab: Enterprise Content Management
MSDN Virtual Lab: Getting Started with SharePoint 2010
MSDN Virtual Lab: LINQ to SharePoint 2010
MSDN Virtual Lab: SharePoint 2010 User Interface Advancements
MSDN Virtual Lab: Visual Studio SharePoint Tools
MSDN Virtual Lab: Workflow
Question:- Are there any books I can use for SharePoint 2010 Exams?
At the moment there are no books that specifically target any of the SharePoint 2010 Exams. However the books that are recently published will help you gaining good understanding of SharePoint 2010 and definitely can help you for the exam. But do remember that SharePoint 2010 exams are much more aligned with real world scenarios and practices so more you get hands on experience with SharePoint 2010 higher the chances that you actually pass the exams.
Question:- I am experienced ASP.NET 3.5 developer with MCPD in .NET 3.5 (Exam 70-564), how should I proceed to SharePoint 2010 MCPD track? Is there any upgrade path?
I receive this question with number of variations like rather than ASP.NET 3.5 it would be ASP.NET 2.0. The answer depends on your experience and current knowledge of SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 uses ASP.NET 3.5 (not 4.0) as a framework so it might be easier for you to pick topics like web part development, master pages etc. But at the same time you need to develop understanding of areas that are exclusive to SharePoint like Page Layouts, Features etc. So simply put get yourself some time to dig into SharePoint 2010 and use MSDN, TechNet and trainings to get started. When you are comfortable then go for certifications. For the second part of the question regarding the upgrade path, the answer is NO you cannot upgrade to SharePoint 2010 MCPD track from any other of MCPD track, at least I am not aware of any.
Question:- Are there any free SharePoint conference videos/sessions available for download?
Yes, there are number of sessions available to download from various conferences.These session will help you getting better knowledge on various SharePoint 2010 areas.however do take note that these sessions regardless of event/conference are not specifically target any SharePoint 2010 certification exams, but will help you getting better understanding of SharePoint 2010 which ultimately help you prepare for the exams.
With this I have to end this post, but I will try to come back later and add/update it as things changes over time.