Get in on the action: SharePoint certifications

I’m going to type up some of the things John and J talked about in this morning’s SharePoint certification Live Meeting. My report will be from my non-IT perspective, so you might find this over-simplified, too elementary, or way beneath you. If that is the case, consider that I might be feigning a lack of technological expertise just to make you feel real, real smart.

You can watch the recording here. I’ll post the written Q&A when I get that tomorrow.



  • There are two kinds of SharePoint. You should learn the difference if you don’t know it already–check out the office site for info, or here’s a developer’s perspective on the difference that I found helpful.

    • Office SharePoint Server 2007: Stand alone server product with excellent features for Enterprise Content Management, workflow, etc–lots of opportunity to develop specific tools, interface with web applications or customize

    • SharePoint Services 3.0: is a part of Windows Server, a good out of the box solution for collaboration, etc. Not as feature-rich, not as much opp to customize

  • Companies are spending a lot of money on collaboration technologies like SharePoint–it’s about a 7 billion dollar industry–which means these companies need people who can help them get their money’s worth from the investment.

  • We have two developer certifications to help you show you’re ready and able to help them–one for Server and one for Services, and two for IT pros–one for Server and one for Services. Each takes one exam, all of which are available now. Download a PDF Datasheet with all of this in one place.


  • Where to start? Pick the SP product (Server or Services) you’ve got your hands on and the role (Configuring or developing) you’re doing or will be doing and start there. If you aren’t locked in yet – start with Services

  • Brand new developers… Don’t START with SharePoint certification. You’ll need some background–in ASP.NET development, for example–to be successful wiht SharePoint. If you’d like some help on getting started with developer certifications, check out my friend Gerry’s blog post on the subject.

  • No professional-series cert underway at the moment (MCPD or MCITP) but we would like to have one, especially with the growth in this area. Need to make sure we get the role right and it’s not that clear cut. The planning teams are trying to sort through that now (any thoughts? post a comment…)

  • There is an end-user (I.e. YT) certification in development for SharePoint, planned for early 2009. Someone asked about cert for the non-developer designer role… nothing in the works today.

  • There are no training kits for these exams, so don’t spin your wheels looking for them. Lots of other good materials (see table below–prep guides aren’t up to date FYI) to help you prep for exams, and other great resources from Technet, MSDN, and the product group. We recognize there’s a need for advanced training materials – we’re working on that.

  • Do these exams count as elective credit for MCSE? Yes, 70-630 adn 70-631 do count as elective credit for MCSE 2000 or 2003. Check the cert guides on to see that…



Instructor-led training


MS Press


Learning Plan

Please check for resources.

50026A: SharePoint 2007 Hands-On Labs

Collection 5385: Developing Solutions with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Visual Studio 2005

Collection 5392: Developing and Extending Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Visual Studio 2005

6 Microsoft Office Business Applications for Office SharePoint Server 2007 (ISBN: 9780735622760)

 Programming Microsoft Office Business Applications (ISBN: 9780735625365)


Learning Plan

50046: SharePoint Developer (Mindsharp) – (2 Days)

50026A: SharePoint 2007 Hands-On Labs

Please check for resources.

Collection 6071: Visual Studio 2008 Connected Systems: Windows Workflow Foundation (12 hours)

Inside Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (ISBN 978-0-7356-2368-2)

Inside the Index and Search Engines: Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 (ISBN 9780735625358)


Learning Plan

Course 5061: Implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (three days)

Course 50048: Architecting and Planning the Search Capability in Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 (2 Days)

50047: Advanced IT Pro Course for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (5 days)

50026A: SharePoint 2007 Hands-On Labs

Collection 5404: Implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Collection 3376: Implementing Enterprise Search Using SharePoint Technologies

Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 Administrator’s Companion (ISBN 9780735622821)

Inside Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 (ISBN 9780735623682)


Learning Plan


Course 5060: Implementing Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (two days)

50047: Advanced IT Pro Course for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (5 days)

50026A: SharePoint 2007 Hands-On Labs

Collection 5403: Implementing Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0 Inside Out (ISBN 9780735623231)

Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services Version 3.0 Step by Step (ISBN 9780735623637)

Microsoft SharePoint Services Administrator’s Pocket Consultant (ISBN 9780735623828)

Resources and more info

A few related offers:

  • Save 35% on Office SharePoint 2007 Administrator’s Companion and other titles:

  • Save on e-Learning: Core Training for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with collection 5266. Save 20% on this collection of four individual courses if you order by September 30, 2008. Just enter code SHARE20POINT at checkout.

  • Register for SharePoint Server 2007 Conference by August 1 and Receive a Free Book. Microsoft Press authors Bill English (MVP, MCT) and Ben Curry (MVP) put their expert insights and field-tested best practices into their newest book, SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices, and will share even more as hosts of a Best Practices Conference in Washington, D.C., September 15-17, 2008. Register by August 1 to receive a free copy of the book! Learn more about the conference.

Comments (9)

  1. Gunnar says:

    And don’t forget to mention that SharePoint holds the mighty third place of most popular blogging topics after knitting and cooking! 🙂

    I passed 70-542 in the beginning of this month and I wrote <a href="">entry about 70-542 in my blog</a> (suggestions of how to prepare for this exam).

  2. Daniel M. says:

    Here are my thoughts:

    Well one of the tricky things is what name you could use. You don’t use Technology Names in MCITP Titles, do you? Therefore MCITP: Enterprise SharePoint Administrator is not an option. So what can be used… hmm.. what is SharePoint most used for? Collaboration! Yes, there are more features in MOSS, but in the end SharePoint is still mostly used for collab. I really thought a lot about it but Collaboration is the word that best fits the Product. The MCITP and MCPD Certifications should clearly focus on MOSS, if you want to certify just on WSS you can take the TS Certification, right?

    MCITP: Enterprise Collaboration Administrator


    I think both Configuration TS exams should be a prereq as some MOSS relevant things are only covered in the WSS Exam.

    70-630 and 70-631


    70-*** PRO: Designing Infrastructure with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

    – Focus on Designing Large MOSS Farms

    70-*** PRO: Deploying Solutions with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

    – In Deep Questions about Solution Deployment, Webpart Integration etc.

    – Implementing Out of the Box Features

    – Search, Search, Search!

    – …

    Those two exams could also be merged into just one.

    I can’t talk about the PD Track as I’m not a developer.

  3. Niall says:

    I wouldnt mind seeing a pro developer level cert on this either..

    Something similar as above, MCTS in WSS & MOSS App Dev. Then possibly a pro level exam based on design decisions for MOSS developers something similar to the MCPD structure…

    Could be labelled MCPD SharePoint Developer or MCITP (similar to the Database Developer qual)

  4. says:

    I’m glad to see the SharePoint exams getting some love at last!  I took them all in beta, and only failed one (by a precious few points – curses!)

    I think Daniel M. above highlights good points for the MCITP side of things.  I also think MS needs to do at least an MCTS on Search, if not an MCITP – it could cover SharePoint, Search Server, Windows Desktop Search, and whatever other search products MS has put out that I don’t know about.  Search is a big area, and a tough one to do right, but lots of companies need/want it, so a cert seems well-placed.

    As for MCPD, I think first of all it should be targeted at MOSS, not WSS.  Anybody going after MCPD credentals should have access to the higher-level product.  Secondly, I think there are two big areas of MOSS from a developer standpoint : Enterprise Content Management, and Everything Else.  ECM has a lot of details that only matter in that context.

    So maybe these?

    MCPD : Enterprise Content Management Solutions Developer

    MCPD : SharePoint Developer

    I know Daniel M. already pointed out that MCPD credentials tend not to have technologies specified in them.  But now that MCPD credentials are being versioned like the MCTS credentials, and since SharePoint is a whole platform unto itself (and the fastest-growing server product in MS history), maybe the above is acceptable?

  5. Trika Harms zum Spreckel recently blogged a post that discusses SharePoint certifications. In the post,…

  6. Dan Kahler says:


    I’d agree that there’s definitely a compelling call for a PRO-level SharePoint certification, and completely agree with the certification team’s dilemna that it’s not that clear cut. Getting the role and scope right are absolutely key, but it’s a chicken vs. egg struggle.

    More than most Microsoft products, SharePoint roles are driven by the environment. Production SharePoint environments range from single-server deployments to mission-critical, multi-tier multi server-farm environments with high availability requirements and Internet, intranet, and extranet needs. The applicable "PRO-level" SharePoint roles vary accordingly.

    For SharePoint, does it make more sense to choose the role and then identify its competencies, or would it be more natural to get a braindump of competencies that "PRO-level" SharePoint professionals need to perform, and then group those competencies to define the roles? I think it might be the latter.

    I’ve added some additional thoughts and a few PRO-style "What? Why? Who?" competencies over at my blog (

  7. JeffHora says:

    And don’t forget the ILT Course 50064: Advanced SharePoint 2007 Development (…

  8. James says:

    It’s really annoying to have to just throw a bunch of exam names around to indicate expertise, but a developer I don’t see that it makes a lot of sense relating the SharePoint exams with the MCPD designation.

    I’m fine with adding PRO level exams, but it seems to me the end result should be something like the following:

    Microsoft Certified SharePoint Administrator (for the configuring exams)

    Microsoft Certified SharePoint Developer

    (for the developer exams)

    Microsoft Certified SharePoint Professional

    (for the whole ball of wax)

    Something like that should be done, and preferably sooner than later.  The demand for skills is, as we all know, very high and there is a need for proper designation right now.

  9. says:

    Thanks for all the good suggestions and opinions (and for the plug Jeff Hora!!)

    Have passed it on to the team designing these to add to their pile of things to consider.