Upgrading to the MCSA Windows 10 and announcing the retirement of Windows 7 exams

October 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Hi, can I still upgrade from windows 8.1 to MCSA 10, by taking 70-697?

While researching this reader’s question, I went to the Microsoft certification site and discovered that the MCSA: Windows 8/8.1 was no longer listed anywhere on the site, including in the retired certifications list. The only desktop MCSA described is the Windows 10 MCSA.

I’m confident that the information we reported in November 2016 is no longer current, and students should look at the Microsoft site first to determine which exam to take.

I also reached out to Microsoft regarding the exams for MCSA: Windows 10. Their official response was that it was no longer possible to upgrade from the Windows 8 certification. The only way to achieve a MCSA: Windows 10 is  to pass two exams, 70-697 and 70-698. Passing only one of these exams earns you the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), but nothing more.

The death of desktop certs

If you look at the most recent Microsoft certification paths, you’ll see that the MCSA: Windows 10 is listed as a point on the path to MCSE: Mobility.

mcse 2017

Once you’ve earned the MCSA, taking one more “elective” exam (70-398, 70-695, or 70-696) will earn you the MCSE: Mobility credential. Current and future Microsoft certifications will be divided into the following categories that reflect Microsoft’s move away from local installation:

  • Mobility
  • Cloud
  • Productivity
  • Data
  • App Builder
  • Business
Grab your Windows 7 certification while you still can

After a long, hard run, Microsoft has finally released retirement dates for Windows 7 certifications. All of the following exams will expire on July 31, 2018:

70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator

As of this writing, each of these exams earns the MCP, but no credit toward an MCSA or MCSE.

Happy certifying!

-George Monsalvatge

Microsoft’s long-running Windows Server 2008 certification to retire July 2017

June 27, 2017 at 8:20 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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A whopping nine years after its introduction, Microsoft is drawing the certification program for Windows Server 2008 administration to a close. As of July 31, 2017, you will no longer be able to take the exams or earn the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

The retiring exams are:

  • 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring (Transcender practice exam available here)
  • 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring (Transcender practice exam available here)
  • 70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator (Transcender practice exam available here)

If you only need one or two of the exams to earn your MCSA in Windows Server 2008, then don’t delay. Earning that credential will enable you to sit for exam 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 and upgrade to the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 in one step. However, a number of earlier certifications will also qualify you for this exam, so be sure to review the list of prerequisites first if you still have two exams to go on the MCSA: 2008.

After July 31, the MCSA in Windows Server 2008 will join the list of legacy certifications. It will still be a valid credential for your resume and will appear on your transcripts in the Active section.

MCSA 2008

At the same time as it shutters the MCSA: Server 2008 certification, Windows will also close down the 70-694 exam, Virtualizing Enterprise Desktops and Apps. This exam focuses on Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as part of Windows Server 2012 R2, and earns a credit toward an MCP certification.

Happy certifying!

-the Transcender Team

Microsoft extends Windows 7 and SharePoint Server 2013 certifications to mid-2018

January 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Key certifications receive new lease on life

Microsoft announced that they have extended the life of certifications that were previously slated to expire in 2017. These exams will now expire on July 31, 2018:

  • 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
  • 70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

 

The good news is that you now have over a year to study for and secure these key certifications – and Transcender has a full range of practice tests, e-learning, and practice labs to help you succeed.

Windows Server 2008 to be retired in mid-2017

All of the following exams will retire July 31, 2017:

  • 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
  • 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator
  • 70-694: Virtualizing Enterprise Desktops and Apps

Continue Reading Microsoft extends Windows 7 and SharePoint Server 2013 certifications to mid-2018…

Microsoft changing Windows 10 certification paths; Windows 8/8.1 certifications to retire in December 2016

November 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | 4 Comments
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Disclaimer: Exam retirements are subject to change without notice. Please go to the Official Microsoft Retired exams list to confirm or deny a specific test’s retirement date, as it may have changed since this post was originally published. Click our blog’s Certification Paths category to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

Test takers, take note: Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications are being retired in December, while Windows 10 certification paths are changing. If you are only one test into the two-test sequence, be sure to schedule your exam before the retirement.

These exams will no longer be available after December 31, 2016:

  • 70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
  • 70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
  • 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
  • 70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

If you have passed either the 687 or the 688, but you do not pass the sister exam, you will not have a valid certification after December 31.

What to do if you still need that MCSA: Windows 8 in your certification wallet

You may not know that if you hold an older certification – even as far back as Windows 2000 – you can bypass the two-exam path to a MCSA: Windows 8 and take a single upgrade exam.

You can take the 70-692 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these old-school certifications:

  • MCDST: Windows XP
  • MCSA: Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Security on Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Messaging on Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2003
  • MCSA: Security on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSA: Messaging on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Security on Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Messaging on Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Messaging on Windows Server 2003

You can take the 70-689 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these more recent certifications:

  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
  • MCSA: Windows 7
What to do if you want to jump to the MCSA: Windows 10

There are now two distinct paths for the MCSA: Windows 10 certification. If you have already earned the MCSA: Windows 8, you can upgrade to MCSA: Windows 10 by taking and passing this exam:

If you’re starting at square one, you can earn the MCSA: Windows 10 by passing two exams:

That’s right – there is no separate “upgrade exam” that takes you from an MCSA: 8 to an MCSA: 10. The 70-697 will either upgrade your prior cert, or knock out half of the testing requirements for a brand-new MCSA.

What to do if you’re still in a Windows 7 shop

While you will no longer have the ability to earn Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications, Microsoft has not announced any immediate plans to retire the MCITP in Windows 7. The MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 are still valid certifications and can be earned with a two-test sequence:

MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7:

  • 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7:

  • 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator

Note that the MCSA: Windows 7 is listed as a “retired certification” on the Microsoft legacy certifications page. (For more information on Microsoft’s newly streamlined certifications, read this post on Born To Learn.)

Note that as of this writing, there do not appear to be any direct upgrade exams from the MSCA: Windows 7 (or its equivalent MCITPs) to the MCSA: Windows 10. Your best bet there is to take the two-exam sequence starting with 70-689 (upgrade to MCSA: Win 8 from MCITP: Win 7) and 70-697 (upgrade from MCSA: Win 8 to MCSA: Win 10). Remember that you need to pass 70-689 before December 31, but you can take the 70-697 at any time in 2017.

Bundle and save with exam vouchers and practice tests from Transcender

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Windows 7 Practice Exams and Bundles

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Happy certifying!
-The Transcender Team

The New A+ 900 Series: What’s New (Part 4 of 5)

March 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Posted in CompTIA | 1 Comment
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Welcome back to my series of posts on the new A+ exam. The old 220-801 and 220-802 exams are still available, but they will retire on June 30, 2016 in the United States. CompTIA has released a new version of the A+ certification by rolling out the 220-901 and 220-902 exams on December 15, 2015.

  • In my first post, I went over the timeline and what to expect from the exam changes as a whole.
  • In my second post, I went into detail regarding the first two objectives for 220-901, Hardware and Networking.
  • In my third post, I went into detail regarding the last two objectives for 220-901, Mobile Devices and Hardware & Network Troubleshooting.

In this post, I will cover the first two objectives for 220-902, Windows Operating Systems and Other Operating Systems & Technologies. I’ll give you the entire overview of each objective, list each subobjective, tell you where each topic fell in the old A+ 800-series (if applicable), and put all changes or additions in RED ITALICS.

I will not call out any deleted topics, although CompTIA has removed some topics. This is because I am not really sure if those topics were actually removed from the exam, or if they are just so insignificant that they aren’t called out in the objective listing, but are still floating around in some test questions. Remember that CompTIA’s objective listing contains a disclaimer that says,

“The lists of examples provided in bulleted format below each objective are not exhaustive lists. Other examples of technologies, processes or tasks pertaining to each objective may also be included on the exam although not listed or covered in this objectives document.”

For this reason, I didn’t want to focus on what was removed. My exam experience has shown that the bullet lists are not exhaustive. Spending time focusing on what was removed may give you a false sense of security by making you think you don’t need to study those topics. So I am just ignoring any topic removals.

First, a note about “Bloom’s Levels”

You’ll see me refer to topics changing their Bloom’s level. In the instructional design world, Bloom’s taxonomy is used to describe the depth or complexity of a learning outcome, just as the OSI model describes the level at which a network component operates. Level 1 is basic memorization (what is a router?), where level 6 is complete mastery of a concept (designing a network from scratch).

If I mention here that a Bloom’s level has changed, it generally means that CompTIA is asking for something more complex than memorization. While these changes shouldn’t scare you, there is a bit more “rubber meeting the road” to the higher Bloom’s levels. For example, instead of recognizing various LCD technologies from a list, you may be asked to evaluate which LCD is the best choice for a given scenario. Instead of answering a question about how CIDR notation behaves in the abstract, you may be asked to configure a subnet mask.

220-902 Objective 1: Windows Operating Systems

A+ 220-802 covered Windows operating systems in its own domain. It included Windows operating system (OS) features and requirements, installation, command-line tools, tools and features, Control Panel utilities, networking, and maintenance. The biggest change in this objective is the OSs versions that are included.

What’s changed? In A+ 220-902, Windows operating systems now include Windows 8 and 8.1. No big surprise: Windows XP was removed. But contrary to popular belief, Windows 10 is NOT included. Often I hear complaints that the A+ certification doesn’t include the latest Windows version (because this happens in almost every iteration of A+.) But keep in mind that the objectives for this exam were ironed out last year while Windows 10 was still in its infancy.

1.1 Compare and contrast various features and requirements of Microsoft Operating Systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1). – From Objective 1, subobjective 1 in the old 220-802. New topics were added:

  • Features 
    • Side by side apps – added to the Features section
    • Metro UI – added to the Features section
    • Pinning – added to the Features section
    • One Drive – added to the Features section
    • Windows Store – added to the Features section
    • Multimonitor task bars – added to the Features section
    • Charms – added to the Features section
    • Start Screen – added to the Features section
    • Power Shell – added to the Features section
    • Live sign in – added to the Features section
    • Action Center – added to the Features section

1.2 Given a scenario, install Windows PC operating systems using appropriate methods. – From Objective 1, subobjective 2 in 220-902. These new topics were added:

  • Boot methods 
    • Solid state/flash drives – added to the Boot methods section
    • Netboot – added to the Boot methods section
    • External/hot swappable drive – added to the Boot methods section
    • Internal hard drive (partition) – added to the Boot methods section
  • Type of installations
    • Recovery partition – added to the Type of installations section
    • Refresh/restore – added to the Type of installations section
  • Partitioning
    • GPT – added to the Partitioning section
  • File system types/formatting
    • ExFAT – added to the File system types/formatting section
    • NFS – added to the File system types/formatting section
    • ext3, ext4 – added to the File system types/formatting section
  • Properly formatted boot drive with the correct partitions/format– added

1.3 Given a scenario, apply appropriate Microsoft command line tools. – From Objective 1, subobjective 3 in 220-802. The Networking command-line tools that were included in this objective in 220-802 have been moved to the Networking objective in 220-901. These new topics were added:

  • GPUPDATE – added
  • GPRESULT – added
  • DIR – added
  • EXIT – added
  • HELP – added
  • EXTRACT – added
  • Commands available with standard privileges vs. administrative privileges. – added

1.4 Given a scenario, use appropriate Microsoft operating system features and tools. – From Objective 1, subobjective 4 in 220-902. These new topics were added:

  • Disk Management
    • Initializing – added to the Disk Management section
    • Shrink partitions – added to the Disk Management section
    • Assigning/changing drive letters – revised to include changing
    • Storage spaces – added to the Disk Management section
  • Other
    • Windows Upgrade Advisor – added to the Other section
  • System Utilities
    • DEFRAG – added to the System Utilities section
    • System restore –  added to the System Utilities section
    • Windows Update –  added to the System Utilities section

1.5 Given a scenario, use Windows Control Panel utilities. – From Objective 1, subobjective 5 in 220-802. These new topics were added:

  • Display/Display Settings – revised to include Display Settings
    • Color depth – added to the Display/Display Settings section
    • Refresh rate – added to the Display/Display Settings section
  • Folder Options
    • General options – added to the Folder Options section
    • View options – added to the Folder Options section
  • System
    • Hardware profiles – added to the System section
  • Programs and features – added
  • Devices and Printers – added
  • Sound – added
  • Network and Sharing Center – added
  • Device Manager – added

1.6 Given a scenario, install and configure Windows networking on a client/desktop. – From objective 1, subobjective 6 in 220-802. The Bloom’s level has increased. “Given a scenario” requires applying your knowledge, rather than the old wording of “Setup and configure” (demonstrating knowledge without application). These new topics were added:

  • Network shares/administrative shares/mapping drives – changed to include administrative shares
  • Printer sharing vs. network printer mapping – added
  • Remote Desktop Connection – changed to proper name of tool
  • Remote Assistance – added
  • Network card properties
    • BIOS (on-board NIC) – added to Network card properties section

1.7 Perform common preventive maintenance procedures using the appropriate Windows OS tools. – From objective 1, subobject 7 in 220-802.

  • Best practices
    • Scheduled disk maintenance – changed to disk maintenance instead of separate check disks and defragmentation
    • Antivirus/ Antimalware updates – changed to include antimalware
  • Tools
    • Disk maintenance utilities – changed to disk maintenance utilities instead of check disk and defrag
220-902 Objective 2: Other Operating Systems & Technologies

This is a mostly new objective for the A+ certification. For those of you that go way back (and I am talking way, way back here), you’ll remember that the A+ certification used to cover the Apple and Linux operating systems, cloud technologies, and network hosts. With this latest version, you will see a return of those operating systems in this objective, as well as covering the mobile device operating systems, virtualization, mobile device connectivity and email, and mobile devices synchronization, which were all covered in 220-802.

Continue Reading The New A+ 900 Series: What’s New (Part 4 of 5)…

Microsoft to retire the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure credential in January 2016

November 3, 2015 at 9:19 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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If you’ve been working toward your MCSE in Desktop Infrastructure, you will need to finish your exam cycle sooner rather than later. Microsoft has announced that the certification itself will be retired on January 31, 2016, along with two of its key exams.

The five exams in this certification sequence are:

  • 70-415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure – retires January 31, 2016
  • 70-416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments – retires January 31, 2016
  • 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services R2
  • 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012 R2
  • 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2

The other three exams in the path – 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412 – are also key exams for other MCSA and MCSE certifications.  As of this writing, Microsoft has not announced a retirement date for those exams.

What happens when a certification retires? Even if an exam that is part of a certification you earned is retired, your certification is still valid. When an exam you passed is retired, the exam record remains on your transcript.

CISSP 2015: What’s New (Part 1 of 5)

August 26, 2015 at 8:43 am | Posted in CISSP, Study hints, study tips | Leave a comment
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As many of you are probably aware, (ISC)2 updated the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam in April 2015. You may be worried that the update meant all the existing CISSP products out there immediately became obsolete. Fortunately, that is just not true.

So what did change? Well, there are several points that you need to understand about this new version. (ISC)2 posted a wonderful FAQ regarding the new version: https://www.isc2.org/cissp-sscp-domains-faq/default.aspx.

Here’s what I found from my own investigation of the new CISSP exam.

No topics were REMOVED from the exam.

From the FAQ link above: “Some topics have been expanded (e.g., asset security, security assessment and testing), while other topics have been realigned under different domains.” There was also this answer to a question: “Content was not removed from the exam and/or training material, but rather refreshed and reorganized to include the most current information and best practices relevant to the global information security industry.”

New topics WERE added to the exam.

From the FAQ link above: “The CISSP exam is being updated to stay relevant amidst the changes occurring in the information security field. Refreshed technical content has been added to the Official (ISC)² CISSP CBK to reflect the most current topics in the information security industry today.”

New item types WERE added to the exam.

The exam includes both multiple choice and “advanced innovative” questions. The new innovative questions are hot spot and drag-and-drop questions. For more information on these question types, see https://www.isc2.org/innovative-cissp-questions/default.aspx.

The exam contains the same number of questions as before.

This exam still have 250 questions. You still have 6 hours to complete the exam.

The exam was condensed from 10 domains to 8 domains.

But let me repeat, content was not removed. It was simply restructured.

The new domains are:

  1. Security and Risk Management (Security, Risk, Compliance, Law, Regulations, Business Continuity)
  2. Asset Security (Protecting Security of Assets)
  3. Security Engineering (Engineering and Management of Security)
  4. Communications and Network Security (Designing and Protecting Network Security)
  5. Identity and Access Management (Controlling Access and Managing Identity)
  6. Security Assessment and Testing (Designing, Performing, and Analyzing Security Testing)
  7. Security Operations (Foundational Concepts, Investigations, Incident Management, Disaster Recovery)
  8. Software Development Security (Understanding, Applying, and Enforcing Software Security)
The experience prerequisites have not changed.

Again, as per the FAQ: “For the CISSP, a candidate is required to have a minimum of 5 years of cumulative paid full-time work experience in 2 out of the 8 domains (experience in 2 out of the total number of domains) of the CISSP CBK.”

If you don’t meet the experience requirements, you can still take the exam.

Basically, if you take and pass the exam without having the experience requirements, you don’t get the CISSP certification, but you do become an Associate of (ISC)2. That means they give you six years to meet the experience and CISSP endorsement requirements. See https://www.isc2.org/how-to-become-an-associate.aspx for more information on this loophole.

More detailed analysis is in the works!

Now that you are caught up on the basics regarding this exam, you need to understand the difference between the old domains and new domains. In the coming weeks, I will be posting the other 4 parts of this series. (Hyperlinks will be added as the posts are written.)

  • Part 2 covers new domain 1 and 2
  • Part 3 covers new domain 3 and 4
  • Part 4 covers new domain 5 and 6
  • Part 5 covers new domain 7 and 8

Each of these posts will show you where any topics that were in the old version came from and highlight any new topics.

It is our hope that this information will help you prepare for this exam! Remember, our practice test covers all the topics and also the different item types that you will see on the live exam.

Wishing you certification success!

-Robin Abernathy

Limited time remains to earn many MCTS, MCPD, and MCITP certifications before July 31

June 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer: Exam retirements are subject to change without notice. Please go to the official Microsoft Retired exams list to confirm or deny a specific test’s retirement date, as it may have changed since this post was originally published. Click https://transcender.wordpress.com/category/certification-paths/ to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

If you’ve been working toward a certification in certain MCPD, MCITP, or MCTS tracks, you will want to take note of the following upcoming exam retirements. As always, having a retired exam in your certification track does not invalidate the certification – but if you miss the window to take the exam, you will have to hope the tests you’ve already passed also count toward a current certification track.

Windows Server MCTS, MCITP, and 2003 MCSA

The following Windows Server exams are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-693: PRO: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

These exams affect the following tracks:

MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 – the 70-643 and 70-647 are two of the required exams for this five-exam track. It’s not yet listed as a “legacy” certification, but unless you have the other three exams under your belt, you may be better off aiming for the three-exam track MCSA: Windows Server 2008. (If you do earn the MCITP: EA, you get dual credit for the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.)

MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2 – 70-659, 70-669, and 70-693 are the last of the available exams for this three-exam track. As with the MCITP: EA, you lose the chance to finish this track after July 31. Past that date you’ll have to earn the three-exam track MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

If you have the MCITP: EA, the MCITP: VA, or the MCSA 2008, you can take exam 70-417 to upgrade to the MCSA Windows Server 2012. There is no expiration presently listed for that upgrade track.

The 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist provides combined credit for the 70-640, 70-642, and 70-643 exams – but only if you also earned the MCSA in Windows Server 2003. Those exams count toward the MCITP: EA or MCITP: VA, which in turn are equivalent to the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

Windows Client MCTS

The following Windows client OS exam are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying

The retirement of this exam will retire the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration certification. The only remaining Windows 7 MCTS will be the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration (70-680).

This retirement does NOT affect the current Windows 7 MCITP certifications, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (70-680 and 70-685) and Enterprise Desktop Administrator (70-680 and 70-686).

Visual Studio MCPD

The following Visual Studio 2010 exams are slated to retire:

  • 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

These exams represent the last chance for you to bump your Visual Studio 2010 MCTS certification to either MCPD: Windows Developer 4 or MCPD: Web Developer 4, so if you plan to earn either of those designations, be sure to schedule the applicable exam before July 31, 2015.

SQL Server MCTS, MCITP

The following SQL Server exams are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Deployment
  • 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

The 70-433 is required to earn the MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development and counts toward the MCITP: Database Developer 2008. The 70-450 and 70-451 are required for both MCITP tracks for SQL Server 2008. Your only other certification option for SQL Server 2008 is the two-exam MCSA: SQL Server 2008.

Microsoft recently announced that the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 will be the final MCSA track for SQL Server. For SQL Server 2014, only the pro-level MCSE: SQL Server 2014 will be offered. You can read the FAQ for more information on the upcoming change.

SharePoint MCTS, MCITP, and MCPD

No exams are scheduled to retire in this category until January 2016.

Lync and Lync Server

Microsoft released an update to these retirements on July 1:

The retirement date of Microsoft Lync 2013 exams have been moved to November 30, 2015. This is good news for those who want to achieve Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Communication in this calendar year. You now have more time to prepare, but be sure to schedule your exam appointment soon! For more details about this retirement date change and the specific exams involved, please see the announcement on Born to Learn blog.

Microsoft will retire all of these exams on July 31, 2015:

  • 74-322: Microsoft Lync Server 2010—Advanced Design and Deployment
  • 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
  • 70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 70-337: Enterprise Voice Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer

These retirements will conclude the availability of the Lync Depth Support Engineer and Lync Network Readiness Assessment specialist certifications. Going forward, Lync will be merged with the MCSA: Office 365 certification and the MCSE: Communication Solutions Expert certification.

Retiring in 2016

Looking ahead, Microsoft has announced that they plan to retire several more exams in January 2016, including 70-66270-66370-66770-66870-459, and 70-460. However, exam retirements are always subject to change, so be sure to check the retirements announcement page a minimum of three months before you plan to take an older certification exam.

Happy certifying!

~Ann and The Transcender Team

Other posts you may interested in:

Customer asks: Is now the time to study for Windows Server 2008 certification, or Server 2012?

Customer asks: What Windows Desktop Client exam should I take for the MCSA or MCTS?

CISSP Exam Changing Scope, Topic Coverage on April 15, 2015

February 11, 2015 at 11:17 am | Posted in CISSP | Leave a comment
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ETA 1/12/2016: Check out Robin’s five-part breakdown of the new CISSP exam topics, starting here: CISSP 2015: What’s New (Part 1 of 5)

(ISC)2 announced a new CISSP exam blueprint that will go into effect on April 15, 2015, so that the exam may “stay relevant amidst the changes occurring in the information security field.” As a result of this update, the 10 domains currently tested in the CISSP exam will be restructured as the following 8 domains:

  • Security and Risk Management (Security, Risk, Compliance, Law, Regulations, Business Continuity)
  • Asset Security (Protecting Security of Assets)
  • Security Engineering (Engineering and Management of Security)
  • Communications and Network Security (Designing and Protecting Network Security)
  • Identity and Access Management (Controlling Access and Managing Identity)
  • Security Assessment and Testing (Designing, Performing, and Analyzing Security Testing)
  • Security Operations (Foundational Concepts, Investigations, Incident Management, Disaster Recovery)
  • Software Development Security (Understanding, Applying, and Enforcing Software Security)

However, this change does not necessarily mean fewer topics are covered. According to the FAQs , “Some topics have been expanded (e.g., asset security, security assessment and testing), while other topics have been realigned under different domains.” The number of questions and the amount of time allowed for the exam have not changed.

To download a free copy of the new Client Information Bulletin (CIB), which contains the exam blueprint, you can go to https://www.isc2.org/exam-outline/default.aspx. To find out more information, you should access the FAQ about this new version at https://www.isc2.org/cissp-sscp-domains-faq/default.aspx.

If you are currently preparing for this exam, I suggest you make plans to take the exam BEFORE April 15, 2015. If you plan to take the exam after that date, you will need to make sure that the study materials that you use cover all the new domains and topics. Also, keep in mind that this exam now includes performance-based questions. Because this exam is typically not denoted with a version number (eg. there is no CISSP-002 exam, only the CISSP), you may not be able to tell which version of the exam you are signing up for unless you schedule it well before the cut-off of April 15.

We at Transcender will be updating our practice test later this year. Our current practice test already includes performance-based questions intended to help you prepare for this testing format, and we will definitely include updated performance-based questions in the new version.

Watch for more posts later on the CISSP changes!

-Robin

Time is running out to upgrade your MCPD Visual Studio 2008 (.NET 3.5) and earn the MCPD: Azure Developer

July 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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In a little under two weeks, the exams that allow you to upgrade your MCPD certifications in Visual Studio 2008 (the .NET Framework 3.5 technologies) will expire, never to return. But if you act between now and July 31, 2014, you can still sign up to take a single upgrade exam, and thereby pole-vault over the many MCTS 2010 requirements.

Exam 70-521:  If you already have a  MCPD: Windows Developer 3.5 or MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 certification, this exam upgrades you to Windows Developer 4.

Exam 70-523: If you already have a MCPD: ASP.NET Developer 3.5 or MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 certification, this exam upgrades you to Web Developer 4.

To add an extra layer of confusion, Microsoft simplified (thankfully) the names for its Visual Studio 2010 certifications once it started developing the Visual Studio 2012 certifications. If you go to the exam detail pages, you’ll see the upgrade certifications called MCPD .NET 4 Windows Applications Developer and  MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer; however, these correspond to the MCPD titles listed above.

Other Visual Studio exams expiring this month are:

  • Exam 70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development
  • Exam 70-512: TS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
  • Exam 98-362: Windows Development Fundamentals

This Azure Pro exam also expires in July. This exam is one of the four required to earn the MCPD: Microsoft Azure Developer certification (along with 70-513 and 70-516, which do not retire):

  • Exam 70-583: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft Azure Applications

Finally, it’s your last chance to upgrade your MCDST XP or EDST Vista certifications to Windows 7.

  • Exam 70-682: Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

Happy testing!

 

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