How I Passed the BizTalk 2010 Certification

Yesterday, I passed the BizTalk Server 2010 certification exam. I had heard that previous versions of the exam were quite difficult because BizTalk is a broad tool. I have only taken one Microsoft certification exam in the past, and failed it. So, I was rather nervous going in. However, I have been working with BizTalk Server for quite a long time, and was much more confident with this tool than the other exam’s focus area (.NET data access).

Here’s how I studied…

I have actually used the presentations and labs in this kit to deliver BizTalk training to clients. It is very good. In November, I presented a client training where we went through all but four of the modules in the training kit. That was what put getting the certification onto my radar. Like most of us, I have extensive use of certain pieces of BizTalk, but there are other components that I do not get to use that often. This training opportunity really helped to round out my knowledge. And of course, teaching is a great way to learn!

Thanks to Kent Weare and cohorts for putting this great guide together! I can say with the exam fresh in my memory that much of what the exam covered was in this book.

After I decided to go for the certification, I looked around and found this book. It is a quite concise book on the subject. And just over 300 pages, and lots of screen-shots, I was able to plow through it in a couple of weeks. That mainly happened over the holidays which helped because I had some extra time.

  • Targeted personal lab-time

I knew the areas that I was not as experienced with. As such, I set aside time to get into the tools and kick the tires. I prototyped those weird direct binding scenarios that aren’t often used (partner ports, self-correlated) and exception compensation. I prototyped using role links (not my favorite pattern for party resolution by the way). I prototyped both consuming and publishing WCF services.

Like you may have heard in the past, multiple modes of input can really increase your chances of passing (instructor-led [even when you are the instructor!], books, lab time). While I have a long history with BizTalk, and may have passed the test, I wanted to do whatever possible to make sure I did not fail it, particularly since I had failed an exam in the past.

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