I managed to get around to doing this exam just before my holidays as part of the 70-567 upgrade exam. The thing with upgrade exams is that they are a combination of the prerequisite exams for the certifications. So in this case 70-567 is a combination of 70-562 and 70-564. But this post is about 70-562 and how to hopefully pass it.
So this exam is aimed at developers developing ASP.NET applications on the .NET 3.5 Framework using Visual Studio 2008. The suggested minimum time developing for this is about 3 years but that is only a guideline. It is not a requirement to take the exam. Some of the main concepts covered in this exam include ASP.NET controls. ASP.NET AJAX, Masterpages, the web.config file and also a bit of LINQ and WCF. You should also be familiar on the different deployment techniques that can be used within Visual Studio 2008.
So first off lets take a quick look at what Microsoft say you should know going into this.
- Configuring and deploying web applications (10%)
- Consuming and creating server controls (20%)
- Working with data and services (17%)
- Troubleshooting and debugging web applications (16%)
- Working with ASP.NET AJAX and client-side scripting (15%)
- Targeting mobile devices (5%)
- Programming web applications (17%)
As you can see most of the exam is covered in the server controls section with a hefty amount coming in the data such as LINQ, WCF with the AJAX and debugging coming in very close behind. Mobile devices well its not a lot and you usually will get about 1 question on it in the exam.
As always I suggest that you use this post to help you define how ready you are for the exam.
Make sure you are using a copy of Visual Studio 2008 Standard edition or above, personally I suggest the Pro edition or higher. The reason for this is that the express editions don't have some of the debugging tools such as attach to process and certain deployment tools. If you want to make sure you have everything and you don't have Visual Studio 2008 Professional you can download a 90 day trial from here. You can also get a comprehensive product comparison by downloading one of the files from here.
Next thing is to make sure you have a testable deployment machine so either use a live machine or use the virtualisation software of your choice such as VMWare or Virtual PC 2007 SP1 and create a virtual machine using either Windows 2003 or Windows Server 2008. You can get trials for both operating systems. This will allow you test your deployment techniques etc.
I used Dino Esposito’s book Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 purely because that was the book we had in the office and I had previously taken the beta exam for this one. Also from my perspective I have the MCTS on 2.0 already and some of the main themes are covered again in the 3-5 exam so I took a gamble there.
There is a training kit for this exam that will cover most of the topics and like I have said previously it is not a bad idea to supplement the training kit with some other resources such as MSDN and blogs. Please make sure to check out the errata for these kits from here
Some key points to know before going into the exam
- Know how to set up a WCF service and configure an endpoint in an ASP.NET application
- Know how to secure your web application with Forms and Windows authentication and in which scenarios you would use each.
- The deployment tools used in Visual Studio 2008 and the scenarios you would use each in.
- Master pages and how to nest them and also reference them
- ASP.NET AJAX and the different controls supplied out of the box.
- How to create server controls, ascx files etc.
These are some key points that should help you in the exam. This is NOT all you should be learning for the exam as this only is a suggested list of things you should know going in. Remember that this exam tests if you are a developer with 2/3 years experience in ASP.NET what should you know.