Monday, July 16, 2007

Completed 70-631 - Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring

Well we are happy to announce that we have just passed this exam from Microsoft. Yeah, this means that we are now a Microsoft Certified SharePoint Professional (we believe that's what it's called anyway).

A while back we were never really keen on the whole Microsoft Certified Professional thing but since completing the Small Business Specialist certification we must admit that we have come around a little. In this day and age you really to have as many points of differentiation as you can between you and your competitors. Although we don't necessarily believe that having Microsoft certifications makes you any better or any worse at least it show that you have jumped a few hurdles and passed some exams. That in some way does show that you are willing to go that little bit extra to improve your business knowledge.

So what do you need to know if you want to pass the exam? Well we would suggest that you spend a little time learning the basics of Windows load balancing. Why? We suppose that it is because in many instances SharePoint will be installed on multiple servers and in this case there is going to be a need for resource sharing and optimization. So spend a little time learning the basics about Windows Load Balancing. Also, ensure that you know how to configure SharePoint via the Central Administration site. Would also suggest that you spend a little time understanding the role of IIS in SharePoint, i.e. application pools, web sites, SSL and what not. You don't need to know low level nitty gritty stuff but you need to have a good general understanding as well as the role these play with SharePoint. Also, if you are from the normal one server world of SBS then you'll have to broaden your horizon and learn how SharePoint functions with multiple servers ( front ends, content servers and so on). Again, not difficult but Sharepoint DOES operation on more than a single server.

Microsoft has some good online learning courses at www.microsoftelearning.com. We would recommend :

Collection 5403: Implementing Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0

Which includes 6 sub courses that will cover everything you need to pass exam 70-631. As for reading material we would recommend :

Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 Administrator's Companion

Which is a little more focused on MOSS than Windows Sharepoint but is still a pretty good book. We'll have a full review here soon.

In summary, if you have set up a few Sharepoint 3.0 sites, done so research into Sharepoint and if you then brush up on Network Load Balancing and IIS you should be able to pass the exam, just like us !