You might (like me) be about to start your revision for the MB 600 exam or you may just be reading this because you are considering taking a Microsoft certification. Either way lets begin by considering what the MB 600 exam covers, who it is aimed at and why you might want to take the exam.
What is the MB 600 exam?
The MB 600 exam covers topics in three main areas;
- Perform solution envisioning and requirement analysis
- Architect a solution
- Implement the solution
Meaning you will need to learn about how to define a Power Platform solution, design the application and associated integrations plus complete a system implementation.
So essentially the full end to end application life cycle.
Who is MB 600 aimed at?
The MB 600 exam is aimed at solution architects (or other Dynamics 365 professionals) working with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Those professionals will no doubt be trying to achieve the Solution Architect Expert certification which will show they are at an advanced level with the Power Platform.
But (as I will describe in detail soon) there are quite a few prerequisites before you can achieve the expert “badge”.
I guess you can take the required exams in any order …. but honestly if you are reading this and you aren’t already a “Functional Consultant Associate” or “Developer Associate” I’d encourage you to complete some of the other exams first. (Details below.)
Why take the MB 600 exam?
The MB 600 exam is one requirement towards the “Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect Expert certification” (I know catchy name!).
Having the expert certification helps demonstrate to employers that you have a deep understanding of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. I would consider this the ultimate certification for someone working with the Power Platform.
Guess what, gaining this certification isn’t easy. But then it wouldn’t be worth much if it was!!
First you will need to have obtained the core exam … MB-200: Microsoft Power Platform + Dynamics 365 Core. MB 200 covers the main components that make up the Power Platform and other significant central topics such as the security model, data management, systems integration etc etc.
Update [Dec 2020] …. the MB 200 exam has been replaced with the PL-200 exam. Now known as the “Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant” exam.
Once you have the core exam you can then obtain an associate certifications. That is if you also pass one of the following exams;
- MB-400: Microsoft Power Apps + Dynamics 365 Developer
- MB-210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
- MB-220: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing
- MB-230: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- MB-240: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service
Meaning we have associate certifications for each specialism including sales, marketing, customer service or field service. Or maybe you could opt for a specialism as a developer.
Once you hold one of the associate certifications and pass MB 600 then finally you will be awarded the Solution Architect Expert certification. Simples!
Earlier in this introduction I suggested anyone reading this who doesn’t already hold an associate certification may want to consider some other exams first. Hopefully you now see why I’d suggest that! You “only” have to complete one of the associate certifications but you may decide to complete several. In my case, I have completed the associate certifications for sales, marketing and customer service before attempting the solution architect expert certification!
IMPORTANT TIP: Depending on when you take these exams you may need to check out the latest details from Microsoft. Nothing stays the same for ever! For example MB 200 is due to be retired by 31st Dec 2020. The replacement exam will be called PL-200. In fact PL-200 is already available as a beta exam. (In Oct 2020!)
We have seen that the path towards becoming a Power Platform expert is potentially a long (but rewarding) one. In this final part of the introduction I will concentrate on the MB 600 exam.
None of the Microsoft exams are easy. Quality preparation is essential. Therefore you should study the skills measured statements in great detail and be very confident you have learnt as much as possible about each topic. You can download the MB 600 skills measured statement from Microsoft’s site here. I do encourage you to download a copy! Microsoft make frequent revisions to the exam so always check out the latest information. As fast as I create this revision guide new topics could be added! So double check the skills measured to see if you need to revise any additional topics.
Below I have highlighted the details of the skills measured (as of September 2020!).
When I start my exam prep I always consider these skills measured statements very carefully. I often print them off and highlight any areas that I recognise as gaps in my knowledge. Doing this helps me understand what I need to learn and therefore I can create myself a “learning plan” that concentrates on those topics. I believe this style of planning is essential. Did I mention that the exams aren’t easy, so having a structured methodical approach to your preparation should help you achieve the required result.
But I do have one final observation about this particular exam. Preparing for the other exams had a factual / theoretical focus. So “technical stuff” you need to learn. The MB 600 exam feels a little different, yes you’ll need to know loads of facts but it is also about your experience as a Dynamics 365 professional. Therefore theory alone might not be enough you will need to have gained some real world experience of implementing Power Platform systems. If you are not already implementing Dynamics 365 solutions then you might need some work experience before attempting this exam. Sorry!
Whilst much of the content is theoretical I believe some statements “imply” you’ll have quite a lot of background technical knowledge. Phrases like “identify technical requirements” makes an assumption that you have the skills to do this. If you are planning on taking the MB 600 exam you probably have a pretty good grasp of the technologies associated with the Power Platform and Dynamics 365. But I would suggest that few architects in todays world have a deep understanding of everything. I certainly don’t! Like me, you will probably be aware that you have strengths in some areas and therefore gaps in your knowledge in other areas. Think about these gaps and make sure you have at least read up on any concepts you know aren’t in your normal comfort zone. For example, for me this meant reading up on things like Azure Service Bus.
|Perform solution envisioning and requirement analysis
|Initiate solution planning||Evaluate business requirements
Identify solution components
Identify and estimate migration effort
|Identify organization information and metrics||Identify and document an organization’s business processes
Assess organization’s risk factors
|Identify existing solutions and systems||Evaluate organization enterprise architecture
Identify data sources to be included in the solution
Define usage and quality of legacy data
Identify desired high-level organizational business processes
||Refine high level requirement
Identify functional requirements
Identify technical requirements
Confirm requirements meet organization’s goals
|Perform fit/gap analysis||Determine feasibility of requirements
Evaluate Dynamics 365 apps and AppSource options to solve requirements
Address functional gaps through alternate solutions
|Architect a solution
|Lead design process
||Design solution topology
Design customizations for Dynamics 365 apps or AppSource apps
Validate and/or design user experience prototypes
Identify opportunities for component reuse
Communicate system design visually
Design Application Lifecycle Management
Design data migration strategy
Partition features into apps
Design visualization strategy
Design for upgradeability
Create functional design documents
|Design data and security model
||Design entities and fields
Design reference and configuration data
Design complex scenarios
Design business unit team structure
Design security roles
Design field security
||Design collaboration integration
Design Dynamics 365 integration
Design internal system integration
Design third-party integration
Design authentication strategy
Design business continuity strategy
Design integrations with Microsoft Azure
|Implement the solution
|Validate the solution design
||Evaluate detail designs and implementation
||Facilitate risk reduction of performance items
Troubleshoot data migration
Review and advise in deployment planning
Review and advise with Go-Live Assessment
I hope I haven’t scared you by commenting how hard these exams can be. Learning new stuff and experimenting with the Power Platform can be a rewarding experience. So my final tip is … enjoy your learning experience. Dynamics 365 is fun. Enjoy!