MCSA Certifications – April

 Just when I thought I had all the certifications figured out, Microsoft announced yesterday the addition of the MCSE: Business Applications (focusing on Dynamics 365) which includes two new supporting MCSA paths – MCSA: Dynamics 365 and MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations. Additionally, they’ve added the new MCSA: Data Science, which puts you on a path to earn an MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification. Check out this new pdf that clearly outlines the requirements for each certification and the electives that can be taken to renew each MCSE annually. Bonus information on the pdf download is some other unannounced MCSA certifications including Cloud Database Development, Big Data Engineering, and BI reporting.

MCSE: Productivity 2017

Passed the Exchange 2016 exam today with a very high score.What is humorous is that I thought it was tomorrow and had not really studied that much. I would say I took it cold, but I did just teach the Exchange 2013 class two weeks ago. One thing I was surprised about was that I thought I would only earn the Specialist certification for passing the 70-345 exam. However, since I already have the qualifying MCSA certifications, this exam re-earned my MCSE: Productivity for 2017. Not sure what I am going to do for next year. I might have to learn Sharepoint.

SQL Saturday Atlanta #578

Attached is my presentation on SQL Server Certification that will be presented at SQL Saturday Atlanta: BI Edition this weekend. I have also provided useful links in getting certified on SQL Server.

Microsoft Exam Replay

466b4417-8857-4304-929b-f9cf9ec63d1a-large  To help you reach your certification goals, Microsoft Learning is introducing Exam Replay with two purchase options: Exam Replay – An Exam Replay is one exam plus a retake of the same exam. Buy these at the same time to give yourself an extra chance at success. Exam Replay + Practice Test – Pull out all the stops and give yourself every advantage. Buy an exam, a retake, plus a practice test together! The practice test is accessible online and valid for 30 days from activation, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare. To take advantage of these Exam Replay options, visit the special offers page today.

Microsoft Digital Badges

badges Today Microsoft has partnered with Pearson VUE to make digital badges widely available for Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs). Beginning October 21, 2016, if you have passed a qualifying exam or earned a designated certification, you will be able to share your achievements more effectively with these digital badges. Beginning in November 2016, badges will be retroactively issued to those who have passed exams or achieved certifications prior to October 21st, 2016.

Microsoft Streamlined Certification Paths

mcsp Microsoft is streamlining its expert-level certifications to provide more flexibility and a wider array of starting points towards certification. There will be Four new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications and One Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification.

You will first need to earn a qualifying Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) from one of many qualifying paths and then pass a single additional exam from a list of electives to earn the corresponding MCSE or MCSD.

The MCSA/MCSD you earn will never expire, however each year you will have the chance to re-Earn the certification by passing an additional exam from the ever growing list of electives. This replaces the existing requirement of needing to renew your certification every 3 years and will help you gain new skills on new exams instead of continuing to re-test on older skills over and over again. To find out more, download the list of exams and electives for the Microsoft Streamlined Certification Paths here.

Certification Booster Packs

MFST_LEX_BoosterPack_Facebook_1200x628.jpg-604x770We all know that getting certified can give your career (and resume) a boost. If you’ve been interested in getting certified – or want to continue to the next level of certification – but were unsure or waiting until you had some wiggle room with studying and practicing for the exam, that time is now. We’re excited to introduce a brand new offer: Microsoft Certification Booster Packs!

The Value of Certification

fuelsuccess2Is certification worth your time and money? Well a recent IDC research has the answers for you. A few examples:

• Certified employees earn 15% more on average than staff without certification
• Certification is one of the most important characteristics when organizations select a candidate for a more advanced position
• Certified IT staff members are given more responsibility than noncertified staff members, frequently leading to supervisory and management roles
• Certification simplifies screening job candidates, making certified job-seekers more likely to be hired.

The research results are clear. Training and certification benefit your career whether you’re a new entrant or changing jobs. Click here to find out more.

MCSE: Messaging Re-Certification


  1. Best Practice Series: Exchange Server 2013
  2. Core Solutions of Exchange Server 2013 Jump Start
  3. Data Loss Prevention in Office 365
  4. Encryption in Office 365
  5. Exchange Online Integration with Office 365
  6. Implementing Exchange Server 2013
  7. Managing Exchange Online Using Microsoft Online Console
  8. Managing Exchange Online Using PowerShell
  9. Managing Exchange Server 2013 Using EAC, PowerShell, & RBAC
  10. Migrating to Exchange Online
  11. Office 365 Security & Compliance: Exchange Online Protection
  12. Top Support Issues for Exchange Online
  13. Virtualizing & Managing Exchange with Microsoft Cloud Platform
  14. Exchange Server 2013: Public Folders & Mailbox Servers
  15. Manage Exchange Online Services

Windows Server 2016 TP3


Nearly three months after the release of its previous version, Microsoft has finally released the update to Windows Server, dubbed as Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3. Find out more here.


Administrators everywhere have been waiting for these tools to land, and now they have – as part of a much larger release today, including Technical Preview 3 for Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. The Remote Server Administration Tools (or, RSAT), include tools to remotely manage Windows Servers. This set, released today, allow even Windows 10 users to manage their servers. Find out more here.

Return of Second Shot

Second Shot july 2015.PNG-550x0

Second Shot is back! Are you thinking of starting on the road to MCP certification? Or interested in continuing or upgrading your certification path? Now is a great time to take your next step.

Second Shot provides you with a free retake on your exam should you need it – at no additional cost to you. To qualify as free, the retake must be the same exam as the one you didn’t pass. Plus, either exam can be taken in a testing center or through Online Proctoring (OP), offering you greater exam taking flexibility.

SQL Saturday – Columbus


Attached is my presentation on SQL Server Certification that will be presented at SQL Saturday – Columbus . Also provided are useful links in getting certified on SQL Server.

Patch and Switch

CaptureIt’s time for another LiveStream Episode of the Patch and Switch show!!! Two IT guys (Patch and Switch) who are talking about whatever comes up. Can you say Tangent! Ultimately it’s the Chat Room where everyone hangs out and contributes to the show, so make sure to load it up during the LiveStream!  What’s this episodes topic?  We still don’t know until the show starts. We have some ideas on what to talk about – but the callers shape the show!

Exchange Server 2016 Architecture

e16_thumb_33FB2F9EExchange Server 2016 Architecture

The Exchange Server 2016 Architecture builds upon the architecture introduced in Exchange Server 2013, with the continued focus goal of improving the architecture to serve the needs of deployments at all scales.The key change you will notice is the Exchange team removed the Client Access server (CAS) role and added the client access services to the Mailbox role. Even without the CAS role, the system maintains loose coupling in terms of functionality, versioning, user partitioning and geographical affinity. To find out more check out the Exchange Server Team blog.