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Preparing for 70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring

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This article provides an overview of the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 TS administrator exam, otherwise known as 70-667.

This second article in my SharePoint 2010 certification series provides an overview of the TS administrator exam, otherwise known as 70-667. To give you an idea of where this exam fits in, let’s briefly discuss the four core SharePoint 2010 exams. The SharePoint 2010 exams are broken down into two primary categories: SharePoint administrator (for IT Professionals) and SharePoint developers. They are also categorizes by the first two stages of Microsoft Certification (TS and PRO). Table 1 summarizes the four exams:

Table 1


Admin/IT Pro

Developer

TS (hands-on focused)

70-667 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring

70-573 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development

PRO (design-focused)

70-668 PRO: SharePoint 2010 Administrator

70-576 PRO: Designing and Developing SharePoint 2010 Applications

The 70-667 administrator exam covers skills related to managing and configuring SharePoint 2010 by using Central Administration and/or PowerShell. This exam is geared towards hands-on “doing” rather than design, and focuses on administrative rather than developer topics. The version of SharePoint 2010 is not licensing-specific; the exam will cover features in SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server Standard, and SharePoint Server Enterprise. The exam does cover configuring FAST for SharePoint, albeit briefly.

Exam Overview

So what topics does the exam cover? In general, this exam covers configuration of SharePoint 2010 related to deployment, upgrade, management, confirmation, backup, and operations of a SharePoint 2010 server farm. The exam will test your ability to correctly configure SharePoint 2010, either through Central Administration, the Site Actions menu, or PowerShell scripts.

The exam is broken into four main topic areas:

  • Installing and Configuring SharePoint 2010
  • Managing SharePoint 2010
  • Deploying and Managing SharePoint 2010 Applications
  • Maintaining SharePoint 2010

To pass this exam, you’ll want to have a combination of conceptual understanding and hands-on experience. The following section covers the areas that I think are the most critical for passing the exam.

Installing and Configuring SharePoint 2010

This area covers several topics related to the installation and configuration of SharePoint 2010. Topics in this category include items related to installations, upgrades, and services applications. For this category, I recommend that you do the following (note the links to various articles that I strongly recommend you read):

  1. Build a single-server SharePoint 2007 environment using a virtual environment (for example, Hyper-V, VMWare, or Virtual Box), then upgrade it by:
    • Running a PreUpgradeCheck report and reviewing its contents
    • Performing three types of upgrades: in place, database attach, visual
  2. Next, build a multi-server SharePoint 2010 farm from scratch. Create service accounts using least-privilege principles. I highly recommend that you build your own Active Directory and DNS server.
  3. I recommend that you create three servers: two running SharePoint 2010 and one running SQL Server. Try scripting the installation, as you’ll need to understand some PowerShell for the exam. Make sure that the servers have different roles (make one a web front-end and the other an application server). Don’t run the service application wizard— this will do too much for you.
  4. Create several users and use the two different ways to delegate site collection and site administration. Log in as those users to see the differences in administrative options.
  5. Once you’ve got a working farm, download install a language pack.
  6. Install the following service applications, one at a time; monitor the SQL Server databases after each install to see which databases are created for each of them. Understand what each is used for (see the descriptions below):
    • User profile service application—manages user profiles within SharePoint and provides synchronization with Active Directory and other sources. I suggest you read Spencer Harbar’s blog entry on this.
    • Managed Metadata Services (MMS)—manages the term store and content type syndication. I suggest you read the official TechNet article.
    • Search Services—provides index and querying of content across various content sources. Provision the search service using the post-installation steps article.
    • Business Connectivity Services (BCS)—provides a way to connect to external data. Read the overview here.
    • Excel services—provides browser-based spreadsheets, BI, and server calculation. Review the Excel Services overview.
    • Access Services—enables users to create applications based on Access. Review the software boundaries for Access Services.
    • Visio Services—provides a web view of Visio diagrams.
    • InfoPath Forms Services—provides a web-enabled way to enter data via forms. Review the official TechNet article.
  7. Configure your search service by configuring the following items: crawl schedules, iFilters, crawl rules, content sources, scopes, managed properties, content types, search components, index partitioning, and federated search locations.
  8. Set up DNS and create several fully qualified domain names (FQDNs), creating Alternate Access Mappings (AAM) for them, as shown in Figure 1.
  9. Figure 1 Knowing how and when to configure Alternate Access Mappings is important to understand (Click Image to Enlarge)

  10. Review the high availability topology options and configuration options for SharePoint.
  11. Download the latest CU and apply it to the farm.

Managing SharePoint 2010

Once you get good at installing, upgrading, and configuring, you’ll want to try your hand at adding some operational configuration to the list. Here are a few items you should undertake:

  1. Understand how to configure SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) integration.
  2. Configure security, including user policies
  3. Be sure to read the article Monitoring SharePoint 2010, which helps you learn how to monitor a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 installation.
  4. Add a second Web Application, this time using a different authentication option. Configure Kerberos on your primary Web Application and claims- and forms-based authentication on your second Web Application. Be sure to read the TechNet article on SharePoint 2010 authentication.

Deploying and Managing SharePoint 2010 Applications

Now that you’ve got a solid test environment working (and you understand all that goes into installing and configuring SharePoint), you’ll need to understand what goes into deploying and managing applications that run on top of SharePoint 2010. Here’s a list of tasks that will help:

  1. On your original Web Application, create a new content database by using to Central Administration.
  2. Configure the following Web Application settings
    • Upload size
    • Time zone
  3. Enable multi-tenancy on the farm.
  4. Create host-named site collections.
  5. Read up on the software boundaries
  6. Review how to enable features at the farm, web application, site collection, and site levels.
  7. Understand site collection lock and sandbox solution quota configuration, available in Central Administration and illustrated in Figure 2.
  8. Figure 2 site collection lock and sandbox solution quota configuration (Click Image to Enlarge)

  9. Enable site collection features:
    • Quotas
    • Locks
    • Caching
    • Auditing
  10. Deploy solutions (explain the difference and the how-to):
    • Farm solution
    • Sandboxed solution
    • User Solutions

Maintaining SharePoint 2010

The fourth type of content on the exam focuses on regular items that you’ll need to do on a consistent basis—things like backups, monitoring, and regular maintenance. To prep for the exam, you should:

  1. Run a backup and restore through Central Administration.
  2. Run a backup and restore via PowerShell.
  3. Run a backup via SQL Server and restore using a database attach.
  4. Export a site and a list.
  5. Enable the web analytics reports and view them.
  6. Identify the most likely sources of health issues.
  7. Change the large list settings.
  8. Change the object model override.
  9. Change cache settings for BLOBs, objects, and pages.

Other Preparation Materials

In addition to the tasks and resources I’ve mentioned here, you can also opt for several training courses, such as the two-day Microsoft e-learning course (10278AE: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring) or the MS-Press training kit (MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-667): Configuring Microsoft SharePoint 2010). However, I think reading the articles and performing the practice tasks I’ve outlined will better prepare you.

Taking the Exam

There is plenty of time for this exam, so there’s no need to rush. Your best bet, as with any certification exam, is to answer the ones you’re sure of and ‘mark’ the ones you’re not. Remember—there could be more than one answer that will work; you should choose the “best” answer for the scenario in question.

Summary

The SharePoint 2010 certifications are an invaluable part of an overall training and certification plan. The 70-667 should be an easy pass if you’ve got experience configuring SharePoint 2010. Just be sure to get some hands-on work using both the SharePoint 2010 Central Administration UI and PowerShell scripts.

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