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:
TS (hands-on focused)
70-667 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-573 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
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.
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):
- 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
- User profile service applicationmanages 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 Servicesprovides 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 servicesprovides browser-based spreadsheets, BI, and server calculation. Review the Excel Services overview.
- Access Servicesenables users to create applications based on Access. Review the software boundaries for Access Services.
- Visio Servicesprovides a web view of Visio diagrams.
- InfoPath Forms Servicesprovides a web-enabled way to enter data via forms. Review the official TechNet article.
Figure 1 Knowing how and when to configure Alternate Access Mappings is important to understand (Click Image to Enlarge)
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:
- Understand how to configure SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) integration.
- Configure security, including user policies
- Be sure to read the article Monitoring SharePoint 2010, which helps you learn how to monitor a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 installation.
- 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:
- On your original Web Application, create a new content database by using to Central Administration.
- Configure the following Web Application settings
- Upload size
- Time zone
Figure 2 site collection lock and sandbox solution quota configuration (Click Image to Enlarge)
- 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 basisthings like backups, monitoring, and regular maintenance. To prep for the exam, you should:
- Run a backup and restore through Central Administration.
- Run a backup and restore via PowerShell.
- Run a backup via SQL Server and restore using a database attach.
- Export a site and a list.
- Enable the web analytics reports and view them.
- Identify the most likely sources of health issues.
- Change the large list settings.
- Change the object model override.
- 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. Rememberthere could be more than one answer that will work; you should choose the “best” answer for the scenario in question.
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.