On the 70-488 – SharePoint Core Solutions Exam

No brain-dumps or anything here; if you want the answers, go and study. However, it’s worth knowing about the structure of the exam.

Right, so this is one of the 4 exams you’ll need for the MCSD SharePoint Applications. We decided to fling me at this one without preparation – I’m a SharePoint developer, so shouldn’t I be good at this one without lots of learning?

The Core Solutions exam focuses on the core stuff that you’d get in SharePoint Foundation. There was no search, BCS, Access Services, Excel Services, Visio Services, Secure Store, or any of that Enterprise edition stuff, which was a relief.

Like the ASP.NET MVC exam (yes, I did that recently; I’ll come back to it), this one consisted of some case studies – 4, in fact – plus a set of 22 questions that can be about anything. They were presented to me as 2 case studies, the 22 questions, and the other 2 case studies. Count the case studies as you do them. I thought that by ‘4 case studies’ it meant ‘3 case studies and a general questions bit’, then lost count mid-way, and then got a bit of a shock when I had 2 case studies to complete at the end. I thought the general questions would finish it, but they were in the middle for me. Time did start to become an issue, which is a first for me in a Microsoft exam.

The case studies are a lot of work; there’s a lot to read through, but some of the questions require you to have pulled together details from different parts of the information provided. I think if I’d just scanned the documentation after I’d read the questions, I’d have missed some of the details I needed. Reading the case studies is time consuming, though.

I found the first case study a right pain, but it did get easier thereafter.

General areas that seemed to get a lot of attention:

  • Apps – App Licensing, App Permissions (i.e. the perms granted to an app), how to add/remove/uninstall an App, how to control who can add an app to a site, different App hosting models – all the stuff in the syllabus, really.
  • Claims Auth – Lots and lots about this, particularly in the case studies. I didn’t do so well at these; this is worth more attention for me in the future. Claims auth, OAuth, etc..
  • Workflow(!) – For some strange reason, there was quite a lot about workflow in this exam.
  • Packaging Solutions – how to package and deploy a third party assembly, importing solutions you created with SharePoint Designer (Workflow) and by other means. This was a bit weird – I’m just used to writing solutions from scratch, not deploying third party code, but I guess it’s good to know.

All in all, there was a fair range of topics – it was very broad. I found my background in the previous versions of SharePoint useful, and the prevalence of Apps and Claims Auth will hardly be a surprise to anyone, and all the above are on the syllabus.

Oh, and there were questions about the Sandbox and Autohosted SharePoint Apps, which was a bit weird, as these are both deprecated now. I was lucky enough to know the basics about both.

And yes, I passed. It wasn’t a bad pass, either. 4 down, one more exam to go.

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On the 70-488 – SharePoint Core Solutions Exam

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