SharePoint: Should you still get certified on 2007?


SharePoint 2010 is now here, so should you waste time on the 2007 certs?


My opinion? Get the 2007 certs, especially if you are looking at the development certs.



  • The core API for 2010 is largely unchanged from 2007. So what you learn about 2007 is 95-99% reusable with 2010.
  • 2007 uses .NET Framework 2.0 (and 3.0 for workflows) while 2010 uses 3.5  (NOT 4.0), so no major changes in core .NET skills
  • The 2010 exams will not be available until July at the earliest.
  • Having both 2007 and 2010 certs on your resume will look good! 
  • 2007 is not going away soon – you should know how to write code to support both
  • Most of the code you create for 2007 will work unchanged, or maybe with just a recompile, in 2010
  • There are a LOT of good prep tools for 2007: books, blogs, practice tests and lots of knowledgeable people to ask questions of in the MSDN forums.   (and the 2007 books are now CHEAP in the used books stores, Amazon and others)



Lets take a look at 2007’s 70-541 and 2010’s 70-573

I’m now prep’ing for the new exams and I started by looking at “what’s new” vs. “what I might already know from 2007”. I will share what I discover in the study process in this blog, so stay tuned…


So here’s what I have found in the first pass…


If you go to 70-573’s page at Microsoft Learning here, either MSL made a big mistake (most likely) or they are giving you a hint…



So what would be some of the changes and new topics be?


Note: I have not seen the exams yet, so there is some guessing here.

In general:

  • IIS 6 skills for 2007 and IIS 7 skills for 2010 (IIS is listed in 541, but is not listed in 573, but you still need to know about it)
  • Tools!  Visual Studio 2005 vs Visual Studio 2010  (if you know 2005 or 2008, then 2010 itself is not a big surprise) It does sound like Visual Studio 2010 features are a very important part of the exam.
  • STSADM for 2007 and STSADM and PowerShell for 2010
  • Business Connectivity Service (BCS) -- Business Data Catalog in was not available in WSS, so it is not a topic in 70-541, but Business Connectivity Service (BCS) is part of the WSS equivalent in 2010, SharePoint Foundation


Section by section review of (and guesses about) the “Skills Measured” tab found here:

  • Working with the SharePoint User Interface (19%)
    • Manage SPSite and SPWeb programmatically – this is the core API and is largely unchanged
    • Implement a dialog by using the Dialog Framework – this is new in 2010
    • Create a custom ribbon object – this is new in 2010 (got to highlight the Ribbon!)
    • Customize navigation programmatically (TopNav, Quick Launch, Custom Actions) – the core is unchanged, but there are a number of new features for Custom Actions and the Ribbon
    • Create and apply branding to a SharePoint site --
      • master pages, content pages, application pages, placeholders, page layouts – the core is the same as 2007, but there are some details to learn
      • programmatically working with themes – this is largely new for 2010
      • deploying CSS, CSSlink, ScriptLink – the CSS files have been updated, and you will need to know about the “old” vs the “V4” files, but not much new here
      • Important note in this section “This objective does not include: graphic design, creating a CSS”, so no “branding”, mostly  a focus on how to interact with the above with code
  • Developing Web Parts and Controls (21%)
    • Create Web Parts – largely unchanged from 2007, except for “Visual Web Parts”
    • Create connectable Web Parts – I don’t think there are any changes here
    • Debug Web Parts – core debugging is unchanged, but you have new tools in 2010: the new log tools, correlation IDs, developer dashboard
    • Create and implement delegate controls – while this is not new, it was not listed in the 2007 70-541 “Skills Measured”
  • Developing Business Logic (19%)
    • Workflows! In 2010 we now have a lot of new tools, SPD reusable workflows, the ability to import SPD workflows into VS 2010
    • Note: Interesting that the “Skills Measured” says “This objective does not include: trivial cases such as workflows with no custom actions, initiation data, association data.” Read that one carefully – I think it says that custom actions, initiation data, association data are important topics, so make sure you know how to create these.
    • Create a custom workflow action – Similar to SPD 2007 custom actions
    • Customize Enterprise Content Management (ECM) – The topics here sound much like 2007 (but I need to look up “token usage”)
    • Create, implement and debug a Timer Job – much of what you know from 2007 still applies, but there new features and things you need to know about Central Admin and PowerShell…
    • Create and modify Business Connectivity Service model in Visual Studio 2010 – New for 2010!
    • Manage Users, Groups, Permissions (SPGroups, SPUser, permission inheritance, all securable objects, SPRoleDefinition, SPRole, SPRoleAssignment) – largely unchanged from 2007
  • Working With SharePoint Data (22%)
    • The core API topics should be the same as 2007, but there are a number of additional Framework 3.5 and SharePoint 2010 things to know…
    • Access list data by using the Server object model – New things here: LINQ (3.5 and the SharePoint 2010 API), Query Governor
    • Access (CRUD) data by using the Client Object Model – Interesting wording on this one – Note the references to how the Client Object Model can be accessed: .Net, Silverlight, JavaScript, CAML, etc.  I would also add JQuery to that list…
    • Work with documents programmatically – the core of this section is unchanged from 2007
    • Work with the meta data – lots of new stuff here
    • Extending SharePoint Search – should be very similar to 2007
    • Implement and debug code that executes in an alternative security context – sounds the same as 2007
    • Create and modify a custom content type – very similar to 2007, but you now have new tools in Visual Studio 2010 to help
  • Stabilizing and Deploying SharePoint Components (19%)
    • Manage a solution in Visual Studio 2010 – the core topics for Solution Packages has not changed, but the tools have!  Think Visual Studio 2010 here, not just SharePoint solutions. New topics include Sandbox solutions
    • Manage a feature by using Visual Studio 2010 – again think “Visual Studio 2010” for this topic. The feature/element XML has been expanded, but your core 2007 knowledge still applies (and knowing how to manually create and deploy these is important.  But… know the VS 2010 wizards and options.
    • Store and retrieve configuration data – this all sounds like core 2007 topics
    • Create a site definition by using Visual Studio 2010 – there’s that “Visual Studio 2010” thing again!
    • Manage SharePoint object life cycle by using the Dispose API – critical top regardless of the version – should be largely the same as 2007 and in general a “.NET best practices” topic.
    • Develop, debug, and deploy sandboxed solutions – all new!


What else do you need?

Although not listed in the “Skill Measured”, to be successful in SharePoint development you also need:

  • Solid VB.NET or C# skills
  • Solid ASP.NET skills
  • Good SQL skills
  • and a host of other related skills:
    • Workflow
    • WCF
    • JavaScript (and JQuery is a good idea)
    • HTML / DHTML
    • CSS
    • Silverlight
    • AJAX
  • and don’t forget:
    • User interface design skills
    • An understanding of user “accessibility” issues (and legal concerns)


How would I do if I took this exam with my 2007 skills?

I think would get at least a 50% (I’m good at multi-guess exams!), and with the “playing around” I’ve done so far, maybe 60-69%.  But I doubt I would pass it without a lot of study.


I will revise this as do further study for the exam. There’s still a lot of “I don’t know what I don’t know”!


Please post comments with anything you think I missed or misstated.

I will not allow any comments that might violate NDA or might be about actual questions in the exam.



Denise Bartick said...

Mike, what are your thoughts for the administrator? shold they still get certified in 2007?

Mike Smith said...


Yes, I do, but there is probably more value to do so in the developer path. In any case, 2007 is going to be around for a while.


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