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Microsoft will continue to develop its learning programs to help you and your career stay engaged in today’s demanding IT environments. New updated role-based certifications help you stay abreast of today’s business requirements. Microsoft Learning is constantly developing its learning program to better provide the skills you need, to prove your expertise to employers and your peers, and to earn the recognition and opportunities you deserve.

In January 2020, Microsoft announced new updates to several Azure and Data certificates that were released in March 2020. The certificates you earn will not change, but the exams required to earn the certificates will change.

Certificate Old exam New exam Expected release
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate AZ-103 AZ-104 March 2020
Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate AZ-203 AZ-204 February 20, 2020
Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect AZ-300 and AZ-301 AZ-303 and AZ-304 June 2020

Last year, I passed the transition exam AZ-202 to earn a Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. Transition test was intended only for those candidates who have taken and passed the previous one Exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions.

To get Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certificate, you only need to pass ONE exam, AZ-204: Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate.

Here is the whole path Acquirements required and Test earns Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate Certificate:

I decided to upgrade my skills and take on the new AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate. I am now so happy and grateful that I passed AZ-204 Exam – Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions. I thought I would share my experience with this post to help you prepare and clear this exam successfully.

In this exam I toured 49 questions including 2 case studies, and the total time of the experiment is 130 minutes (~ 2 hours) so you have enough time to finish it. The questions correspond pretty much to the skills measured below.

Candidates for this experiment are cloud developers who are involved in all stages of development from requirements definition and design to development, deployment, and maintenance. They work with the cloud DBA, cloud service administrators, and customers to implement solutions.
Candidates should manage Azure SDKs, data storage options, data connections, APIs, application authentication and authorization, computing and repository deployment, debugging, performance tuning, and monitoring.

Applicants must have 1-2 years of experience in professional development and experience in Microsoft Azure. And you need to be able to program in an Azure-supported language.

This test measures your ability to complete the technical topics listed below based on the latest update from Microsoft:

Develop Azure computing solutions (25-30%)

Implement IaaS solutions

  • Supply of virtual machines
  • Configure virtual machines for remote access
  • Create ARM templates
  • Create solution container images using the Docker
  • Publish the image to the Azure Container registry
  • Run the containers using the Azure Container instance
  • The Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is out of scope

Create Azure App Service applications

  • Create an Azure App Service web application
  • Enable the diagnostic log
  • Enable the code in your web application
  • Configure web application settings, including SSL, API, and connection strings
  • Enable auto-scaling rules, including scheduled auto-scaling, and scaling by operational or system metrics

Enable Azure features

  • Implement the input and output bindings of the function
  • Implement function triggers using data functions, timers, and network sets
  • Implement Azure Durable Functions

Develop for Azure storage (10-15%)

Develop solutions that use Cosmos DB storage

  • Select the appropriate API for the solution
  • Implement partitioning systems
  • Interact with data using the appropriate SDK
  • Set the appropriate consistency level for the operations
  • Create Cosmos DB containers
  • Implement scaling (partitions, containers)
  • Implement server-side programming, including stored procedures, triggers, and change input notifications

Develop solutions that use blob storage

  • Move items in Blob storage between storage accounts or containers
  • Define and retrieve properties and metadata
  • Interact with data using the appropriate SDK
  • Implement data archiving and storage
  • Enable hot, cool and archive storage

Enable Azure protection (15-20%)

Enable user authentication and authorization

  • Enable OAuth2 authentication
  • Create and enable shared license signatures
  • Register applications and use Azure Active Directory to authenticate users
  • Manage resource permissions using role-based access control (RBAC)

Deploy secure cloud solutions

  • Protect application configuration information using application configuration and the KeyVault API
  • Manage keys, secrets, and certificates using the KeyVault API
  • Implement Manure Identities for Azure resources

Monitoring, troubleshooting and optimization of Azure solutions (10-15%)

Integrate caching and content distribution into solutions

  • Develop code to implement CDN in solutions
  • Set caching and expiration policies for FrontDoor, CDN, or Redis caches

Instrument solutions to support tracking and recording

  • Use Application Insights to configure instrumentation in an application or service
  • Analyze log data and resolve solutions with Azure Monitor
  • Perform the Application Insights network test and alerts
  • Enable code that handles transient faults

Connect to and use Azure and third party services (25-30%)

Develop the App Service Logic

  • Create a logic application
  • Create a custom connector for Logic Apps
  • Create a custom template for Logic Apps

Implement API management

  • Create an API Management instance
  • Configure API authentication
  • Configure API policies

Develop event-based solutions

  • Deploy solutions that use Azure Event Grid
  • Deploy solutions that use Azure Notification Hubs
  • Deploy solutions that use Azure Event Hub

Develop message-based solutions

  • Deploy solutions that use Azure Service Bus
  • Deploy solutions that use Azure Queue Storage queues

Practice, Practice, and Read … I can’t stress enough that hands-on experience and an understanding of all the concepts will help you pass this exam. The most important success in passing this exam is working with Microsoft Azure on a daily basis. You can create your own free Azure account today and start practicing the new features.

In preparation for this exam, I use an official Microsoft Azure documentation which is a great source to learn.

I also use Microsoft Learn a new method of learning to study the more advanced Azure developer I strongly recommend checking the following Microsoft Learn modules:

  1. Create serverless applications (10 modules)
  2. Combine your services (4 modules)
  3. Save the data to Azure (5 modules)
  4. Deploy the website on Azure virtual machines (4 modules)
  5. Manage resources in Azure (6 modules)
  6. Get a website with Azure using the Azure App Service (6 modules)
  7. Protect cloud data (7 modules)

Self-training

I recommend that you check AZ-204 Solution Development Microsoft Azure Exam Prep education from udemy and watch it completely a couple of times. This course contains approximately 8.5 hours of content and will be updated to cover the latest AZ-204 the goal of the exam. This is the most comprehensive course available in the Microsoft Azure Developer Exam AZ-204 Timed Practice Test.

Pluralsight also provides an excellent learning path for Microsoft Azure Developer preparation, you can check it out here.

Books

As of December 16, 2020, Microsoft released Exam Reference AZ-204 Book – Developing Microsoft Solutions which you can invest order today here. This exam refers to the critical thinking and decision-making required for success at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate level.

 Exam Reference AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

I highly recommend this book to prepare for this exam.

Video

If you are interested in passing this exam, I recommend you check Skill Me UP certificate speech here which provides a summary and discussion of preparation for the AZ-204 – Microsoft Azure exam. Please note that this video is 3 hours long.

Lab training

Practice is the key to success and passing this exam. I highly recommend going through the following Microsoft-developed labs:

Instructor-led virtual training

Last but not least, if you want instructor-led training, Microsoft released the AZ-204T00-A 5-day course. This course teaches developers how to create end-to-end solutions in Microsoft Azure. Students will learn how to implement Azure computing solutions, create Azure functionality, implement and manage web applications, develop solutions using Azure storage, implement authentication and authorization, and protect their solutions with KeyVault and Managed Identities. Students will also learn how to connect to and use Azure services and third-party services, and incorporate event- and message-based models into their solutions. The course also covers monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions.

If you want to prepare for this exam with Microsoft MCT instructor-led virtual training, you can contact me here.

By bypassing the AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure, you deserve it Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate certificate.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

If you are going to take this exam … I wish you all the best and good study !!!

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If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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