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Microsoft's foray into XML certification

Description of certification programs.

XML Developer Tip

Microsoft's foray into XML certification
Ed Tittel

Every six months or so I like to take a quick gander at the various XML certifications available in the current marketplace, to remind myself and my readers about the (increasing) range of XML-related certification exams and credentials out there. Since our last look at this particular certification landscape, Microsoft has unleashed its .NET developer credentials, including a much-needed update to the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) program and has also introduced the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) program as well.

These certification programs are related, in that obtaining an MCAD takes one three fifths of the way toward obtaining an MCSD. Another way to put this same proposition is to say that all three exams that count toward the MCAD also count toward the MCSD, but that the latter credential requires taking 2 more exams to meet its requirements above and beyond those for the MCAD.

What makes both of these programs interesting to XML aficionados is that each program includes 2 XML-related exams that fall into a category that Microsoft labels as "Web Services and Server Components:"

  • Exam 70-310: Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
  • Exam 70-320: Develop XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework

Both exams should go beta in July, 2002, and are expected to be released commercially in September, 2002. Each exam concentrates on development and implementation of XML infrastructure elements, server components, and XML Web services that requires understanding of SOAP, object-oriented development, wire formats, and instantiation and invocation of such services. As the titles indicate, only the programming languages in use vary from one to the other.

This is an interesting development and really only represents the tip of Microsoft's huge iceberg of investment in XML tools and technologies. But it's just the beginning of the huge re-engineering effort already underway at Microsoft to redefine their world in XML terms.

Because their focus is on development, not on basic XML knowledge and literacy, these certifications don't really compare some other XML certifications available in today's marketplace (see list below). But other developer-oriented programs at companies like Sun, Oracle, and others are likewise "turning XML," and it's a new direction that promises to benefit content designers and content developers as well as more traditional programmers in years to come.

Other XML Certifications:

Active Education's Certified XML Expert (CXE)
Brainbench Certified - XML and XSL exams are available under the category of Web Development
Global Knowledge XML Developer Certification
Learning Tree International's XML Development Certified Professional
IBM Certified Developer - XML and Related Technologies

Note: though none of Sun's various Java credential explicitly label developers as XML experts, some knowledge of XML is essential for all Java professionals nowadays, and the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Components exam falls particularly into this category. The Sun Developer XML pages are chock-full of tools, technology, and information; visit for more information about the Sun Certified Web Component Developer for J2EE Platform exam.

Have questions, comments, or feedback about this or other XML-related topics? Please e-mail me care of; I'm always glad to hear from my readers.

About the Author

Ed Tittel is a principal at LANWrights, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of LANWrights offers training, writing, and consulting services on Internet, networking, and Web topics (including XML and XHTML), plus various IT certifications (Microsoft, Sun/Java, and Prosoft/CIW).

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