Though Microsoft launched the ‘Certified Professional’ Program in 1992, it is only in recent years that the Certification’s popularity increased amongst companies requiring a labor force with the best skillsets to match their business requirements. We are all familiar with the fact that Microsoft is known for its computer software, applications, and Certifications. In today’s article, however, we will be going over Microsoft Certification Exams, specifically the MB-500 exam.
For businesses, hiring qualified professionals has become a priority to guarantee a proficient performance at the workplace. For this reason, during the recruiting process, managers prefer certified candidates that are able to meet the skills required for their specific job roles. As certified professionals are proven to be more efficient than their non-certified peers, it is natural that hiring managers often look after certification credentials in aspiring candidate’s cvs.
For new developers, diving into this industry is very challenging. Above all, it can be intimidating to compete with all the developers out there seeking the best position. This is why, nowadays, earning a certification is not only very prestigious, but it also gives professionals a noticeable advantage over their non-certified peers. To get certified you need to pass the certification exams: but passing the exams is not an easy task. On the contrary, it can be very challenging. In order to prepare yourself for the exam, you need to rely on a good study strategy that includes hands-on practice.
Let’s find out why ‘practice’ is so important when you are preparing to take the MB-500 Exam.
Microsoft MB-500 Exam
Amongst all the Microsoft Exams, the MB-500 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Exam is targeted towards Developers who work with Finance and Operations Apps in Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Along with the MB-300 Core Finance and Operations, the following two exams are required to earn the Microsoft Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate Certification.
Who can take the MB-500 Exam?
The MB-500 exam is designed for developers, solutions architects, and functional consultants that work with Finance and Operation applications in MS Dynamics 365. These are professionals who implement and extend applications to meet business requirements and are able to provide solutions with the use of coding patterns, extensible features, and integrations.
According to Microsoft, this is the profile of an aspiring candidate looking to take the MB-500 exam:
Candidates are responsible for:
- Developing business logic by using X++
- Creating and modifying Finance and Operations reports and workspaces
- Customizing user interfaces
- Providing endpoints and APIs to support Power Platform apps and external systems
- Performing testing
- Monitoring performance
- Analyzing and manipulating data
- Creating technical designs and implementation details
- Implementing permission policies and security requirements
Candidates also participate in:
- Migration of data and objects from legacy and external systems
- Integration of Finance and Operations apps with other systems
- Implementation of application lifecycle management process
- Planning the functional design for solutions
- Managing Finance and Operations environments by using Lifecycle Services (LCS)
Candidates should have a deep knowledge and experience:
- Using the underlying framework
- Data structures, and objects associated with the Finance and Operations solutions
- Analyzing and manipulating data by using Transact-SQL code
- Creating and running Windows PowerShell commands and scripts
- Developing code by using object-oriented programming languages
And experience with software like:
That is the profile of an ideal candidate. A developer, who is able to meet those characteristics, is very likely to obtain a passing score if he or she is able to prepare for the exam correctly. When it comes to working on specific skills, this is what Microsoft requires:
Required Skills for MB-500 Exam
Here is a brief overview of the required skills:
Plan architecture and solution design (10-15%)
- Identify the major components of Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
- Design and implement a user interface
- Implement application Lifecycle management
Apply developer tools (10-15%)
- Customize Finance and Operations apps by using Visual Studio
- Manage source code and artifacts by using version control
- Implement Finance and Operations apps framework functionality
Design and develop AOT elements (20-25%)
- Create forms
- Extend and create tables
- Create Extended Data Types (EDT) and enumerations
- Create classes and extended AOT elements
Develop and test code (10-15%)
- X++ code
- Object-oriented code
Implement reporting (10-15%)
- Design, create and revise Dynamics Reports
- Describe the capabilities and limitations of reporting tools in Dynamics FO
- Design, create and revise Dynamics workspace
Integrate and manage data solutions (10-15%)
- Implement Data Integration concepts and solutions
- Identify data integrations scenarios
- Data management implementation
Implement security and optimize performance (10-15%)
- Implement role-based security policies and requirements
- Apply fundamental performance optimization techniques
- Optimize user interface performance
Developing these skills is not something you can accomplish in a day’s work. For some, to reach a proficient level with their developing skills might even take years. As you can see, the ideal candidate needs experience in most of the areas and not just limited theoretical knowledge over the topics. This is why exam preparation and the right training is such an important step in your journey to certification.
MB-500 Exam Preparation
When it comes to getting ready for a Microsoft Certification Exam, there are two ways to study:
Self-paced Online Training
The first one, “Self-paced online training”, offered by Microsoft through its Learn Platform is completely free. This Learning Path includes a total of 35 modules. From “Introduction to developing with Finance and Operations Apps”, to “Data Migration”; the Self-paced online training will help developers with the skills needed to take the exam.
This training program on Microsoft Learn is estimated to be completed within a period of 5 days. Yes, it sounds a bit unreal -and even utopist- for a new developer to manage to master all the skills we mentioned earlier and be able to fit the profile of the “ideal candidate” in a matter of just 5 days. Self-Paced Online training is mostly designed for more advanced developers, who already have some experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its applications.
Instructor-led training Courses
The other alternative to preparing for the exams is not free but is more fulfilling as it includes features that will help the student upskill with hands-on labs, access to licenses, and more. These would be the Instructor-led training Courses. Instructor-led training will help you throughout your preparation journey: some training courses provide enhanced content, hands-on labs, quizzes, and exam practice.
When it comes to choosing Instructor-led training courses, there are two ways to go about it:
- Finding a Microsoft Learning Partner
- Choosing an online training course (non-learning partner)
Either way must give you the most important feature you need to look after a training program, which is the hands-on labs that will allow you to have hands-on practice.
A combination of knowledge and practice is fundamental during your preparation. In fact, it is what Microsoft recommends to increase the chances of passing the exams during your Journey to get Microsoft Certified.
How to prepare for the MB- Exam according to Microsoft?
Achieving the right skillset with the recommended training and reinforcing your skills with experience is Microsoft’s formula to prepare for the exams.
|Recommended Training||Reinforce skills with experience|
|Self-paced Online Training: Microsoft Learn||Work as a developer on one or more projects|
|Instructor-led Training||Volunteer to help develop a project|
If you are interested in finding Instructor-led training courses, you can check out Instructor Brandon.
In ‘Reinforcing skills with experience’, we put an emphasis on hands-on practices. For young developers, new to this industry, hands-on practice is fundamental to help them develop the skills that they need to have.
What is hands-on practice?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Hands-on Experience (aka. hands-on practice) is the:
“Knowledge or skill that someone gets from doing something rather than just reading about it or seeing it being done:
An example: They will participate in workshops and get hands-on experience leading classes.
Another example: He always said he learned more about newspapers from hands-on experience than he did in the classroom.”
Hands-on practice is the best way to learn new skills and reinforce old ones. Doing something and having that first-hand experience is what gives you the opportunity to develop the skills required to do the job. There are many ways to acquire hands-on practices: the simplest one happens to be through labs.
Labs are the perfect opportunity to practice your skills in a real-life environment without compromising your work performance. They simulate realistic settings with situations that are commonly confronted by developers on the job. The lab exercises will help students practice through virtual machines that recreate a Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment. Recreating a real-world environment allows students to get an idea of how the tool works.
Keep in mind that Dynamics 365 is not just any program that you can install and uninstall whenever you want. Implementing that program is a complex process that can be done in a data center or on the cloud. This is why the use of virtual machines is so important.
Why is hands-on practice important for MB-500 Exam preparation?
We will repeat it again: To be able to meet the skill set required to pass the MB-500 exam you need to have the right knowledge and experience. Practice every single scenario and repeat the exercises until you no longer find challenging spots.
In fact, when Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book named “Outliers: the story of success”, he mentioned the 10,000-hour rule. With this rule, he implied that in order to become successful at executing anything, you need to practice that particular skill for 20 hours per week. In a matter of ten years, you will have the mastery required to be successful!
Of course, we are not implying that you need 10 years to prepare for the MB-500. The point here is that investing and dedicating time to practice skills is a must in order to reach your goals.
Where to find training courses with hands-on practice?
For instance, we at Instructor Brandon offer two options for MB-500 training:
- Development Bundle for MB500T00 and MB300T00: This includes training for the 2 exams required to get the Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate certification
- MB-500T00 Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain apps developer: This includes training for the MB500T00 only
Either way, through a Microsoft Learning Partner or through Instructor Brandon you will have to make a great effort in your labs to guarantee a positive outcome and dedicate time to your training.
Before wrapping up, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hands-on practices:
Pros and Cons of hand-on practice for MB-500
- Helps reinforce the acquired knowledge
- You will gain experience in the field
- It will allow you to develop accurately and avoid mistakes along the way
- Hands-on practice will help you become more efficient with your outcome
- It will allow you to perform your duties faster
- The more you practice, the more opportunities you will have to find better job positions
- It can be expensive
- You can compromise your performance if you choose to practice through projects
- It can be frustrating at the beginning if you don’t have the right guidance
- Is time-consuming
Finally: Microsoft Dynamics MB-500 Exam
Taking an exam and preparing for it will always be challenging.
No matter how experienced you are, it is a nerve-wracking experience. And as you might already know, Microsoft exams are known for being difficult. They are designed to ensure that those who pass them have reached the proficiency levels required to meet Microsoft quality standards. At Instructor Brandon you will find resourceful materials, including a D365 tutorial and a MB-500 study guide that will help you during your Dynamics 365 journey.
In addition, we sincerely hope that you enjoyed this article. In short, we aim to provide quality service at all times. Moreover, if you need to reach me, you know how to get in touch by reaching out to me here. – Brandon Ahmad, founder of Instructor Brandon and Dynatuners.
And as always, you are welcome to leave us a comment in the section below. Remember: hands-on practice is the only way to go.
See you next!