Even though Microsoft’s stated objectives for Exam 70-630 (TS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring) are fairly straight forward, I wanted to provide a list of ten things that you should brush up on before you take the exam. The items on this list are all here for various reasons. Some of them are often overlooked by those who are studying for the exam. Others are things that Microsoft hits especially hard, and you might see multiple questions related to those items. In any case, just remember that this list is only presented as a tool for helping to make sure that you are ready for the exam. There is no way that you can pass Exam 70-630 by studying only the items on this list. With that said, let’s get started.
1. Monitoring and Reporting
Although monitoring and reporting isn’t a huge topic on exam 70-630, you can expect to see a few questions pertaining to usage monitoring and monitoring search activity. SharePoint 2007 includes several different usage reports that you need to be familiar with. These reports include:
- DestinationThe Destination report lists the top destination sites.
- Home PageThe Home Page report lists the number of home page requests per day, the top destination pages, and the top referring pages.
- ReferrersThe Referrers report tells you which pages and hosts were responsible for the most referrals.
- RequestsThe Requests report tells you how many requests are being received per day and displays the average number of monthly requests.
- Search ResultsThe Search Results report tells you the top destination pages, but it also reports on searches that did not return any results or best bets.
- Search QueriesThe Search Queries report tells the top queries for the last 30 days as well as for the last year.
- Usage SummaryThe Usage Summary is a general report that provides a number of usage statistics such as the average number of requests per day, top pages, and top users.
- UsersThe Users report lists the number of unique users as well as statistics related to user activity over the last 30 days.
Ten percent of your overall exam score is based on your ability to answer questions related to deploying or upgrading SharePoint 2007. According to Microsoft’s stated objectives for this exam, the deployment and upgrade questions focus on these areas:
- Manage Microsoft Content Management Server (CMS) assessment
- Configure shared services
- Manage Business Intelligence tools
- Manage portal and site migration
- Finalize upgrades
In spite of the fact that the exam objectives make it appear as though only a few very specific deployment related questions will be asked, there are some things that are not listed in the exam objectives that you should make sure that you know. For example, you will need to know the software requirements for running SharePoint 2007. You should also make sure that you are familiar with Microsoft’s licensing requirements for SharePoint. Finally, make sure that you know under what situations upgrades are supported.
3. Configuring Search Settings
You can expect to see a lot of questions revolving around search-related topics, especially with regard to configuring search settings. You probably won’t see many questions related to Ifilters, since the procedure that is used to install and register them varies from one Ifilter to another. However, you should at least know that Ifilters allow SharePoint to crawl specific file types. For instance, if you want to crawl OneNote documents then you will need to install a OneNote Ifilter.
Make sure that you spend plenty of time studying crawl rules and crawler impact rules. You will likely see several questions related to them.
4. Single Sign On
You can expect to see a few questions related to Single Sign On (SSO). SSO is based on the Single Sign On Service (SSOSrv). For the exam, you will need to know that this service must be run on all front end web servers in the farm, any SharePoint Server that is running the Excel Services, and on the Index Server (but only if the Business Data Catalog search is used).
When you configure SSO, you will be asked to set up a service account. This account has some rigid requirements. It must be a domain user account that is also an Office SharePoint Server Farm account. It must also be a member of the local Administrators group on the encryption key server and a member of the Security Administrators role and the DB_Creator role on the SQL server. Finally, this account must be either a member of the Single Sign On Administrator account or a member of the group account that is the single sign on Administrator account.
You should expect to see a few questions related to alerts. For the purposes of the exam, you need to know how to create various types of alerts. These may include area, search, site discovery, user, list, folder, or document alerts. You should also understand under what types of situations you might want to create an alert.
Security is always a big topic on any Microsoft server exam. Although the objectives for Exam 70-630 do not specifically list security as an objective, there are a couple of security related topics that you should study.
For starters, make sure that you know how to manage users and groups. You will also likely see several questions revolving around user and group permissions.
The objectives for Exam 70-630 state that you need to know how to “manage policies and compliance.” Obviously, this objective is rather vague. Some of the specific policy and compliance features that you need to study for this exam include:
- Auditing and logging
- Digital signatures
- The Records Center
- Document Policies
- Information Rights Management
8. The Business Data Catalog
You can expect to see several questions pertaining to the business data catalog. In case you are not familiar with the business data catalog, it is a feature that was first introduced with SharePoint 2007, and is designed to provide integration capabilities between SharePoint and other backend server applications (without requiring any coding). By doing so, users will be able to submit queries that return results from other data sources.
Microsoft provides several web parts with SharePoint 2007 that are intended to be used with Business Data Catalog (BDC) data. The first of these web parts is the BDC List. As the name implies, this web part displays BDC data and provides various filtering capabilities.
Another web part is the BDC List Item web part. This web part can be used to provide additional information about a particular item. For example, if SharePoint were linked to your CRM system through the BDC then the BDC List Item web part could be configured to allow users to click on a customer’s name in order to reveal the customer’s full contact information.
Finally, Microsoft provides a web part called Related List. This web part is useful for categorizing business data. For example, you could create a list displaying sub-categories of the selected category of business data.
9. Shared Services
SharePoint 2007 introduces a concept known as shared services in which a shared service provider retrieves information that can be shared by multiple web applications. For example, a shared service provider can read user profile information from the Active Directory and then share the information with multiple web applications rather than requiring each web application to retrieve this information from the Active Directory itself.
In most cases you will only need to have one shared service provider, but you can create more. For instance, you might create multiple shared service providers if you are running SharePoint in a multi-tenant configuration or in an Internet/extranet configuration. The primary services that are performed by a shared service provider include:
- Profiles and Audiences
- Excel Services
- The Business Data Catalog
- My Sites
10. Form Templates
When preparing for Exam 70-630, it is easy to overlook the subject of form templates and focus on seemingly more important topics. In case you are not familiar with form templates, the basic idea is that in any organization there are certain forms that are used on a regular basis. For example, the HR department probably has a form that can be filled out to request time off.
InfoPath is a Microsoft Office application that is specifically designed for creating electronic forms. Once a form has been created in InfoPath, it can be published to SharePoint as an installable form template (a .JS or an .MSI file). Once a form has been published to SharePoint, users can access the forms through a web browser without having to have InfoPath installed on their PC.