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Considerations for Those Seeking a Microsoft Dynamics Certification

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Professionals who pursue certification in Microsoft Dynamics products may find the array of certifications available confusing and a bit dizzying. Which one is the right one to pursue? In this article, Brien Posey outlines the many exams in both the Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning categories.

Microsoft offers a dizzying array of certifications for their Dynamics line of products. The key to becoming Microsoft Dynamics certified is to determine which certification or certifications best fit your needs. As such, this article outlines the certifications that are available for Microsoft Dynamics.

The first thing that you need to understand about Microsoft Dynamics certifications is that the certifications are broken down into two main categories[md]Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Within both of these categories it is possible to earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) or a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification.

MCTS certifications for Microsoft Dynamics products tend to be feature oriented. In other words, these certifications are designed to help demonstrate proficiency in the ability to use specific products, especially with regard to some of the more advanced features and capabilities.

MCITP certifications for Microsoft Dynamics are geared toward IT pros and require the candidate to pass multiple exams. Depending on the certification that is being sought, the candidate must pass either one or two core exams plus an additional two to three elective exams.

MCITP certifications for Microsoft Dynamics fall into three separate tracks (although you may occasionally find multiple certifications available for a single track). These tracks include Applications, Developer, and Installation and Configuration.

Customer Relationship Management

Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management certifications revolve around Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft offers several related Technology Specialist certifications including:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Applications (version 4.0 and 2011)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization and Configuration (version 4.0 and 2011)
  • Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM (version 4.0 and 2011)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Installation and Deployment
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installation and Configuration

In addition to the MCTS certifications, Microsoft offers three separate MCITP level certifications related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. These include:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Developer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Enterprise Resource Planning

Unlike Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning does not fall into a single Microsoft Dynamics Product. Microsoft offers six separate Enterprise Resource Planning products. Each of these products focuses on a specific aspect of Enterprise Resource Planning.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed for use by geographically distributed organizations. It is designed to help medium and large sized organizations do business in multiple sites, or even multiple countries.

Microsoft offers a number of Technology Specialist certifications for Microsoft Dynamics AX including:

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX Trade and Logistics (version 2009 or 2012)
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX Financials (version 2009 or 2012)
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX Development Introduction (version 2009 or 2012)
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX Installation and Configuration (version 2009 or 2012)
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 MorphX Solution Development
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Production
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Project Series
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Human Resource Management
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Enterprise Portal Deployment
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Product Builder

In addition to the Technology Specialist certifications, Microsoft offers a number of different IT Professional certifications for Microsoft Dynamics AX including:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Developer for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Developer for Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP is the next generation of the old Great Plains software. It is designed to provide insight into individual business components such as Human Resources management and financial management in order to deliver a more comprehensive view of the organization’s efficiency.

Microsoft offers a number of Technology Specialist Certifications for Microsoft Dynamics GP including:

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Financials (version 10.0 or 2010)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Project Series (version 10.0 or 2010)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Installation and Configuration (version 10.0 or 2010)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Inventory and Order Processing (version 10.0 or 2010)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 Integration Manager
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 Human Resources and Payroll
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 Manufacturing Applications

In addition to the Technology Specialist certifications, Microsoft offers two IT professional level certifications for Microsoft Dynamics GP. These include:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV (which used to be known as Navision) is intended to provide industry-specific business management capabilities. This includes things like supply chain management and cash flow management.

Microsoft offers a wide variety of Technology Specialist certifications for Microsoft Dynamics NAV including:

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV C/SIDE Introduction (version 5.0 or 2009)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV C/SIDE Solution Development (version 5.0 or 2009)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Core Setup and Finance
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 Financials
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Installation and Configuration (version 5.0 or 2009)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Manufacturing (version 5.0 or 2009)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Relationship Management
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Service Management
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV Trade and Inventory (version 5.0 or 2009)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Warehouse Management

In addition to the Technology Specialist certifications, Microsoft offers a number of different IT Professional certifications for Microsoft Dynamics NAV including:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Developer for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Developer for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics RMS

Microsoft Dynamics RMS is an application for retail store management. This software package tracks things like sales, customers, and even inventory.

Microsoft presently offers two Technology Specialist certifications for Microsoft Dynamics RMS:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Store Operations
  • Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Headquarters

No IT Professional level certifications are offered for Microsoft Dynamics RMS at this time.

Microsoft Dynamics POS

Microsoft Dynamics POS is Microsoft’s Point of Sale solution. This software provides payment processing, but also integrates with line of business applications while offering various business intelligence and reporting capabilities.

Microsoft presently offers a single Technology Specialist certification for Microsoft Dynamics POS:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Point of Sale 2009

No IT Professional level certifications are offered for Microsoft Dynamics POS at this time.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Microsoft Dynamics SL is the Microsoft Dynamics solution for organizations that deal with projects rather than providing traditional products and services to their customers. Often, projects have unique requirements such as ensuring compliance or managing contractors. Microsoft Dynamics SL delivers these and other capabilities that are often missing from other business applications.

Microsoft offers a number of different Technology Specialists certifications for Microsoft Dynamics SL. These include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics SL Financials (for version 7.0 or 2011)
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL Installation and Configuration (for versions 7.0 or 2011)
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0 Project Series
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0 Customization Manager
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0 Inventory and Order Processing
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0 Tools for Visual Basic
  • In addition to the Technology Specialist certifications, Microsoft offers the following IT professional level certifications for Microsoft Dynamics SL:
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Applications for Microsoft Dynamics SL
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Installation and Configuration for Microsoft Dynamics SL

Conclusion

You can find information about the specific exams that must be passed in order to earn these certifications at: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/dynamics.aspx#tab2. Note that at the time of this article, the site seems to have a bug, and the individual certification nodes do not expand simply by clicking on them. You can reveal the full certification options by clicking on the Show All link found on the page.

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