Taking the AX 7 Development Certification Exam

Having just passed the Microsoft Dynamics AX Development certification exam (MB6-890), I thought I’d pass along some thoughts for those who are planning on taking the exam or are even just thinking about taking it.

The exam follows the standard Microsoft format, with questions covering four major areas:

  • Use the Application Explorer to Develop New Elements.
  • Read, Write, and Understand Basic X++.
  • Manage the User Interface and Security for Developers.
  • Understand the Architecture and Development Environment.

To prepare for the exam, I watched the videos and performed the labs in the training series provided by Microsoft, which you can find here: https://mbspartner.microsoft.com/AX/CourseOverview/1181.

The course is easy to follow, and provides good content even for the experienced AX developer. There are a lot of new concepts in AX 7 and some new X++ constructs as well. Visual Studio is the development environment for AX 7, so if you don’t have much experience with Visual Studio then going through the labs in the course will be beneficial for taking the exam.

Having been an AX developer for several years, I assumed the X++ part of the exam would be the easiest for me. It turns out that I scored the lowest in the X++ section of the four sections. Even if you know X++ well, Microsoft can still find ways to formulate questions that even the most seasoned of developers would find a challenge. So I would recommend spending some time researching and studying areas in X++ around class and table inheritance, method protocols, and various looping structures. These are the areas that seemed to have gotten the most attention in the exam.

If you don’t have much experience with X++, definitely doing the labs in the training will help. You will need to download and install the Dynamics AX 7 VM, which will give you hands-on experience with X++ and Visual Studio.

The sections that I found the most useful, as it pertains to what’s new in AX 7 versus other versions of AX, are:

  • Module 1 – Introduction to Visual Studio
  • Module 2 – Architecture
  • Module 9 – Form Patterns (there are a lot of new form patterns in AX 7)
  • Module 13 – Classes, particularly the section on Class inheritance (I should have study this more)
  • Module 16 – Security Basics

I also spent a lot of time on the AX 7 VM while preparing to take the exam. Besides doing the labs in the training course, I also took modifications that I have done in other versions of AX and made the same modifications in AX 7. This helped me to really understand how the new development environment works and how the concept around projects, models and packages has changed with AX 7. Spending time making actually modifications to tables, forms, and classes in AX 7 helped me to remember key concepts that were part of the certification exam.

The exam shouldn’t be a huge challenge for an experienced AX developer, but I believe some studying is still warranted. For those just getting into AX development, the course provided by Microsoft can be a great place to start, and along with some hands-on experience with the AX 7 VM you should be able to pass this exam. Good luck to all!