Tips on passing MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Certification

I finally took the MB2-703 exam and passed, YIPPPEEEE

This is the 3rd time I have taken the customization and configuration exam because I have taken it for

  • CRM 4
  • CRM 2011
  • CRM 2013

Every time I take the exam, during my studying and preparation for the exam I always learn or understand how CRM works a bit better. The certifications involve studying new functionality added in each new release of CRM but my understanding is different and I focus on different aspects of CRM and try to understand how the internal CRM mechanics are working and I wrote articles like these

CRM 2013 – When should you create a custom activity entity?

CRM Entity ownership – How do you decide?

To see all the articles, questions and videos I have created for the CRM 2013 customization and configuration certification click the link below

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/

I have also createde some links to some good free articles on subjects on the exam but alas there isn’t many links there because I started to late with that idea

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/free-links-mb2-703-study-guide/

It’s worth the effort

The value of the certification comes from the studying and reading for the certification rather than having the certification.  It was a great motivator to learn the new functionality because to make the exams different there is usually an emphasis on new functionality, which is logical because otherwise the exams could be quite similar.

I find it useful to refresh my knowledge on areas I haven’t used for a while, forgotten and the new functionality which I may not have used yet.

Learning the information to a level you can pass a certification does reinforce the information and helps it stick in your mind.

I have written before

CRM 2013 – Why you should take and pass the Configuration and Customization Certification

A quick recap  why I think it’s worth studying for the latest CRM certifications

  • Learn how the new functionality works, particularly it’s limitations
  • Study CRM functionality you don’t use very often
  • Refresh your knowledge on CRM
  • You get a broad knowledge of CRM

My process of studying

Read the MOCS (Microsoft Official Circiculm)

You can find the link to the MOC’s for all the certifications here.  The MB2-703 MOC link is below.

MB2-703: – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization & Configuration

The MOC should be the solid base to build your studying for the certification around.  The MOC covers all the areas which will be in the exam and unlike CRM 2013 books, only focuses on the areas which will be on the exam.

Read articles on the subjects

The MOC’s are great but they can be a bit dry and I like to read articles on areas of the exam.  Articles are small bite sized chunks with the added benefit of usually containing examples and screen shots.  The real world usage of CRM 2013 functionality is very useful for understanding how the CRM 2013 functionality can be used and limitations

Take notes

Taking notes is a good way of highlighting the important points for revision and condescending the MOC’s, blog posts and other sources of information into a smaller collection, which you can revise from.

Using CRM 2013 trial

There is no better way to learn the functionality of CRM 2013 than by using it.  If you are fortunate you will use CRM 2013 every day in your job, but there are still areas you don’t use very often, but make sure you know how they work rather than just the theoretical knowledge of how they work.

Tips on passing the certification

New Functionality

Study the new functionality added into CRM 2013

  • Business Process Flow
  • Business Rules
  • Access Teams

Use CRM 2013

Don’t just read and study about CRM 2013 topics, but actually try it out with a CRM 2013 trial

  • This will give you some practical knowledge/experience of the functionality
  • It will help you understand how it really works, which isn’t always the same as it says in the manual
  • You learn how it doesn’t work (important, particularly for the exam)
  • It creates experiences and visual images which will help you recall information in the exam
  • You will have experience of using the functionality, which is useful for your job

Write your own study notes

Going through the process of making notes when reading the MOC’s or articles on the exam subjects I would make notes.  The process of taking notes means you have to understand the material and select the key points.  To do this you have to actively think about the topic and subjectively understand it to the key features/limitations.  I believe this will help you learn and increase your understanding.

The benefit of taking notes is you can use them to study with later.

Blog about the CRM 2013 functionality

Teaching and explaining about a topic makes you learn and understand the topic in more detail.  This will give you a deeper understanding of the functionality.

I found writing about the security and business rules very useful

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Business Units and Security Roles Study Information

CRM 2013 – Understanding Business Rules

If questions came up about these topics I had a very good understanding and could work out the answers

Exam tips

 

Book the exam so you have a deadline

This is a great motivational tool and will stop you keep putting off taking the exam.

Create some practise questions or use mine to practise

If you are studying with someone else both create practise quesitons and notes, share them with each other

There is some practise questions you can find on my blog post below

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/

Study Notes

Create your own study notes, you will be learning and reinforcing the information by creating the notes and reading study notes is quicker and easier than MOC’s or blogs

My study notes are here

CRM Chat Study notes can be found here

CRM GEEK for CRM 2011

The study notes are very useful, 46 pages of good notes about the CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration exam. http://www.crmanswers.net/2014/01/crm-2013-mb2-703-exam-my-experience.html

Exam Techniques

  • Get there early, sometimes the test centers are in odd places which could take some time to
  • Take your time in the exam (you will have plenty)
  • On each question, first eliminate the answers you know are wrong, usually there are some obvious answers which are wrong.  This will leave you with a smaller choice
  • Review all the questions, just to make sure you haven’t made any silly mistakes

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Business Rules Exam Test Questions

Here are the Hosk’s Multiple choice questions for Business Rules for the MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and configuration certification

For the other Exam summaries, Exam notes and other test questions click the link below

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/

These are exam questions which are multiple choice.  They are in similar style to the real exam questions, although of course they are aren’t the same but they should test your knowledge on Business Rules to help you prepare for the exam

 

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Access Teams and Access Team Templates how to use them and key facts

A new feature in CRM 2013 is Access Teams.  For those people studying for the MB2-703 – CRM 2013 customization and configuration exam, you will need to know the difference between access teams and Owner teams.

I personally have not understood the real benefit of Access teams and access team templates, I understood it was an quick way to share individual records but I wasn’t sure how this was different to the current sharing functionality.

First I will go through the Access Teams functionality and then we will focus on the differences

I will also mention Microsoft have a very good white paper on Access Teams which you can download by going to the link below

http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=41190

Before I went through sharing and teams in the previous blog\video which you can see using the links below go through more tradition teams and sharing

Blog – CRM 2013 – MB2 703 – Manage user access, Teams and sharing

video – CRM 2013 – MB2 703 – Manage user access, Teams and sharing 

 

Access Teams And Access Team Template Demo can be seen in the video below

The standard owner team/user functionality allows you to share records and components (views, dashboards) to users or owner teams.

This functionality is very useful but the sharing process is not very visible and can be difficult to manage.  Sharing records is done by an individual user and the only way to see what records are shared and to whom is by going to the record/component and clicking the sharing button

access team1

 

Access Teams and Access team templates are a method to share permissions and records, which is easier to manage, quicker to add/remove users/teams because Access team templates will applying a standard set of privileges (read, write, delete, append, append to) rather than having to set this up for each individual user/team.

An overhead  of Owner Teams and sharing is they write records to the POA (Principal Object Access)  table and this may eventually can result in performance overhead.  It should be noted that sharing records with teams is a lot more efficient than sharing records with individual users because it only writes less records to the POA table (for the team) rather than each individual user.

 

 Enable the entity

Access Team templates are enabled on an entity basis and you have to enable Access Teams on the entity in the communications and collaboration as you can see below on the screen shot.

access team2

Once you have ticked the access teams check box, save and publish (I don’t think you have to publish but just to make sure).

 

Create your Access Team

Go to SETTINGS –> Administration –> Access Team Templates

Click the New button

You now have to create you team name, specify the entity the Access Team will work on and the access rights

access team3

 

Now the next step is not straight forward, when I say that I don’t mean it’s difficult but I do mean most people would never guess what to do next.

Add the Access Team sub grid to the form

You need to customize the form of the entity you want to add the Access Team Template to and in my case it’s the account form

You need to add a sub grid to the form

Records – All Types

Entity – Users

Default View – Associated Record Team Members

Team Template – Hosk Account Access Team – this is the team template I created in the step before, yours is probably called something different.

access team4

save and publish the changes

 

now you can go to account records and there will be a sub grid which will allow you to add users to it. These users

access team5

Odd things happen when you add a user to the user grid it will automatically create an Access Team but the odd things is you can’t view this team in the Teams section in Administration even if you select All Teams or Access Teams.

The only way to view the teams is to create an advanced find, search for Teams and choose of type Access.

You will then see some odd teams with Guid names

access team6

if  you click on one you can then view the details.  So you will get a new team for each entity and access template type.

To help identify the different teams you can put something in the description

access team7

You can also add and remove members in this screen.  If you remove all members the team will disappear until you add another user to it.

 

Facts and stats about Access Teams, the bits below are useful for those study MB2-703

  • You can more than one Access Team template for each entity
  • The default number of access teams templates for each entity is two
  • The number of access team templates you can have for each entity is controlled by the MaxAutoCreatedAccessTeamsPerEntity deployment setting.
  • MaxEntitiesEnabledForAutoCreatedAccessTeams deployment setting has a default value of 5.  This controls the number of entities it’s possible to enable for auto-created access teams.
  • You can change the MaxEntitiesEnabledForAutoCreatedAccessTeams , MaxAutoCreatedAccessTeamsPerEntity  only on Premise installations and you cannot edit them for Online.
  • A system generated Access Team isn’t created for each record until you add a user to the sub grid on the entity.
  • if you delete the team, this is the same removing all the members in the sub grid on the record.
  • if you change the access rights on Team Template this will only change the access right to new entity records/access teams.  Any records already created will use the previous set of privileges.
  • Access teams with Share access right ticked will mean any user who is in access team will be able to add (share) others to the access team for that record.
  • Users cannot grant privileges they do not have.  So a user can only add new members to an access team where the access team template has create privilege only if that user has the create privilege for the entity.
  • Access Teams created automatically by adding users to them are not shown in the system team views
  • Access Teams created automatically can be seen by doing an advanced find and select Team Type = access
  • Access Team created automatically have the is system managed field set to true
  • Access Teams can be un ticked on an entity (unlike Queues)
  • If you want to delete a Access Team Template you will need to remove all the sub grids using that specific Access Team Template before you can delete it.

Access teams don’t user the POA table

The final import thing about access team is they do not write to the POA (Principal Object Access table).  This table holds all the rules about sharing for users/teams for each entity.  The POV table holds information about sharing and security/access and is read every time a user accesses a record to make sure they have privileges to view and then update/delete it.   A big POA table with lots of sharing of records can in some cases slow down the system.

After reading CRM MVP Adam Vero’s comments it seems access teams do write to the POA table so this isn’t where the advantage of Access teams comes from.  On the efficiency side Teams do write fewer records to the POA table than sharing to individual users.

Owner teams are good when you want to share records to teams and those teams should have their privileges set by security roles.

access teams are good for quick ad hoc sharing of records where the users who will need to use a record may change often.  Access teams allow you to quickly add and remove users.

 

Reading the White paper it has a good summary of the key features

 

Owner Team

  • As teams in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with security roles
  • Can own records
  • Privileges are granted by security roles and change dynamically as the role definition changes
  • Needs to be manually or programmatically created and managed
  • Will be cached in CRM Server when a user accesses the application
  • Can act as resource in service scheduling

Access Team

  • Can’t be granted security roles
  • Can’t own records
  • Accesses records through sharing
  • Sharing privileges are defined by an access team template but don’t change dynamically for existing records if the template changes
  • Won’t be displayed in most team views
  • Can be system managed, directly from the form of the record that it relates to
  • Won’t be cached because it doesn’t derive privilege or ownership checks
  • Can’t be scheduled as a resource in Service Scheduling
  • Not shown in team views as typically used at high volumes

 

CRM 2013 – Why you should take and pass the Configuration and Customization Certification

I am going to talk about the CRM 2013 certification MB2-703 or otherwise known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration.  One reason I am talking about the CRM 2013 configuration and customization certification is I have recently started a YouTube channel Hosk’s CRM Dev and although CRM Developers will be required to do a lot of coding they will also need to do a lot of customization’s using the standard GUI tools and functionality in CRM.

I myself am going to pass the certification and I am interested in learning the new CRM 2013 functionality so I thought I would create some YouTube video’s on the exam criteria and would like you all to join me on the journey of passing the CRM 2013 Configuration and Customization exam.

There are probably a bunch of people reading this blog going I would like to pass that certification but I’m too busy, I will get round to it at some point later in the year.

STOP RIGHT THERE BUDDY

stop procrastinating and do it, give yourself a two month deadline and study and pass that certification and what’s more I’m going to help you do it, The Hosk will be cheering you on.

If you are still not on board let me tell you why you are going to do it (if you haven’t already), you have a choice you can see and hear me

or you can read why you should

1.  Money

People who have certifications get paid more.

“43 percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification.”

– Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

A certification is something you can take into your next pay review to help persuade your bosses to give you more cash.  The way I see it if you have a certification and your colleagues don’t, if over the year you have both done a good job then that certification is going to be something extra you have, not only do you have a certification but you also have all the knowledge to go with it.

2.  Learn the new features in CRM 2013

The certifications always have sections on the new features, so this is a great way to learn the new CRM 2013 features and get certified at the same time.  In fact it will give you focus and motivate you to get the learning done.  The other benefit will be you will brush up on some of the other parts of system you might not use.

3.  Broad range of knowledge

I have taken the CRM 4 and CRM 2011 Configuration and Customization certifications and I found them very useful in learning parts of the CRM that I wasn’t currently using in the projects I was working on.  I learnt about Goals, Dashboards, reporting, security, solutions before I used them at work.  In the CRM 2013 exam I will have to learn about Business Process Flows, Business Rules, Access teams, quick create forms.  What I am trying to say is I will learn about the functionality before I have to use it in my job, so if it comes up I will already have an idea of what it does, how it works.  A lot of being a good CRM Developer is knowing the correct tool to use at the correct time.

4.  (some) People respect certifications

if you have 2 or 3 CRM certification then people in the workplace will start to see you as  knowledgeable in CRM, their perception will change and this is particularly useful if you are starting out in your CRM career.  Certifications don’t make you a better CRM Developer or Consultant but it does mean that you have a good knowledge of CRM because you have to do a fair bit of studying to get the certification.

5.  Companies like Certifications

Companies like certifications because they need certified employees so they can get the Microsoft Gold or Silver partner status.  Companies also like certified employees because it sounds great to tell perspective clients about are certified developer/consultant.  If you have a certification you are more valuable to your company and they will often reward you for the time and effort it took to obtain the certification.

6.  Success feels good

It feels good to pass a certification, it may only be a piece of paper and something to put on LinkedIn/Rockstar 365 cv but you have set out to pass a certification and by golly you did it.  Once you get that certification no one can take it away

7.  You are committed to becoming a great CRM developer/Consultant

Life hacker has a nice paragraph in this article Will certification help me get a better job

Ultimately, getting one or two certifications will prove you’re capable of learning and retaining knowledge (or at least passing a test) but several under your belt shows that you’re committed to a career path, well versed in it, and knowledgeable. As those certifications grow to require experience and dedication to earn, they’re exponentially more valuable and prove that you’re familiar with industry best practices, have worked in the field, and have retained your knowledge (especially if it’s a cert that has to be renewed or kept up to date). So even if you don’t think the low-level ones are useful, don’t shy away from them—at best they’re a slight differentiator, but at worst they’re a stepping stone to greater things

8.  You know most of it already

Here is the headline skills measured, come on, you know at least half of that stuff already, you are half way there

  • Create and Customize Solutions (10-15 percent)
  • Customize Entities and Entity Relationships (10-15 percent)
  • Customize Fields (10-15 percent)
  • Manage Forms (10-15 percent)
  • Manage Views (10-15 percent)
  • Create and Customize Charts and Dashboards (10-15 percent)
  • Manage Security (10-15 percent)
  • Manage Business Processes and Rules (10-15 percent)

click here to read the skills needed in more details.

So after reading all that and knowing I am going to create some Video’s and information to help you (AND ME) study for the certification, what excuse can you (I will accept you already having passed the certification) have

I have written about the benefits of certifications before if you still aren’t quite persuaded.