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
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
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.
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
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
Study the new functionality added into CRM 2013
Business Process Flow
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
I have uploaded a power point file into slide share because this is a really easy and quick way to do the question. There are 13 questions and doing these should take you 5 minutes, more if you really concentrate. So come on test your knowledge and see if you are ready to take the real exam
Here is the video where I go through the questions and explain the answers
Don’t forget all the MB2-703 studying information can be found here
15 percent of the exam is based around security so you need to know it and know it good.
In this blog I will cover one part of the security concepts
This topic may include: describe Business Units; describe Microsoft Dynamics CRM security features; describe privileges and access levels
I have found 3 blog posts which I often find my way to when searching for CRM Security. So I would recommend you go through those because they will give you a good idea how security roles work in CRM 2013, links to them can be found in the blog post below.
To learn about security and business units the best way is to get into your CRM trial and try adding business units and security roles.
First have a good look
second get in there and add some new business units and security roles
thirdly get renaming and deleting them
I will run through this in the video but I recommend you do it yourself, this will help cement the knowledge into your brain and provide more paths to the information (which means you will be able to recall it easier in the exam, yippee). The blog post and the video work together, the video shows you security roles and business units in CRM and the blog post is a succinct summary of it.
I am only going to skip through what I think are the vital points, I expect you to read the three blog posts below, watch my video explanation and have a play in your CRM trial
I will first start with this great table from the power objects blog, this is a good introduction to security
To help understand how this works, consider the following definitions of the Dynamics CRM security components:
A scoping mechanism that defines a grouping of users for security modeling purposes; business units are hierarchical in nature. Business Units are a framework upon which a security model is built.
A collection of privileges (that are given a name) that reflect common user roles of your organization and/or business units; security roles are assigned to users or owner teams. See below for more details on Security Roles.
Privilege (access rights)
The definition of a specific type of data access or action that can be granted as a right; privileges are granted through a security role and are cumulative. The following Privileges that can be assigned:
While the Privilege defines the type of data access, the Access Level defines exactly to which records the privileges apply. You can assign the Access Levels of:
Parent: Child Business Unit
For example, if you assign Read privileges to a Security Role at the Access Level of “Business Unit”, users with that Security Role will only have the privileges to see records owned by a user within their Business Unit.
As you can see the security in CRM is created from a few pieces of functionality working together. You have business units and security roles, within these you have privileges and access levels.
Access level controls what the user can see(read)/edit
Privilege controls what you can do to the entity
It all starts with business units and the Parent Business unit which is also known as the Root business unit, you can think of this as the mother of all business units.
The Root business unit is a default business unit which has the same name as the organisation.
You cannot delete the Root business unit, you cannot disable it
You cannot create a business unit above the Root business unit, e.g. you cannot give it a parent.
Business Units = Tree Structure
Business units are used to create a hierarchy and this is in a tree structure. The Root business unit will be at the top.
Here are two examples of some very simple Business unit structures. The common way people use business units is geographical or departmental, although you can split up your organisation and business units anyway that suits you.
Here is a geographical structure
Here is departmental
You can see from the pictures above that the business units have create a hierarchy and the root business unit is at the top.
What can you do to Business Units
Classic certification questions usually revolve around what you can and can’t do in CRM. Examples of things they will test
You cannot delete or disable the root business unit
you can rename, disable non root business units (e.g. all the other business units)
Disabling Business Units
You need to know what happens when you disable a business unit, what happens to all the users who have that business unit as their default business unit?
When you disable a business unit, it also disables all the child business units below it (and thus all the users who those business units as their default business unit).
none of the data is affected by disabling business units, its only the users who cannot then log in but it is important to take into account all the child business units will also be disabled.
The users are not disabled but cannot login into CRM whilst the business unit is disabled. As soon as the business unit is enabled they will be able to log into CRM again.
Deleting Business Units
It’s possible to delete business units (not the root business unit) but you have to clear them up ready to be removed.
Firstly you have to disable the business unit and you can only do this when
you have removed any the child business unit, now you can either disable and delete them or you can re-parent them. To re-parent a business unit you can select a new parent business unit.
If you re-parent a business unit this will have the effect of removing all the security roles from the users, this is because security roles are inherited and can be different in each business unit. This will mean all the users in the business unit you are re-parenting will now have no security roles and won’t be able to log into CRM. This is explained by an excellent comment by CRM MVP Adam Vero (also a CRM Master)
if you want to delete the business unit then you will need to change all the users/teams that are assigned to that business unit. You also need to disable the business unit before you delete it.
You cannot delete the default business unit team but it won’t stop you deleting the business unit because this will be deleting automatically when you delete the business unit.
Like all things in CRM, Microsoft recommend you disable business units rather than delete them, the reason being disable business units just like disabled records can be re-enabled but once something is deleted it’s gone forever.
Security roles are a vital part of the security in CRM because if a user doesn’t have a security role he cannot access the system, so every user must have at least one security role.
Security roles are linked with the user business unit to calculate what records the user can access.
Users receive their permissions to work on records or use features based on the combination of Security Roles they are assigned and the Business Units to which the users belong.
Security roles can also be assigned to teams and if the team a user is a member of has higher security privileges then this will override their individual security roles. The user will also use the highest security levels it is assigned, whether that’s from a security roles assigned to the team or individual security role
Users can be assigned multiple security roles, this means it’s possible to create security roles just for single purposes.
Default security roles
There are 15 default security roles in CRM, this provide a good basis to start creating your security roles. The default security roles are all created in the root business unit.
You need to understand how security roles work with business unit, they can be a bit cheeky. A security role stays in the business unit it is created in and they copy down to any child business units.
The above line is import because if you create a security role in the root business unit then the security role will be copied to all the child business units below it.
So you should be careful about creating security roles not in the root business unit because this means you will have a security role that doesn’t exist in any parent business units and in particular the default business unit. Another consideration is only security roles which exist in the root business unit can be added to a solution file.
What I am saying is don’t create security roles not in the root business unit because you cannot export these out and it may cause a bit of headache if you need the parent business units to use the same security role.
User can be assigned any security role which exist in their business unit.
Modify, Don’t create security roles
When you set up a new security role there are hundreds of settings you need to setup, there are 8 privileges for each entity. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to copy an existing role and modify it.
Microsoft recommend you don’t delete the default security roles so you can have them as a reference but once you have a few security roles I personally don’t think it matters but remember the MB2-703 certification is written by Microsoft and they want the answers they are expecting.
System Administrator Role is all powerful
All security roles are the same except the System Administrator role which is a super role.
The System Administrator role automatically has access to all records and entities, including all custom entities. It has the default access level of organisation for all privileges.
One user must have the System Administrator role, this is by default given to the user who installed CRM. Multiple users can be assigned the System Administrator role and you can remove the role from users but you cannot remove the role if that user is the only user who has the System Administrator role.
The System Administrator role also is given the System Admin field level security role, which as I’m sure you can guess gives them access to all field level security.
It’s possible to copy the System Administrator role and it will create a security role but the security role will not automatically have access to any new custom entities added and it basically won’t have the special powers of the System Administrator role.
Security roles Privileges and access levels
At this point I am going to refer you to the excellent blog on security roles written by CRM MVP Richard Knudson, this blog post has 40 comments, which shows you how many people have read it.
I would also say that this part of the CRM security can be tricky to understand but with regards to the exam does not have as many gotcha’s.
There are some privileges which do not have organisation levels these are always show under miscellaneous privileges and these are either true or false. These are things like
Export to Excel
This is a good place to leave security with more to come
I published the video before the blog article and very kindly Adam Vero (CRM MVP and an expert on CRM as he wrote some of the MOC’s on the subject) left me a couple of excellent comments where I got slightly mixed up in the video.
When you disable a Business Unit, it disables the BUs below it, that is correct. But it does NOT disable the users in the BU or any of the children. They are prevented from logging on while they are in a disabled BU, but when you re-enable the BU they can. (If it disabled them all then when you re-enabled the BU it would have no way to know which users to re-enable if some were already disabled manually previously).
good point, I think you have basically said what I was thinking and meant to say. I guess it can seem like the users are disabled because they can’t login but you are right because they aren’t disabled but stopped from being able to login.
Notice that when you change the parent business unit of a BU, this is not just changing the position in the hierarchy and therefore changing the impact of the access levels that people have to records in that BU. It will also REMOVE all inherited Security Roles (and rebuild them) – it does not move the roles with it. So at the moment you move it, the users in that BU have no roles other than any that exist directly in that BU (which often is zero, if everything is always created in the root or imported via Solutions). In most cases this means those users just stopped being able to log on, and you’d better remember who had which roles originally. Users may be able to log on if they are a member of a team that has a suitable role, and they have logged on at least once before, but this is an edge case – expect problems with logons when you move a BU.
so changing the parent business unit of a BU can remove all the security roles from the users in that business unit. I guess this makes sense because it (as you say) has to rebuild the security roles because you are potentially removing all the inherited roles it had.
This is a good point to consider for the CRM exam. I will include this in my Security role exam cram notes and maybe make a test question on it.
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
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
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.