Visual Studio

  • Published:
    02 July 2010
  • Languages:
  • Audiences:
  • Technology:
    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  • Credit towards certification:
    MCPD: Web Developer 4

Pro: Designing and developing web applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

This exam has been withdrawn

For currently available options, please see the Microsoft Certification exam list.

Skills measured

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area in the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area in the exam. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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Design the application architecture (19%)
  • Plan the division of application logic
    • Choose between client-side and server-side processing; plan separation of concern (partitioning functionality between controllers and evaluating business and data service consumption); plan for long-running processes (synchronous versus asynchronous)
  • Analyse requirements and recommend a system topology
    • Design interaction between applications; mapping logical design to physical implementation; validate non-functional requirements and cross-cutting concerns (communications, operations management and security); evaluate baseline needs (scale and quality of service)
  • Choose appropriate client-side technologies
    • JavaScript; ASP.NET AJAX; jQuery; Microsoft Silverlight
  • Choose appropriate server-side technologies
    • User controls; server controls; partials; custom HtmlHelper extensions; web parts; inheriting controls; dynamic data controls
  • Design state management
    • Design an application for the proper use of application state, session state and request state (ViewState, ControlState, Cache object, cookies and client-side persistence)

Preparation resources

Design the user experience (17%)
  • Design the site structure
    • Design application segmentation for manageability and security (using areas, shared views, master pages and nested master pages); appropriate use of style sheets; client-side scripting; themes; client ID generation; render element modes; routing engine
  • Plan for cross-browser and/or form factors
    • Evaluate the impact on client side behaviours; themes; bandwidth; style sheets (including application design–task based or scaled rendering of existing page); when to apply Browsers file; structural approaches; user agents; different platforms (mobile versus desktop)
  • Plan for globalisation
    • Design to support local, regional, language or cultural preferences, including UI versus data localisation (for example, implementing at database level or resource level); when to use CurrentCulture versus CurrentUICulture; globalisation rollout plan (setting base default language, planning localisation); handle Unicode data (what fields to include, request encoding); right-to-left support; vertical text and non-Latin topographies; calendars; data formatting; sorting

Preparation resources

Design data strategies and structures (18%)
  • Design data access
    • Choose data access technologies, such as ADO.NET Data Services, Entity Framework, Windows Communications Foundation (WCF) and ASP.NET Web Services
  • Design data presentation and interaction
    • Pull data from data layer and binding into views, pages and controls, and pull data back to data layer by using ModelBinders, data source controls and HtmlHelper extensions, or programmatically
  • Plan for data validation
    • Contextual validation versus data integrity; where to validate data; synchronisation between UI and data layer; data annotations

Preparation resources

Design security architecture and implementation (17%)
  • Plan for operational security
    • Approaches for process- and resource-level security, including local and remote resources; Code Access Security (CAS), including trust level, process identity, application pool and identity tag
  • Design an authentication and authorisation model
    • Authentication providers, including WindowsForms; and custom user identity flowthrough (trusted subsystem); role management; membership providers; URL authorisation (AuthorizationAttribute); file authorisation; Authorization Manager (AzMan)
  • Plan for minimising attach surfaces
    • Input validation; throttling inputs; request filtering; where to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Preparation resources

Prepare for and investigate application issues (15%)
  • Choose a testing methodology
    • Black box; white box; integration; regression; coverage; API testing; performance testing; security testing
    • This objective does not include: load testing, web testing or unit testing
  • Design an exception handling strategy
    • HandleError attribute in MVC; common error pages; post-error processing; global versus page level
  • Recommend an approach to debugging
    • Tools and approaches for a given scenario (memory dumps, DebuggingAttributes, crashes versus hangs, deadlocks, assembly binding); when to attach to process (Visual Studio Development Server versus Internet Information Services [IIS] versus Internet Explorer); root cause analysis
    • This objective does not include basic breakpoints
  • Recommend an approach to performance issues
    • Which instrumentation to watch or create (including performance counters and event tracing) to analyse performance issues; page and fragment caching

Preparation resources

Design a deployment strategy (14%)
  • Design a deployment process
    • Windows Installer (MSI) versus xcopy versus Web Deployment Tool; scaling; rolling deployments
  • Design configuration management
    • Using the ConfigSource attribute (connection strings); staging versus production versus development; topologies; machine.config versus web.config; using IIS versus Visual Studio Development Server during development; application pools; configuration inheritance
  • Plan for scalability and reliability
    • Scale up, scale out, at physical level and at architectural level; impact of offloading technologies on load balancing, including state, synchronising machine and encryption keys
  • Design a health monitoring strategy
    • Built-in and custom HTML helpers (for example, HTML.RenderAction and HTML.RenderPartial); strongly typed views; static page checking; templated input helpers; ViewMasterPage; ViewUserControl

Preparation resources

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam are senior software developers, web developers, development leads and software designers who use ASP.NET 4 to create web solutions.

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We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarise yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.


This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.