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  • Published:
    01 August 2014
  • Languages:
    English, Japanese
  • Audiences:
  • Technology:
    Visual Studio
  • Credit towards certification:

Recertification for MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management

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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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Install and configure Team Foundation Server (TFS)
  • Install Team Foundation Server
    • SQL Server version support, install Team Foundation Server in a multi-tier or multi-machine environment, install Team Foundation Server in a load-balanced environment, set up a version control proxy server, schedule automatic backup and restore activities by using the TFS Administration Console
  • Install and configure Lab Management
    • Set up environment templates, install and configure test agents, install and configure System Center Virtual Machine Manager (basic Virtual Machine Manager installation), create library shares or resource pools
Manage Team Foundation Server
  • Manage team project collections
    • Move project collections, manage team collections and projects, create and configure team project collections, create a team project using SharePoint and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), split and partition Team Project Collections
Customise Team Foundation Server for team use
  • Configure a team build definition
    • Set up for a symbol server and source server; set up for custom build numbers, configure build log verbosity; set up definition properties (test impact analysis, code analysis, automated unit testing and architecture validation); set up build triggers (gated check-in, continuous integration and scheduled build); configure the build drop location to be in source code control or a fileshare
Administer version control
  • Create and manage workspaces
    • Cloak, undo delete and modify a workspace; delete a workspace; specify workspace visibility; unlock other users’ checkouts, pending changes and code; choose a default workspace type for a collection; delete a shelveset
Create and configure test plans
  • Create test plan properties
    • Select test settings; select configurations; define name, description, area, path and iteration; select test environments; assign build to test plan, including when to assign a build to a plan, compare assigned build to another build, clone test plans and test suites
  • Create test suites
    • Create query-based test suites using hierarchical queries, create requirement-based test suites, create static test suites, copy test suites, create a test suite hierarchy, assign test suite states, clone test suites from the command line, manage test suites by using a web browser
Manage test cases
  • Create test cases
    • Design test cases that have clear and measurable steps, assign test case properties (title, areas and iterations, state, priority, assign to and automation status), add attachments and links, add the test case description and history, add tested requirements, manage test case workflow (state), bulk author test cases by using a grid view
Manage test execution
  • Run tests
    • Run tests with options, create fast forward for manual testing recordings, select fast forward playback options (all steps, multiple steps), set test run states, validate expected results (add comments, snapshots), run tests from a browser, update the status of multiple test cases without opening them in the test runner, customise the test result fields in Microsoft Test Manager (MTM)/web browser, pause and resume tests in MTM/web browser, edit tests inline during test execution, manually test Windows Store apps and review action logs
  • Perform analysis
    • Analyse reports (requirements-user stories), analyse by test suite, analyse by configuration, identify areas where quality is low, identify test plan status, view test plan results in MTM, work with out-of-the-box reports, customise out-of-the-box reports
Define the ALM process
  • Define a scrum/agile process for a team
    • Establish criteria on when to cancel a sprint/iteration, establish tooling and process for scrum/agile artifacts, establish the scrum definition of "done", determine sprint/iteration length, determine how to handle backlog items/user stories not completed in a sprint/iteration, determine how to monitor sprint/iteration progress, use collaborative tools
Define a software iteration
  • Define a project-tracking process
    • Plan and manage a portfolio of multiple projects, identify a project-tracking tool and an associated process (triage process, bug management), define how to manage effort, determine team forecast management, define a prioritisation scheme, determine how to validate project health
Develop customer value with high quality
  • Develop code
    • Develop maintainable code; define coding standards; define application architecture; define configuration management process and tooling, including source control tree, branching strategy, solution structure, source control/check-in policy; manage multiple repositories using Git; use architecture, model and design tools; use quality and diagnostic tools
  • Validate quality
    • Organise test artifacts, such as test cases, suites, plans and requirements; define test strategy; manage test execution; perform cloud-based load testing; identify test types and associated tools; identify and configure environments; analyse test runs
Integrate development and operations
  • Implement an automated deployment process
    • Architect an automated build and deploy workflow, integrate automated tests, automate deployment into both test and production environments, review diagnostic logs for builds, manage releases

Preparation options

Exam prep videos

Microsoft Certification PREP Talk: Exam 70-496

In this episode of Prep tips from certification experts, James Seymour, Certification Planner and Brian Keller, Technical Evangelist, discuss the relevancy of the skills being measured in Exam 70-496.

Microsoft Certification PREP Talk: Exam 70-497

In this episode of Prep tips from certification experts, James Seymour, Certification Planner and Brian Keller, Technical Evangelist, discuss the relevancy of the skills being measured in Exam 70-497.

Microsoft Certification PREP Talk: Exam 70-498

In this episode of Prep tips from certification experts, James Seymour, Certification Planner and Richard Hundhausen, ALM MVP, discuss the relevancy of the skills being measured in Exam 70-498.

Self-paced training

Administering Visual Studio TFS 2012 Jump Start

Learn how to make Team Foundation Server (TFS) better serve your team processes and the ways you communicate, with this course which follows the criteria for Exam 70-496, an important component of the MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) certification. The person who sets up and customises TFS infrastructure can learn how to better define the types of work items available and their attributes to fully leverage the TFS platform for ALM.

Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start

Watch this Jump Start to improve how your team manages test coverage to better mitigate issues throughout your organisation's development process. You can leverage the tools built into Visual Studio 2012 to track back work items and test cases to business goals and measurable requirements to make testing a valuable part of your application lifecycle management (ALM). Join Steven Borg, Co-founder/Strategist at Northwest Cadence, and Anthony Borton, Lead ALM Consultant for Enhance ALM Pty Ltd, for a fast-paced Jump Start tailored for seasoned testers and developers looking to put these skills to use right away.

Applying ALM with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start

This on-demand Jump Start training targets application development teams interested in leveraging Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to improve their development processes and to deliver continuous value with Visual Studio 2012. This fast-paced course is tailored for seasoned developers looking to put these skills to use right away.

From the community

Who should take this exam?

This exam is for individuals looking to maintain their MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management certification. It is based on the exam objectives from 496, 497 and 498.

More information about exams

Preparing for an exam

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.