Microsoft Azure

  • Published:
    February 14, 2011
  • Languages:
  • Audiences:
    Partners, developers
  • Technology:
    Microsoft Azure
  • Credit toward certification:

Pro: Designing and Developing Microsoft Azure Applications

This exam has been retired

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

Skills measured

Design data storage architecture (18%)
  • Choose the approprate data storage model, based on technical requirements
    • SQL Azure, cloud drive, performance, scalability, accessibility from other applications and platforms, Microsoft Azure storage services: blobs, tables, and queues
  • Design a synchronization strategy
    • Synchronize online and offline data by using sync framework and SQL Azure Sync service
  • Plan a cost-effective data architecture based on business requirements
    • Code migration cost, data migration cost, bandwidth cost
  • Design a database migration plan from SQL Server to SQL Azure
    • Differences between SQL Azure and SQL Server, concessions for unsupported features, schema, data, reporting and analytic tooling
  • Plan for media storage and accessibility
    • Media accessibility, global distribution with Content Delivery Network (CDN), blob storage

Preparation resources

Optimize data access and messaging (17%)
  • Optimize a data access strategy
    • Batch operations and performance techniques, data latency due to location, saving bandwidth cost
  • Design a reliable data access layer to access SQL Azure
    • Define client data access standards, connection timeout scenarios
  • Design an efficient strategy to avoid data access throttling
    • Table storage, partition, transaction volumes, SQL Azure CPU throttling, query design
  • Design a queue strategy that guarantees idempotency
    • Multiple processing, multiple consumers, long-running processes
  • Design communication strategies using queues
    • Asynchronous message dispatch, durable message handling, multiple consumers for scalability

Preparation resources

Design the application architecture (19%)
  • Choose appropriate role types for compute instances
    • Difference between web and worker roles, considerations for hosting stand-alone applications, scaling considerations for web and worker roles
  • Optimize worker role design for efficient resource usage
    • Design a worker scheme for handling multiple background tasks, storage
  • Identify performance versus cost trade-offs
    • Number of instances, virtual machine (VM) size, Service Bus connections, geographic location of the resources
  • Choose appropriate ways to respond to Azure Fabric Controller events
    • Instance Start and Run events, instance count change, service configuration changes
  • Develop a plan to migrate existing applications and services
    • Identify dependencies of an existing application that will not translate or will require migration to Azure platform, determine the gap to migrate an existing application to Azure, assess an existing solution for suitability to migrate to Azure

Preparation resources

Preparing for application and service deployment (15%)
  • Choose an appropriate upgrade strategy
    • Upgrade path options, such as staging versus production, port number and protocol, service definition changes, service configuration changes, affinity, upgrade domains, operating system versions
  • Choose the appropriate virtual machine size
    • Local size storage, memory, raw processing power, bandwidth
  • Plan a deployment for the entire application life cycle
    • Azure portal, Microsoft Visual Studio, Service Management API, deploy from build server, manage SSL certificates for hosted services
  • Define a resource-efficient environment for application development and testing
    • Deployment status, hourly metering, difference between DevFabric and AzureFabric
  • Choose a naming scheme for resources
    • Custom domain name, service registry in Service Bus, Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Preparation resources

Investigate and analyze applications (16%)
  • Plan, collect, and interpret diagnostics and instrumentation data
    • Polling frequency, upload frequency, different log types, trace levels
  • Identify SQL Azure performance and storage capacity with Dynamic Management Views
    • Identify long-running queries, monitor connections and capacity, capabilities of the Dynamic Management Views
  • Identify and mitigate deployment and runtime issues for Azure
    • Diagnose Start-Stop cycling, runtime memory issues, examine instrumentation and diagnostic outputs, IntelliTrace, SQL Azure connectivity, access control, Service Bus connectivity, role startup activity

Preparation resources

Design integrated solutions (15%)
  • Design hybrid solutions
    • Cloud bursting, interoperability with non-Microsoft technologies, integrate with existing applications and services not hosted in Azure, Service Bus, publish subscribe
  • Identify and mitigate connectivity issues in hybrid solutions
    • Non-Azure databases and services, relay bindings, connection sizing with Service Bus, store and forward
  • Plan for appropriate access control schemes based on security requirements
    • Identity federation, claims transformation, claims-based security

Preparation resources

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam are architects, senior developers, and development leads who have a working knowledge of the various cloud service models and service model architectures, the synchronization of data, and the security implications of cloud-based applications, in addition to the data storage options available, good resource allocation, and the potential cost impact of different architectural decisions. Candidates also have a working knowledge of deployment models and upgrading, how to migrate existing applications, services, and data diagnostics, and health of applications and services, plus how to integrate Azure applications with external resources. Candidates should have experience in designing applications for hosting on the Azure platform, designing and developing Azure applications, SQL Azure, Azure AppFabric, Windows Communication Foundation, Internet Information Services (IIS), web applications, and identity management.

More information about exams

Preparing for an exam

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize 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.