PL-600: Microsoft Power Platform Solution Architect

Well, it’s FINALLY here. And by finally, I guess I’m saying that I’ve been waiting for this for a while? The PL-600 exam is the new ‘Holy Grail’ for Dynamics 365/Power Platform people, being the Solution Architect (3 star) exam. Ten minutes after it went live, I booked to take it, and four hours after it went live I sat it! (I would have taken it sooner, but had to have supper first, get the kids to bed, etc…)

The first solution architect exam that Microsoft has done in this space has been the MB-600 (see my exam experience write-up on it at MB-600 Solution Architect Exam). However with the somewhat recent shift moving towards certifications for the wider Power Platform, it was inevitable that this exam would change as well.

Interestingly enough, the MB-600 now counts towards some of the Microsoft Partner qualifications. I’d expect that when it retires (currently planned for June 2021), the PL-600 will take the place of it in the required certifications to have.

So, how to discuss it? Well, the obvious first start is to link to the official Microsoft page for it, which is at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/power-platform-solution-architect-expert/. According to the specification for it:

Microsoft Power Platform solution architects lead successful implementations and focus on how solutions address the broader business and technical needs of organizations.
A solution architect has functional and technical knowledge of the Power Platform, Dynamics 365 customer engagement apps, related Microsoft cloud solutions, and other third-party technologies. A solution architect applies knowledge and experience throughout an engagement. The solution architect performs proactive and preventative work to increase the value of the customer’s investment and promote organizational health. This role requires the ability to identify opportunities to solve business problems.
Solution architects have experience across functional and technical disciplines of the Power Platform. Solution architects should be able to facilitate design decisions across development, configuration, integration, infrastructure, security, availability, storage, and change management. This role balances a project’s business needs while meeting functional and non-functional requirements.

So not really changed that much from the MB-600, though obviously there’s now an expectation for solutions to bring in other parts of the Power Platform, as well as dip into Azure offerings as well. Pretty much par for the course, in my experience, with how recent projects that I’ve been on have been implemented.

At the time of writing, there are no official Microsoft Learning paths available to use to study. I do expect this to change in the near future, and will update this article when they’re out. However the objectives/sub-objectives are available to view from the main exam page, and I’d highly recommend going ahead & taking a good look at these.

Passing the exam (along with having either the PL-200 Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant or PL-400: Microsoft Power Platform Developer Exam qualifications as well) will result in a lovely (new) shiny badge. Oh, we do so love those three stars on it!

As in my previous exam posts, I’m going to stress that it’s not permitted to share any of the exam questions. This is in the rules/acceptance for taking the exam. I’ve therefore put an overview of the sorts of questions that came up during my exam. (Note: exams are composed from question banks, so there could be many things that weren’t included in my exam, but could be included for someone else! ). I’ve tried to group things together as best as possible for the different subject areas.

Overall, I had 47 questions, which is around the usual amount that I’ve experienced in my exams over the last year or so. What was slightly unusual was that instead of two case studies, I got three of them! (note that your own experience may likely vary from mine).

Some of the naming conventions weren’t updated to the latest methods, which I would have expected. I still had a few references to ‘entities’ and ‘fields’ come up, though for the most part ‘tables’ and ‘columns’ were used. I guess it’s a matter of time to get everything up to speed with it.

  • Environments
    • Region locations, handling scenarios with multiple countries
    • Analytics
    • Data migrations
  • Requirement Gathering
    • Functional
    • Non-functional
  • Data structure
    • Tables
      • Types of tables
        • Standard vs custom functionality
        • Virtual tables. What these are, when they would be used, limitations to them
        • Activity types
      • Table relationships & behaviours
      • Types of columns, what each one is suited for
      • Business rules. What they are, how they can be used
      • Business process flows. What they are, how they can be used
  • App types (differences between them, scenarios each one is best suited for
    • Model
    • Canvas
    • Portal
  • Model-driven apps
    • Form controls (standard vs custom)
    • Form layout (standard functionality vs custom functionality)
    • Formatting inputs
    • Restricting inputs
  • Automation
    • Power Automate flows. What they are, how they can be used, restrictions with them
    • Azure Logic Apps. What they are, how they can be used, restrictions with them
    • Power Virtual Agents
  • Communication channels
    • Self service abilities through Power Virtual Agent chatbots. How this works, when you’d use them, limitations that exist
    • Live agent abilities through Omnichannel. How this is implemented, how customers can connect to a live agent (directly, as well as through chatbots)
    • Teams. When this can be used, how other platform abilities can be used through it
  • Integration
    • Integration tools
    • Power Platform systems
    • Azure systems
    • Third party systems
    • Reporting across data held in different systems
    • Dynamics 365 API
  • Reporting
    • Power BI. What it is, how it’s used, how it’s configured, limitations with it, how to share information with other users
    • Interactive Dashboards. What these are, how these are set up and used, limitations to them
  • Troubleshooting
    • Canvas app issues
    • Model driven app issues
    • Data migration
  • Security
    • Data Protection. What is it, where it’s set up, how it’s used across different requirements in the platform
    • Types of users (interactive/non-interactive)
    • Azure Active Directory, and the role/s it can play, different types of AAD authentication
    • Power Platform security roles
    • Power Platform security teams, types
    • Portal security
    • Restricting who can view forms
    • Field level security
    • Hierarchy abilities
    • Auditing abilities and controls
    • Portal security

Wow. It’s a lot of stuff. Not that I’m surprised by that, as essentially it’s the sort of thing that I was expecting (being familiar with the MB-600). I think that on a ‘day to day’ basis, I cover most of these items already, so didn’t have to do a massive amount of revision for items that I wasn’t familiar with.

From my experience in taking it, I’d say that around 30% of the questions seemed to be focused on Dynamics 365, with 70% being focused on Power Platform capabilities. It’s about what I thought it would be when the exam was first announced. Obviously some people are more Dynamics 365 focused, and others are more Power Platform focused, but the aim of the exam (& qualification) is to really understand the breadth of the offerings available.

I can’t tell you if I’ve passed it or not…YET!. Results aren’t going to be out for several months, based on previous experience with Beta exams, but I’ve got a good feeling about this.

So, if you’re aiming to take it – I wish you the very best of luck, and let me know your experience!

The post PL-600: Microsoft Power Platform Solution Architect appeared first on The CRM Ninja.

Comment List
Anonymous
Related
Recommended