UPDATE: This is about .NET 2.0 Certification path. Here is the update about the new .NET 3.5 certification path.
Today I was looking for an explanation of the new Microsoft Certification paths, but I was not able to find a brief one and I had to review all the pages on the Microsoft Learning site to have a comparison of them all. Here is what I found:
There are 3 version of MCPD:
MCPD Web Developer
MCPD Windows Developer
MCPD Enterprise Application Developer
The first two certifications (web and windows) consist of 3 exams. Enterprise Application consists of 5 exams.
In order to achieve any of the previous MCPD certification first you need to achieve another certification, which is called MCTS (where TS stands for Technology Specialist)
As for the previous, there are 3 different flavors:
MCTS Web Applications
MCTS Windows Applications
MCTS Distributed Applications
All consists of 2 exams:
70-536: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Application Development Foundation: this covers the NET 2.0 framework in general (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-536.asp)
And then one among the following 3 exams (in order of certification):
70-528: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development: this one covers all ASP.NET 2.0 features(http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-528.asp)
70-526: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Windows-Based Client Development: this covers all WinForm development and databinding stuff
70-529: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Distributed Application Development: this is more about webservices, remoting, WSE3, MessageQueue
Then, to achieve the MCPD you need to pass another exam, which, always in order of certification are:
70-547: Designing and Developing Web Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: this doesn’t cover the basics of the ASP.NET development but tests the knowledge on the analysis, logical design, physical design, user interface design, component design and architecture, testing and deployment of web applications
70-548: Designing and Developing Windows-Based Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: as the 70-547, but focused on windows applications
70-549: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: the same as the above exams, but focusing on both ASP.NET and Windows Applications
In order to become a MCPD Enterprise Application Developer you need to pass all the 4 MCTS exams plus the specific MCPD upgrade.
So, depending on what you want to achieve we have 3 different possible exam paths (in the following list I use Windows Developer, but is the same if you replace Windows with Web):
- MCPD Windows Developer (3 exams)
- MCPD Enterprise Application Developer (5 exams)
- MCPD Windows Developer + MCPD Enterprise Application Developer (6 exams)
They all share the first 2 exams, Application Development Foundation (536) and Windows-Based Client Development (526): that will lead to becoming a MCTS Windows Applications
Then one more exam, Designing and Developing Windows-Based Applications (548) to become a MCPD Windows Developer.
Or the other 2 TS exams Web-Based Client Development (526) and Distributed Application Development (529) and then the Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications (549) to become a MCPD Enterprise Application Developer
Or, if you want to get a “quick” MCPD and later upgrade to the Enterprise Developer, you can start with the first ones and then take the remaining 3 exams (unfortunately the PD upgrade is not the same among the 3 certification paths, so, you end up taking 6 exams )