I recently did the Microsoft MB-600 exam which is the final exam to qualify as Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect Expert which is a bit of a mouthful. I think the title reflects the fact that being a Solution Architect is transitioning from being based on Dynamics 365 to the Power Platform. I would expect the certification title will change to “Power Platform Solution Architect” at some point. While I cannot disclose the content of the exam, having Dynamics 365 in the title should be a good indicator that Dynamics 365 knowledge is required to pass the exam. I do find the Microsoft certification exams challenging and I do enjoy testing my knowledge by doing them. I was happy to pass this one.
This exam is designed to help and equip Solution Architects and potential Solution Architects with the skills and knowledge to implement solutions that address the business and technical needs of organizations. A solution architect is expected to have both technical and functional knowledge of the targetted platforms, which is this case is the Power Platform. In addition, they need to be able to look at the requirements and identify which parts need to be built by using Power Platform or Microsoft Azure.
While preparing for this exam I used the Microsoft Learn site which is a superb learning resource with the added benefit of being completely free. If you are interested in becoming a solution architect on any platform I would recommend doing this online course. While it does focus on the Power Platform there is some great content for Solution Architects especially in relation to soft skills. Communication and soft skills are a major part of being a solution architect and here are some of the areas covered.
- Communication skills – the ability to communicate with people across all levels of the organization
- Questions – understand how open 7 closed questions help elicit information
- Identify Influencers – ability to identify informal influencers in addition to formal stakeholders
One item I feel never gets enough attention when architecting solutions is supportability. It is not part of the MB-600 requirements but I would recommend you familiarize yourself with it. Supportability is a non-functional requirement requiring that any problems are alerted in a timely fashion with sufficient information to help identify and rectify the problem. Your users will get a negative impression of your solution if there are issues with its reliability and the ability to maintain it. Here is a list of considerations with respect to supportability.
- Alert/Monitoring – issues are highlighted in a timely fashion to the correct people.
- Logging – comprehensive details of any issues are logged to help the root cause to be identified
- Resubmission – design the solution so failed components can be resubmitted with significant effort
- Knowledge Transfer – details on how the solutions works is documented and been passed to the support team
- Correlation Identifier Pattern – when integrating use a unique identifier to track end to end integration.