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Microsoft provides free hands-on (gamified) tutorials and free time

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PROTIP: When you pass each exam, Tweet #azurecertified and/or #MicrosoftCertified.

NOTE: Content here are my personal opinions, and not intended to represent any employer (past or present). “PROTIP:” here highlight information I haven’t seen elsewhere on the internet because it is hard-won, little-know but significant facts based on my personal research and experience.

Groupings of Microsoft’s certifications by role and product:

Role Certification exam
Educator * MSE (Microsoft Certified Educator)
* MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer)
* MS "Applied Skills" credentials
* Contributor badges for Microsoft employees
Administrator * AZ-900 Fundamentals
* AZ-104 Azure Administrator Associate
* AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure * AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services
Functional Consultant * AZ-140 Virtual Desktop Specialty
Solution Architect Expert * AZ-305 Azure Solutions Architect
* AZ-303 Azure Solutions Architect Expert: Technologies (retired)
* AZ-304 Azure Solutions Architect Expert: Design (retired)
* AZ-600 Stack Hub Operator Associate
* AZ-120 Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
Networking * AZ-700 Azure Network Engineer Associate
* 98-366 Networking Fundamentals was retired
AI Engineer * AI-900 AI Fundamentals
* AI-100 Azure AI Engineer Associate
* AI-102 Azure AI Engineer
* DP-100 Azure Data Scientist Associate
Data Engineer
Data Scientist
* 98-364 Database Fundamentals MTA was retired June 30, 2022
* DP-900 Azure Data Fundamentals
* DP-100 Azure Data Scientist Associate
* DP-203 Azure Data Engineer Associate (replaces DP-200 & DP-201)
* DP-300 Azure Database Administrator Associate
* DP-420 Azure Cosmos DB Developer Specialty
* DP-500 Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate
* DP-600 Fabric Analytic Engineer Associate
Power Platform * Microsoft Certified Fundamentals (MCF) Power Platform Fundamentals ($20)
* PL-900 Power Platform Fundamentals
* PL-100 Power Platform App-maker Associate
* PL-200 Power Platform Functional Consultant
* PL-300 Power BI Data Analyst Associate
* PL-400 Power Platform Developer
* PL-600 Power Platform Solution Architect Expert
DevOps Engineer * AZ-400 DevOps Engineer Expert
Developer * AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate
* AZ-220 Azure IoT Developer Specialty
Security Certifications * SC-900 Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals
* SC-200 Security Operations Analyst Associate MCT
* SC-300 Identity and Access Administrator Associate MCT
* SC-400 Information Protection Administrator
* AZ-500 Azure Security Engineer Associate MCT
* SC-100 Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect MCT
* 98-367 MTA: Security Fundamentals was retired

Andrew Brown offers this diagram: az-certs-1868x1092.png

VIDEO of Build an Intelligent Bot with Microsoft Azure by Elliott Perry - Chapter 17 of EBOOK: Learn Azure in a Month of 21 Lunches (2020 Manning) by Iain Foulds (@fouldsy), with code at https://github.com/fouldsy/azure-mol-samples-2nd-ed

https://mcptnc.microsoft.com/certificate = Microsoft Learning Certificates earned dashboard


Rebranding to roles

The 70-xx series of Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) retired on January 31, 2021. The 98-xxx series of MTA (Windows Server) exams retired on June 30, 2022. Microsoft continues to retired:

Microsoft Certified Fundamentals are $20 each:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Computational Thinking
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Databases
  • Device Configuration and Management
  • HTML and CSS
  • HTML5 Application development
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Networking
  • Network Security
  • Python
  • Software development

Training vendors

Among https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/partners

Microsoft Learning

docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/azure lists events

  • Virtual Training Days for live sessions with experts and get exam vouchers
  • Ignite conference sessions about new stuff
  • Microsoft Tech Community

Microsoft Events


If your company has a deal with Microsoft:

  1. Microsoft’s Enterprise Skills Initiative. Sign in with your corporate email.
  2. https://esi.microsoft.com/deliverymultiday
  3. Search for a class by checking different roles and time zones.

    • If you’re in Mountain time, a class that starts at 9am Auckland time would be 3pm your time.

    Microsoft Skillpipe online class

  4. PROTIP: Allocate time on your personal calendar to go through the online Skillpipe class before attending the live class. You’ll be less confused and stressed during the class, and enjoy it more.

    CAUTION: The Skillpipe.com provided with registration may not be created to align with the live course’s lab.


    Join live class

    There are two codes that you need to enter.

  5. In the registration email, “click here to join the training” makes use of Microsoft Teams. So install or upgrade it before the class.

    PROTIP: It helps to have a secone screen: one to view instructions, another for notes.

  6. Once in Teams, click Show conversation icon.

    QUESTION: How to get rid of participant list at bottom of screen?

  7. Browser “Join conversation” can be dismissed once you’re in Teams app.
  8. To participate in quizzes menti.com/ is used with a code from trainer.

  9. To redeem training key provided by trainer (such as “E059CE1A”), get to lab: on Chrome open a Guest profile to access

    https://aka.ms/StudentLabs which redicts to

  10. Sign in using your personal email.

  11. When a window pops up at https://labclient.labondemand.com, click the class link.

    PROTIP: Instructor may not provide a file of their PowerPoint file.

    Labs during live class

    PROTIP: Allocate time on your personal calendar to finish or review labs. Notice the 4-day class usually goes Monday-Friday 9am-5pm at the local time zone.

  12. Click blue Launch button at https://esi.learnondemand.net/Lab/… or aka.ms/az500labs

    Redeem Promo Code

  13. Type your Azure Pass Promo Code

    PROTIP: If you already have a code from a previous class within the last month, use that and wait until it runs out to use it.

    PROTIP: CAUTION: This wipes out your existing data with a new storage account.

    It takes several minutes to build your environment so you see a Windows 10 Desktop.

  14. Expand full screen. Click “Next”.

    Follow instructions on the right pane:

  15. Click the Edge browser to open it. CAUTION: You can’t paste in the pop-up, so click the “T” icon to paste into the working screen to go to


  16. Click the blue Start button. Type your Gmail password. Check “Keep me signed in”.
  17. Click “Confirm Microsoft Account >”.
  18. Click the T with the code on the right pane. Click “Claim Promo Code”.
  19. Click the top checkboxes and optionally the second, then “Sign Up”.
  20. Wait for “Setting up your account” to disappear before the Windows 10 Desktop pops up in a new browser window without tabs or URL field.

  21. PROTIP: Click the Window menu item at the top of the display to see a list of windows.

    The Azure Portal is in the “Module …” window.

  22. Switch to your email client to see subject “Your Azure subscription is ready”.

    PROTIP: Don’t click on the “Go to “ button because it will be opened on whatever browser is currently active, which is not necessarily the browser window you want.

  23. CLick “+” on the browser to open a new tab to check your $100 spend and remaining balance at

    https://www.microsoftazuresponsorships.com/balance using your personal email account.

    Notice that the Subscription is “Azure pass - Sponsorship”.

  24. In the lab, click the working form field you want to fill before clicking the “T” icon to paste into the working screen.

    CAUTION: You can’t paste from your regular Clipboard into the class VM.

    CAUTION: The Skillpipe “book” usually does NOT match the PowerPoint presented during the class. And the PowerPoint files shown are not provided to students.

  25. If your lab becomes frozen, Reconnect:


  26. To search within lab instructions, see GitHub (such as https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ500-AzureSecurityTechnologies or https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-303-Microsoft-Azure-Architect-Technologies). Look at labs there if you can’t access the course’s lab environment.

  27. Challenge labs you get 3 chances. You can’t pause.

  28. Replace Internet Explorer, but don’t install “Edge” from webpage. Install Download Edge browser
  29. Click channel/version to select top choice.
  30. Click BUILD to select the top choice.
  31. Click PLATFORM to select Windows 64 bit.
  32. Click DOWNLOAD.
  33. Click Save.
  34. Click Run and wait for the pop-up while downloading.
  35. Click “Enable” to “The ‘IEToEdge BHO’ add-on from ‘Microsoft Corporate’ is ready for use.”
  36. Click CLOSE

  37. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/features/storage-explorer/

  38. Provide instruction feedback to https://aka.ms/MakeUsBetter

James Lee

James Lee (from Brisbane, Australia) has built a Tech Study Stack community as he created videos on YouTube and Cloudlee.io.

He left ACloudGuru to join his fellow Australian behind the firewall at learn.cantrill.io.

  • Getting Started with Azure
  • Getting Started with Microsoft DevOps
  • Microsoft DevOps Engineer (AZ-400)
  • Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-104)
  • AZ-305 Azure Solutions Architect

Cloud Academy

PROTIP: I think CloudAcademy.com provides a thorough approach to both pratical hands-on learning and prepare for exams. They have pre-defined set of hands-on labs, each about 1-2 hours long.

CloudAcademy also has quizzes.

If you want time on servers (one hour at a time), subscribe to CloudAcademy.com

See my step-by-step advice for using CloudAcademy’s Azure environment.


Free 3-Hour video course on FreeCodeCamp.org by Andrew Brown of ExamPro


https://www.coursera.org/specializations/microsoft-azure-fundamentals-az-900 $49/month after 7 days free.


Offers cloud time

A Cloud Guru & Linux Academy

ACloudGuru.com (formerly ACloud.guru) offers cloud time with premium subscriptions. In 2019 they purchased LinuxAcademy.com


https://www.edx.org/learn/azure by the High School of Digital Culture (ITMO University, Russia) is $149 for those who want quizzes and a completion certificate.

Their Introduction to Machine Learning covers:

  • Regression
  • Classifiers: k-NN and Naive Bayes
  • Classifiers: Logistic Regression
  • Clustering: K-Means, Agglomerative

Their Advanced covers

  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA)
  • Support Vector Machine (SVM)
  • Entropy. Decision Trees (DTs)
  • Ensemble Learning
  • Reinforcement Learning



Microsoft Exams

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/dashboard.aspx is where you start exams and get certificate pdfs (suitable for framing) and badge images.

Azure Subscription Service Limits

MCE (Microsoft Certified Educator)

The Microsoft Certified Coach launched in 2023. $595 sessions were held by i2e in several major cities, plus Apr 13-15 in Edinburgh, UK and June 20-21 2024 in Denver.

For $90 ($70.20 with CODE-32547049), answer __% of 35-42 questions in 60 minutes $127 Exam 62-193.

This is about giving a 21st century context using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a base:

  • Interpret: Students interpret charts and graphs, translate verbal material into mathematical formulas.

  • Analyze: This involves breaking down information to look at relationships, such as analyzing, appraising, categorizing, comparing, contrasting, and experimenting.

  • Synthesize: Students combine parts to form a new whole, like arranging, assembling, composing, constructing, creating, designing, and formulating.

  • Evaluate: This step involves making judgments based on evidence found. Students may appraise, argue, assess, choose, compare, conclude, contrast, describe, evaluate, explain, interpret, relate, summarize, and support their judgments.

Rubrics, decision trees, anchor lessons for 21st Century Learning Design (21CLD) were created by SRI-developed ITL (Innovative Teaching and Learning).

REMEMBER: MS-LEARN: Each of six dimensions in the 21CLD framework begin at level 1 (there is no zero level):

  • Knowledge construction - learners go beyond memorizing information to 2: requires interpret, analyze, synthesize, evaluate 3: as a main requirement 4: in a new context 5: that’s multi-subject and interdisciplinary.

  • Collaboration - learners 2: work together, 3: share responsibility, 4: make substantive decisions together, 5: work is interdependent.

  • 21CLD-realworld-256x256.pngReal-world problem-solving and innovation</a> - 2: problem-solving activities that are 3: real-world (authentic, non-fictional) situations that 4: innovate and communicated to someone outside of an academic context who can implement them. (No 5)

  • Skilled communication - produce 2: extended or multi-modal communication 3: using evidence to support their ideas 4: customized for a particular audience. (No 5)

  • Self-regulation - work on an activity for 2: a long-term activity with learning goals and success criteria 3: plan their work and 4: revise their work based upon their own reflection and feedback from others (peers, educators, or experts). (No 5)

  • Digital ICT (technology) integration: 2: optionally use ICT to learn basic skills 3: optionally use ICT to support knowledge construction 4: ICT required to support knowledge construction, then 5: create an ICT product for authentic users.


  • Microsoft Edge Collections to organize research & Translator add-on
  • Bing
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft ToDo
  • Microsoft Forms to conduct surveys
  • Microsft Edge Collections,
  • OneNote Class Notebooks,
  • SmartArt in Word & PowerPoint,
  • Microsoft Teams Channels & Files
  • Flip video production,
  • Microsoft Sway canvases,
  • Microsoft Voice Recorder podcasts).
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Planner

  • Minecraft is referenced (it’s Java programming).
  • Makecode Arcade
  • Microbit hardware is used to demonstrate knowledge construction.

Anchor lessons

Below are practical:

The American Dream - Let America Be America Again

Collaborative Coding with MakeCode Arcade

Modifying recipes with math skills

Growth mindset: How it can help us learn

Please Please the Bees

Guerilla Marketing Campaign

Design a Catapult

Doing Business in Birmingham

Great Train Internet

House on Mango Street

Indigenous Cultures

Munting Mungo

Mr. Sun E. Day

Olympics Site Selection

Falklands War

School Change

Erosional Landforms

Tree Word Scramble

Other info:



Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ACTS21S) Framework Ways of thinking, ways of working, tools for working, and living in the world

All questions are in their own section: you cannot go back to a previous section.

Learning materials

It is the start to Microsoft Advanced Educator, Microsoft Educator Trainer, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. PDF: Exam 62-193 is about Technology Literacy for Educators.

VIDEOS: https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us

CertPREP Practice Tests, powered by GMetrix:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQk2O3LiBIs Nicos Paphitis
  • https://www.edukinect.com/products/1-mce-practice-test-single-user $15.50 for 30 accesses
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDXWg1-yLIM
  • download

  • https://www.coursocity.com/course-details/6
  • https://myedusolve.com/certifications/microsoft-certified-educator
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQUVW473VlQ
  • https://www.i2e-llc.com/21st-century-learning-design/
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/21st-century-digital-literacy-tobias-koprowski/

NOTE: “MCE” is also the acronym for the Microsoft Certified Expert Cybersecurity Architect certification.

MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer)

This certification is granted to those who have passed at least one of the advanced certifications above. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/credentials/certifications/mct-certification

Microsoft Certified Trainers get 75% off exam fees. But there is a $800 annual fee to be MCT, and an initial $1000 join fee.


MS “Applied Skills” credentials


Contributor badges

VIDEO: Microsoft offers Contributor, Evangelist, Leader, and Expert badges on Credly.com in their Contributor Recognition Program, which incentivizes subject matter experts in various technical roles across Microsoft to create high quality deliverables to docs.microsoft.com. The goal is to excite non-technical writers to contribute content even if it is outside of the scope of their role.


  • Architecture Center
  • Database Docs
  • Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure
  • Well-Architected Framework (2022)
  • Well-Architected Framework (Refresh)

AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals


PROTIP: AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is not a required prerequisite for any associate or expert certification.

MS Videos

It’s less expensive than other AZ exams ($65 vs. $165).

It’s worth considering if you are new to Microsoft exams. It builds confidence with Microsoft and Pearson/Vue exam-taking process.

Passing AZ 900 demonstrates broad understanding of cloud concepts: availability, fault tolerance, public/private/hybrid cloud, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS

Andrew Brown, who also offers Exampro prep course for $29/month, shows that (by skipping the repeatition of topics), a good summary can be done in a 3 hour VIDEO (with ads but great diagrams). It’s done through FreeCodeCamp.orgHis advice: “Study 1-3 hours a day, every day”.

CloudAcademy.com includes time on servers (one hour at a time).

Ravikirans answers Whizlabs 55 questions

AZ-900 15 questions from WhizLabs

Quizlet flash cards

7-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

AZ-103 Azure Administrator Associate

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104 on August 31, 2020 replaced exam AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator which had superceded retired exams AZ-100 and AZ-101.

MS Videos


VIDEO: AZ-103 vs AZ-104

AZ-104 Azure Administrator Associate

Be designated a Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate by passing one test.


Pearson Practice Test

https://microsoftlearning.github.io/AZ-104-MicrosoftAzureAdministrator are the labs used during Microsoft’s live classes. Its source is at https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-104-MicrosoftAzureAdministrator

Prerequisites for Azure administrators

Manage Azure identities and governance:

Implement and manage storage:

Deploy and manage Azure compute resources:

Create and manage virtual networking:

Configure and manage virtual networking:

Monitor and back up Azure resources:

VIDEO: AZ-104 Projects by MadeByGPS Gwyneth Peña-Siguenza. She sells her diagram for $10.

Microsoft’s tutorial provides more managerial aspects (such as governance) than others.

A search of Microsoft Learn for “Administrator” and “Azure” 82 yielded 317 modules over 14 pages (at time of writing). Most of them focus on a specific service/product:

Video Lectures:

  1. 11 hour VIDEO: course on FreeCodeCamp.org on YouTube by Andrew Brown offering his ExamPro.

    PROTIP: I got a YouTube subscription to download videos for watching offline, so I can listen while I drive through spotty cell coverage areas.

DEFUNCT: Tim Warner and Mike Pfeiffer’s CloudSkills.io after collecting $1,000 from students before shutting down in 2021. We felt cheated. Tim Warner:


  1. Michael J. Shannon takes a deep dive on a lightboard in 9+ hours of videos with transcript from OReilly

K21Academy AZ-104: what You Need To Know

Niraj Kumar, founder of Azureezy.com, https://t.me/AzureTalk, has Telegram chat with his series on YouTube Jul 21, 2020 with slidedecks here:

Chris Wahl (twitch.tv/wahlnetwork)

Susanth Sutheesh

The Tech BlackBoard

On ACloudGuru.com/LinuxAcademy.com:

https://app.pluralsight.com/paths/certificate/microsoft-azure-administrator-az-104 by Tim Warner and Michael Teske

Flash cards:

Sample tests:

Practice Test (from MeasureUp) that feels just like the actual test, if you are enrolled in Microsoft’s Enterprise Skills Initiative.

After sign-up, you get an email to register an account https://www.skillpipe.com then paste the license key from the email to redeem it on your bookshelf, where you take the course.

from The Tech BlackBoard by Vipin Vij.

AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/credentials/certifications/exams/az-800 For $165, answer 70% of Take free recert after one year.

The Windows Server hybrid administrator installs, manages, maintains, and troubleshoots Windows Server 2022 systems both on-premises and in Microsoft Azure.


https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2226877 Exam Sandbox (8 hours for 10 questions)

https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/administering-windows-server-hybrid-core-infrastructure-az-800 consists of several courses of 1-2 hours each,, by Tim Warner:

  1. Administering Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Core Infrastructure
  2. Deploy and Manage Active Directory Domain Services and cloud environments (30-35%)
  3. Manage Windows Servers and workloads in Hybrid Environments (10-15%)
  4. Manage Virtual Machines and Containers (15-20%)
  5. Implement and Manage On-premises and Hybrid Networking Infrastructure (15-20%)
  6. Manage Storage and File Services (15-20%)

AZ-801 Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/credentials/certifications/exams/az-801 For $165, answer 70% of deploy, package, secure, update, and configure Windows Server workloads using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies coving identity, security, management, compute, networking, storage, monitoring, high availability, and disaster recovery.

  1. Secure Windows Server on-premises and hybrid infrastructures (25–30%)
  2. Implement and manage Windows Server high availability (10–15%)
  3. Implement disaster recovery (10–15%)
  4. Migrate servers and workloads (20–25%)
  5. Monitor and troubleshoot Windows Server environments (20–25%)

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/training/courses/az-801t00</a> Microsoft’s 4-day live course covers a different set of topics?

  1. Secure Windows Server user accounts
  2. Hardening Windows Server
  3. Windows Server update management
  4. Secure Windows Server DNS
  5. Implement Windows Server IaaS VM network security

    These files are referenced by the LABS for the class:

  6. Windows Server security Lab: Configuring security in Windows Server [Solution]

  7. Implementing Security Solutions in Hybrid Scenarios Lab: Implementing Security Solutions in Hybrid Scenarios [Solution]

  8. High availability in Windows Server Lab: Implementing failover clustering [Solution]

  9. Disaster Recovery in Windows Server Lab: Implementing Hyper-V Replica and Windows Server Backup [Solution]

  10. Planning and implementing migration and recovery services in hybrid scenarios Lab: Implementing Azure-based recovery services [Solution]

  11. Upgrade and migrate in Windows Server Lab: Upgrade and migrate in Windows Server [Solution]

  12. Design for Migration Lab: Migrating Hyper-V VMs to Azure by using Azure Migrate [Solution]

  13. Monitoring, performance, and troubleshooting Lab: Monitoring and troubleshooting Windows Server [Solution]

  14. Implementing operational monitoring in hybrid scenarios Lab: Implementing operational monitoring in hybrid scenarios [Solution]


Crash Course by Tim Warner referencing his github repo.


https://www.pluralsight.com/cloud-guru/courses/az-801-configuring-windows-server-hybrid-advanced-services 14h video by Alex Potasnick, Chase Dovey, Clint Bonnett


https://www.udemy.com/course/az-801-configuring-windows-hybrid-advanced-service-exam-2023 Practice Tests

MS-500 Microsoft 365 Security Admin


https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/MS-500-Microsoft-365-Security MS-500 Microsoft 365 Security Administrator courses


on Udemy: Microsoft 365 Security Administration (Exam MS-500)

https://spvlad.com/2OxcZIJ Planning and Designing Microsoft 365 Identity Strategy

VIDEO: Protecting Devices and Applications in Microsoft 365 By Robert McMillen



MS-700 Microsoft Teams Administrator

4-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

Power Platform certifications

As with other fundamentals certifications, it’s $99 for

$165 for more advanced certs:

  • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/exams/pl-200 Power Platform Functional Consultant

  • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/exams/pl-400 Power Platform Developer

  • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/exams/pl-100 Power Platform App-maker

  • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/exams/pl-600 Power Platform Solution Architect Expert

Ravikiran specializes in sample exams for the above.

5-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

AZ-400 DevOps Engineer Expert

A pre-requisite is AZ-104 OR AZ-204 to get this Expert certification.


https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-400 was updated March 23, 2021

Video classes:


5-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

Security Certifications

PROTIP: See my blog on security certifications at

SC-900 Security

SC-900 takes 60 minutes to answer 50 single-line mulitple-choice questions about features (not configuration). Includes M365 Defender and Compliance Center.


  • Manage identity and access (20-25%)
  • Implement platform protection (35-40%)
  • Secure data and applications (30-35%)
  • Manage security operations (15-20%)



Taking this one SC-200 exam makes you a Microsoft Security Operations Analyst.

This exam measures your ability to mitigate threats using Microsoft 365 Defender, Azure Defender, and Azure Sentinel SIEM/SOAR.

Class SC-200T00 has these hands-on labs:

  1. Module 1 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Explore Microsoft 365 Defender
  2. Module 2 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  3. Module 2 - Lab 1 - Exercise 2 - Mitigate Attacks with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  4. Module 3 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Enable Microsoft Defender for Cloud
  5. Module 3 - Lab 1 - Exercise 2 - Mitigate threats using Microsoft Defender for Cloud
  6. Learning Path 4 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Create queries for Microsoft Sentinel using Kusto Query Language (KQL)
  7. Module 5 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Configure your Microsoft Sentinel environment
  8. Module 6 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Connect data to Microsoft Sentinel using data connectors
  9. Module 6 - Lab 1 - Exercise 2 - Connect Windows devices to Microsoft Sentinel using data connectors
  10. Module 6 - Lab 1 - Exercise 3 - Connect Linux hosts to Microsoft Sentinel using data connectors
  11. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 8 - Create workbooks
  12. Module 6 - Lab 1 - Exercise 4 - Connect Threat intelligence to Microsoft Sentinel using data connectors
  13. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - [Modify] Activate a Microsoft Security rule
  14. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 2 - Create a Playbook
  15. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 3 - Create a Scheduled Query
  16. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 4 - Understand Detection Modeling (Attacks)
  17. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 5 - Conduct [perform simulated] attacks
  18. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 6 - Create Detections
  19. Module 7 - Lab 1 - Exercise 8 - Investigate Incidents
  20. Create ASIM parsers
    • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sentinel/normalization-about-schemas
    • https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sentinel/normalization
    • https://aka.ms/SecurityCommunity
  21. Module 8 - Lab 1 - Exercise 1 - Perform Threat Hunting in Microsoft Sentinel
  22. Module 8 - Lab 1 - Exercise 2 - Hunt Threats using Notebooks with Microsoft Sentinel

Exam prep:

  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-sc-200/
  • https://www.whizlabs.com/microsoft-security-operations-analyst-sc-200/



FREE: https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/SC-300-Identity-and-Access-Administrator has 31 labs at time of writing:


SC-400 Microsoft Information Protection Administrator

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/sc-400 “Implement information protection; implement data loss prevention; and implement information governance.”

https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/SC-400T00A-Microsoft-Information-Protection-Administrator has 13 labs at time of writing:


AZ-500 Security certification

VIDEO: To be a Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate, read modules and pass Microsoft Azure Security Technologies domains:

Hands-on labs download zip on GitHub:

Group 1: Manage identity and access (30-35%)

  • Manage Azure AD Identities
  • Manage Azure AD Secure Access
  • Manage Application Access
  • Manage Access Control

01). Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

  1. Create the Senior Admins group with the user account Joseph Price as its member (the Azure portal).
  2. Create the Junior Admins group with the user account Isabel Garcia as its member (PowerShell).
  3. Create the Service Desk group with the user Dylan Williams as its member (Azure CLI).
  4. Assign the Virtual Machine Contributor role to the Service Desk group.

  • Azure Policy
  • Resource Manager Locks
  • MFA, Conditional Access (and AAD/Entra Identity Protection)
    1. Deploy an Azure VM by using an Azure Resource Manager template
    2. Implement Azure MFA
    3. Implement Azure AD Conditional Access Policies
    4. Implement Azure AD Identity Protection

  • Azure AD Privileged Identity Management
    1. Configure PIM users and roles.
    2. Activate PIM roles with and without approval.
    3. Create an Access Review and review PIM auditing features.

Group 2: Security networking (15-20%)

Implement platform protection
  • Implement Azure Firewall [Network] Security (+)
  • Implement Network Load Balancer Security (+)
  • Implement Storage and Application Security (+)
  • Implement Virtual Network Security

  • Configure Advanced Security for Compute
  • Configure Data Encryption (+)

  • Implement Directory Synchronization
    1. Deploy an Azure VM hosting an Active Directory domain controller
    2. Create and configure an Azure Active Directory tenant
    3. Synchronize Active Directory forest with an Azure Active Directory tenant

02). Network Security Groups and Application Security Groups

  1. Create the virtual networking infrastructure
  2. Deploy virtual machines and test the network filters

Group 3: Manage security operations (25-30%)

  • Configure Centralized Policy Management
  • Configure and Manage Threat Protection
  • Configure and Manage Security Monitoring Solutions

  1. Azure Firewall
    1. Deploy and test an Azure Firewall

03). Azure Firewall

  1. Deploy and test an Azure Firewall

04). Configuring and Securing ACR and AKS

  1. Deploy the base infrastructure from an ARM template
  2. Configure the Key Vault resource with a key and a secret
  3. Configure an Azure SQL database and a data-driven application
  4. Demonstrate the use of Azure Key Vault in encrypting the Azure SQL database

Group 4: Secure compute, storage, and databases (25-30%)

Secure data and applications
  • Configure Security for Storage
  • Configure Security for Data
  • Configure and Manage Azure Key Vault

05). Securing Azure SQL Database

06). Service Endpoints and Securing Storage

07). Key Vault (Implementing Secure Data by setting up Always Encrypted)
1. Deploy the base infrastructure from an ARM template 2. Configure the Key Vault resource with a key and a secret 3. Configure an Azure SQL database and a data-driven application 4: Demonstrate the use of Azure Key Vault in encrypting the Azure SQL database

08). Azure Monitor
1. Collect data from an Azure virtual machine with Azure Monitor

09). Microsoft Defender for Cloud

10). Microsoft Sentinel (SIEM/SOAR)

Prep for AZ-500:

CloudAcademy.com learning path

VIDEO: Study Cram by John Savill

Tim Warner’s material is great for review:

Others on OReilly:

Sample tests:


7-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

SC-100 Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect

PDF: SC-100 takes 2 hours to answer 70% of 48 single-line mulitple-choice questions about features (not configuration). Questions include M365 Defender and Compliance Center, so first earn ONE of SC-200, SC-300, AZ-500, or MS-500.

The Microsoft cybersecurity architect has subject matter expertise in designing and evolving the cybersecurity strategy to protect an organization’s mission and business processes across all aspects of the enterprise architecture. The cybersecurity architect designs a Zero Trust strategy and architecture, including security strategies for data, applications, access management, identity, and infrastructure. The cybersecurity architect also evaluates Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies and security operations strategies.

The cybersecurity architect continuously collaborates with leaders and practitioners in IT security, privacy, and other roles across an organization to plan and implement a cybersecurity strategy that meets the business needs of an organization.

A candidate for this exam should have advanced experience and knowledge in a wide range of security engineering areas including identity and access, platform protection, security operations, securing data and securing applications. They should also have experience with hybrid and cloud implementations.

PDF: Free tutorials:

  1. PREP: Design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture (30–35%)
  2. PREP: Evaluate Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies and security operations strategies (10–15%)
  3. PREP: Design security for infrastructure (10–15%)
  4. PREP: Design a strategy for data and applications (15–20%)
  5. PREP: Recommend security best practices and priorities (20–25%)

https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/SC-100-Microsoft-Cybersecurity-Architect has these hands-on labs:

  1. Case study introduction (Tailwind Traders)
  2. Build overall security strategy (MCRA for MFA)
  3. Design security operations strategy
  4. Design identity security strategy

  5. Evaluate a regulatory compliance strategy
  6. Evaluate security posture and recommend technical strategies

  7. Understand architecture best practices
  8. Design a strategy for securing server and client endpoints
  9. Design a strategy for security PaaS, IaaS and SaaS services
  10. Specify security requirements for applications
  11. Design a strategy for securing data

  12. Best practices with MCRA and MCSB
  13. Secure methodology with CAF
  14. Ransomware strategy


Prevent IDOR (Insecure Direct Object Reference)

AZ-140 Azure Desktop Speciality

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-140 exam is new as of March 29, 2021.

What is Windows Desktop? (not Windows Virtual Desktop classic).

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a desktop and app virtualization service that runs on the Azure cloud. It works with Office 365 ProPlus. It competes with Citrix stateful VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

  • https://www.clouddesktoponline.com/what-is-windows-virtual-desktop-wvd/
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-desktop/
  • https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/modern-desktop/enterprise/windows-virtual-desktop

Skills the exam measures:

  • Plan a Windows Virtual Desktop architecture - ARM VM host pool
  • Implement a Windows Virtual Desktop infrastructure. test from the Azure Gallery.
  • Manage access and security
  • Manage user environments and RemoteApp Groups and programs
  • Monitor and maintain a Windows Virtual Desktop infrastructure Host pool

Sample examples:

  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-az-140/

MS-900 Office 365 Fundamentals

Carla Jenkins recommends this because Azure security exams cover 365 as well.




4-hour AGuideToCloud video class by Susanth Sutheesh

AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Pass this one exam to become a “Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate”.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-204 formally defines the test and provides textual tutorial. The test is about development in .Net C#, Python, Bash Shell, PowerShell.

PROTIP: Skylines Academy videos on OReilly I think are the most thorough and best sequenced courses (and I’ve seen them all).

Develop Azure compute solutions (25-30%)

Develop for Azure storage (15-20%)

Implement Azure security (20-25%)

Monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions (15-20%)

Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services (15-20%)

Microsoft’s hands-on 4-day live class makes use of files from https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-204-DevelopingSolutionsforMicrosoftAzure described in steps at aka.ms/az204labs

  1. Create Azure App Service Web Apps
  2. Implement Azure functions
  3. Develop solutions that use blob storage
  4. Develop solutions that use Cosmos DB storage
  5. Implement IaaS solutions
  6. Implement secure cloud solutions
  7. Implement user authentication and authorization
  8. Implement API Management
  9. Develop event-based solutions
  10. Develop message-based solutions
  11. Instrument solutions to support monitoring and logging
  12. Integrate caching and content delivery within solutions

ACloudGuru.com’s FREE 8.6 hour video course by Daniel Stinchcomb includes quizzes and a practice exam.

CloudAcademy’s 23h video course provides labs:

Pluralsight’s video course Includes:

  • https://app.pluralsight.com/paths/certificate/developing-solutions-for-microsoft-azure-az-204

https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-204-DevelopingSolutionsforMicrosoftAzure has these hands-on labs:

Coursera’w AZ-204 class

  1. 17 hr Create Serverless Applications
  2. 10 hr Connect Your Services with Microsoft Azure Service Bus
  3. 15 hr Data Storage in Microsoft Azure for Associate Developers
  4. 08 hr Deploy a website with Azure Virtual Machines
  5. 10 hr Manage Resources in Azure
  6. 08 hr Deploy a website to Azure with Azure App Service
  7. 09 hr Secure your Cloud Data
  8. 07 hr Prepare for AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure


  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-az-204/
  • https://www.udemy.com/course/exam-microsoft-azure-dev/ by Alan Rodrigues

Azure Solution Architect Expert

Passing the AZ-303 and the less hands-on AZ-304 Microsoft Azure Architect Design (blueprints) makes you a “Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert”.

The difference between AZ-303 and 304, conceptually: az-303-304-1037x429

“Azure Architects translate business requirements into secure and reliable recommendations for infrastructure, governance, high availability, cost optimization, and data integration. Skills include recommending solutions for logging, multi-factor authentication, SSO, hybrid identity, backup and recovery, containers, microservices, monitoring, automation, networking, and application infrastructure.”


Training vendors:

Atul Kumar’s K21Academy has a 12 weekend AZ-303/304 course with 27 hands-on labs, job prep & on-job support for one year on their @k2microsoftazure Telegram and WhatsApp. All after full-pressure marketing. az-k21-303-304-1536x627.png

AZ-303 Azure Architect Technologies

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-303 is the official description ($165 for 2-3 hours) and text tutorial.

NOTE: AZ-303 replaces AZ-300, and AZ-104 is not a pre-requisite but covers same topics more conceptually than this.

Microsoft’s 4-day live class covers these modules, with lab scenarios defined in https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-303-Microsoft-Azure-Architect-Technologies

  1. Implement Azure Active Directory
  2. Implement and Manage Hybrid Identities
  3. Implement Virtual Networking
  4. Implement VMs for Windows and Linux
  5. Implement Load Balancing and Network Security

    LAB: Implementing Highly Available Azure IaaS Compute Architecture

  6. Implement Storage Accounts

    LAB: Implementing and Configuring Azure Storage File and Blob Services

  7. Implement NoSQL Databases
  8. Automate Deployment and Configuration of Resources
  9. Implement and Manage Azure Governance Solutions LAB: Managing Azure Role-Based Access Control

  10. Manage Security for Applications
  11. Manage Workloads in Azure

    LAB: Protecting Hyper-V VMs by using Azure Site Recovery

  12. Implement Container-Based Applications

  13. Implement an Application Infrastructure

    LAB: Implementing an Azure App Service Web App with a Staging Slot and

    LAB: Configuring a Message-Based Integration Architecture

  14. Implement Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring

14h videos on OReilly: Skylines Academy Oct 2020 by Nick Colyer (who have a StudyGroup on Facebook)

6 hr LIVE on OReilly: Tim Warner teaches to his GitHub repo which includes a full diagram.

AZ-303 Part 5 - Preparing for the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Exam

AZ-303 Sample Exam Questions (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies) [Answers Explained in Detail] by R A V I K I R A N S

Practice tests:

Clickbait videos with no unique content:

Anthony James at LinuxAcademy:

AZ-305 Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Pre-requisite is passing AZ-104 before registering for this exam.

This $165 exam takes 120 minutes to answer 40-60 business case scenario (case study) questions. Valid for 1 year.

Microsft’s AZ-305 exam/learnings page includes textual tutorials and hands-on labs for each silll measured:


AZ-305: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Crash Course by Tim Warner references


Practice tests:

AZ-304 Azure Architect Design

This exam was retired.

Passing this and the more hands-on AZ-303 makes you a “Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert”.

Microsft’s AZ-304 exam page includes textual tutorials and hands-on labs. The exam is 120 minutes to answer 40-60 business case scenario (case study) questions.

  • Design monitoring (10-15%)
  • Design identity and security (25-30%)
  • Design data storage (15-20%)
  • Design business continuity (10-15%)
  • Design infrastructure (25-30%)

Links to Microsoft docs for each item in the syllubus are detailed by azurebarry.com, who created a video class on Pluralsight

  • Cost Optimization (cheapest approach)
  • Migration Planning
  • Governance
  • Data Integration
  • Application Architecture

Labs created by Microsoft for its live classes at https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning/AZ-304-Microsoft-Azure-Architect-Design :

  1. Module 1 Design a Compute Solution
  2. Module 2 Design a Network Solution
  3. Module 3 Design for Migration

    3. Migrating Hyper-V VMs to Azure by using Azure Migrate

  4. Module 4 Design Authentication and Authorization

    4. Managing Azure AD Authentication and Authorization using PowerShell through a Bastion blade, using Azure AD Premium P2 licensing to integrate an AD DS forest with an Azure AD tenant with Azure AD Connect, all to set conditional access.

  5. Module 5 Design Governance

  6. Module 6 Design a Solution for Databases

    6. Implementing Azure SQL Database-Based Applications: Create Azure SQL Database. Connect to it. Query it using a .NET Core console app behind a firewall.

  7. Module 7 Select an Appropriate Storage Account

  8. Module 8 Design Data Integration

  9. Module 9 Design a Solution for Logging and Monitoring

  10. Module 10 Design a Solution for Backup and Recovery

  11. Module 11 Design for High Availability

  12. Module 12 Design for Cost Optimization

  13. Module 13 Design an Application Architecture

    13. Implement Azure Logic Apps Integration with Azure Event Grid which uses PowerShell to create Resource Groups and Encrypt Passwords.

  14. Module 14 Design Security for Applications

Others courses on AZ-304:

Exam prep:

  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-az-304/


https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/credentials/certifications/exams/az-700/ It’s a 2-hour exam with 40-60 questions. Valid for 1-year, with free renewal every 2 years.

Those who are lucky enough to take Microsoft’s instructor-led class, it makes use of exercise files and this curriculum:

Introduction to Azure Virtual Networks

  • M01 - Unit 4 Design and implement a Virtual Network in Azure
  • M01 - Unit 6 Configure DNS settings in Azure
  • M01 - Unit 8 Connect two Azure Virtual Networks using global virtual network peering

Design and implement hybrid networking

  • M02 - Unit 3 Create and configure a virtual network gateway
  • M02 - Unit 7 Create a Virtual WAN by using Azure Portal

Design and implement Azure ExpressRoute

  • M03 - Unit 4 Configure an ExpressRoute Gateway
  • M03 - Unit 5 Provision an ExpressRoute circuit

Load balancing non-HTTP(S) traffic in Azure

  • M04 - Unit 4 Create and configure an Azure load balancer
  • M04 - Unit 6 Create a Traffic Manager profile using the Azure portal

Load balancing HTTP(S) traffic in Azure

  • M05 - Unit 4 Deploy Azure Application Gateway
  • M05 - Unit 6 Create a Front Door for a highly available web application using the Azure portal

Design and implement network security

  • M06 - Unit 4 Configure DDoS Protection on a virtual network using the Azure portal
  • M06 - Unit 7 Deploy and configure Azure Firewall using the Azure portal
  • M06 - Unit 9 Secure your virtual hub using Azure Firewall Manager

Design and implement private access to Azure Services

  • M07 - Unit 5 Restrict network access to PaaS resources with virtual network service endpoints
  • M07 - Unit 6 Create an Azure private endpoint using Azure PowerShell

Design and implement network monitoring

  • M08 - Unit 3 Monitor a load balancer resource using Azure Monitor

Implement network segmentation patterns on Azure

My https://wilsonmar.github.io/azure-networking

3. Migrating Hyper-V VMs to Azure by using Azure Migrate

OReilly 2-day Bootcamp has pdf of slides and Q&A at https://github.com/zaalion/oreilly-az-700 and pptx at https://github.com/zaalion/oreilly-az-500.

John Savill’s 1-hour YouTube.

The class is by Reza Salehi, author of “Azure Cookbook” and “Azure Networking Cookbook on OReilly”.


https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/az-700-exam-preparation-designing-and-implementing-microsoft-azure-networking-solutions-4445/ 31 hours


Routing to separate pages for AI Engineer:


AI-900 AI Fundamentals

AI-102 (formerly AI-100)

AI-100 Azure AI Engineer Associate AI-102 Azure AI Engineer

DP-100 Data Scientist Associate

DP-100 Azure Data Scientist Associate

DP-200 Implementing-an-Azure-Data-Solution



Live online training course with Reza Salehi on O’Reilly:

DP-203 Azure Data Engineer Associate

To be a Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate”, pass the single DP-203 (beta released February 23, 2021):

  • Design and implement data storage (40-45%)
  • Design and develop data processing (25-30%)
  • Design and implement data security (10-15%)
  • Monitor and optimize data storage and data processing (10-15%)

PROTIP: I attended Microsoft’s 4-day live DP-203T00 class by Tammy R Smith and Gnango Agah, but I highly recommend everyone to walk through their (free) lab instructions in English at STAR: github.com/MicrosoftLearning/DP-203-Data-Engineering-on-Microsoft-Azure (and other languages) by Joel Hulen. The class Modules and labs aka.ms/dp203labs.

  • Module 1 - Explore compute and storage options for data engineering workloads. This lab teaches ways to structure the data lake, and to optimize the files for exploration, streaming, and batch workloads. The student will learn how to organize the data lake into levels of data refinement as they transform files through batch and stream processing. The students will also experience working with Apache Spark in Azure Synapse Analytics. They will learn how to create indexes on their datasets, such as CSV, JSON, and Parquet files, and use them for potential query and workload acceleration using Spark libraries including Hyperspace and MSSParkUtils.

  • Module 2 - Design and Implement the serving layer. This lab teaches how to design and implement data stores in a modern data warehouse to optimize analytical workloads. The student will learn how to design a multidimensional schema to store fact and dimension data. Then the student will learn how to populate slowly changing dimensions through incremental data loading from Azure Data Factory.

  • Module 3 - Data engineering considerations for source files. In this lab, you will be directed by your instructor to work alone, or in groups for 20 minutes to read through the following information presented below. You will then answer the questions and present back to the classroom your findings based on the requirements.

  • Module 4 - Run interactive queries using serverless SQL pools. In this lab, students will learn how to work with files stored in the data lake and external file sources, through T-SQL statements executed by a serverless SQL pool in Azure Synapse Analytics. Students will query Parquet files stored in a data lake, as well as CSV files stored in an external data store. Next, they will create Azure Active Directory security groups and enforce access to files in the data lake through Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Access Control Lists (ACLs).

  • Module 5 - Explore, transform, and load data into the Data Warehouse using Apache Spark. This lab teaches you how to explore data stored in a data lake, transform the data, and load data into a relational data store. You will explore Parquet and JSON files and use techniques to query and transform JSON files with hierarchical structures. Then you will use Apache Spark to load data into the data warehouse and join Parquet data in the data lake with data in the dedicated SQL pool.

  • Module 6 - Data exploration and transformation in Azure Databricks. This lab teaches you how to use various Apache Spark DataFrame methods to explore and transform data in Azure Databricks. You will learn how to perform standard DataFrame methods to explore and transform data. You will also learn how to perform more advanced tasks, such as removing duplicate data, manipulate date/time values, rename columns, and aggregate data. They will provision the chosen ingestion technology and integrate this with Stream Analytics to create a solution that works with streaming data.

  • Module 7 - Ingest and load data into the Data Warehouse. This lab teaches students how to ingest data into the data warehouse through T-SQL scripts and Synapse Analytics integration pipelines. The student will learn how to load data into Synapse dedicated SQL pools with PolyBase and COPY using T-SQL. The student will also learn how to use workload management along with a Copy activity in a Azure Synapse pipeline for petabyte-scale data ingestion.

  • Module 8 - Transform data with Azure Data Factory or Azure Synapse Pipelines. This lab teaches students how to build data integration pipelines to ingest from multiple data sources, transform data using mapping data flows and notebooks, and perform data movement into one or more data sinks.

  • Module 9 - Integrate data from notebooks with Azure Data Factory or Azure Synapse Pipelines. In the lab, the students will create a notebook to query user activity and purchases that they have made in the past 12 months. They will then add the notebook to a pipeline using the new Notebook activity and execute this notebook after the Mapping Data Flow as part of their orchestration process. While configuring this the students will implement parameters to add dynamic content in the control flow and validate how the parameters can be used.

  • Module 10 - Optimize query performance with dedicated SQL pools in Azure Synapse. In this lab, students will learn strategies to optimize data storage and processing when using dedicated SQL pools in Azure Synapse Analytics. The student will know how to use developer features, such as windowing and HyperLogLog functions, use data loading best practices, and optimize and improve query performance.

  • Module 11 - Analyze and optimize Data Warehouse storage. This lab teaches you how to analyze and optimize the data storage of the Azure Synapse dedicated SQL pools. You will know techniques to understand table space usage and column store storage details. Next, you will know how to compare storage requirements between identical tables that use different data types. Finally, you will observe the impact materialized views have when executed in place of complex queries and learn how to avoid extensive logging by optimizing delete operations.

  • Module 12 - Support Hybrid Transactional Analytical Processing (HTAP) with Azure Synapse Link. This lab teaches you how Azure Synapse Link enables seamless connectivity of an Azure Cosmos DB account to a Synapse workspace. You will understand how to enable and configure Synapse link, then how to query the Azure Cosmos DB analytical store using Apache Spark and SQL Serverless.

  • Module 13 - End-to-end security with Azure Synapse Analytics. In this lab, students will learn how to secure a Synapse Analytics workspace and its supporting infrastructure. The student will observe the SQL Active Directory Admin, manage IP firewall rules, manage secrets with Azure Key Vault and access those secrets through a Key Vault linked service and pipeline activities. The student will understand how to implement column-level security, row-level security, and dynamic data masking when using dedicated SQL pools.

  • Module 14 - Real-time stream processing with Stream Analytics. This lab teaches you how to process streaming data with Azure Stream Analytics. You will ingest vehicle telemetry data into Event Hubs, then process that data in real time, using various windowing functions in Azure Stream Analytics. You will output the data to Azure Synapse Analytics. Finally, you will learn how to scale the Stream Analytics job to increase throughput.

  • Module 15 - Create a stream processing solution with Event Hubs and Azure Databricks. This lab teaches you how to ingest and process streaming data at scale with Event Hubs and Spark Structured Streaming in Azure Databricks. You will learn the key features and uses of Structured Streaming. You will implement sliding windows to aggregate over chunks of data and apply watermarking to remove stale data. Finally, you will connect to Event Hubs to read and write streams.

  • Module 16 - Build reports using Power BI integration with Azure Synapse Analytics. In this lab, the student will learn how to integrate Power BI with their Azure Synapse workspace to build reports in Power BI. The student will create a new data source and Power BI report in Azure Synapse Studio. Then the student will learn how to improve query performance with materialized views and result-set caching. Finally, the student will explore the data lake with serverless SQL pools and create visualizations against that data in Power BI.

  • Module 17 - Perform integrated Machine Learning processes in Azure Synapse Analytics. In the lab, the students will explore the integrated, end-to-end Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services experience in Azure Synapse Analytics. You will learn how to connect an Azure Synapse Analytics workspace to an Azure Machine Learning workspace using a Linked Service and then trigger an Automated ML experiment that uses data from a Spark table. You will also learn how to use trained models from Azure Machine Learning or Azure Cognitive Services to enrich data in a SQL pool table and then serve prediction results using Power BI.

Free text-based tutorials from Microsoft:

  • Azure for the Data Engineer
  • Store data in Azure
  • Data integration at scale with Azure Data Factory or Azure Synapse Pipeline
  • Realize Integrated Analytical Solutions with Azure Synapse Analytics
  • Work with Data Warehouses using Azure Synapse Analytics
  • Perform data engineering with Azure Synapse Apache Spark Pools
  • Work with Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing Solutions using Azure Synapse Analytics
  • Data engineering with Azure Databricks
  • Large-Scale Data Processing with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
  • Implement a Data Streaming Solution with Azure Streaming Analytics

DP-200 retired on June 30, 2021, looked at the Microsoft Azure data platform through the lens of the implementer:

  • Work with relational data in Azure
  • Work with NoSQL data in Azure Cosmos DB
  • Large-Scale Data Processing with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
  • https://github.com/timothywarner/dp200

DP-201 retired on June 30, 2021, examined Azure data through the lens of the architect:

  • Design Azure data storage solutions (40-45%)
  • Design data processing solutions (25-30%)
  • Design for data security and compliance (25-30%)
  • https://github.com/timothywarner/dp201 DP-203 Learning Path had covered:
  • Data integration at scale with Azure Data Factory or Azure Synapse Pipeline
  • Realize Integrated Analytical Solutions with Azure Synapse Analytics

Ravi Kirans:

  • https://ravikirans.com/dp-203-azure-exam-study-guide/

James Serra, Microsoft NYC

The Azure Synapse platform (EDW and Data Lakes).

  • Announced November 2019
  • VIDEO: Azure Synapse Analytics - Introduction & Overview
  • https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/synapse-analytics/
  • SaaS service integrates Power BI visualization, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 as a data warehouse and a consistent data model. Machine Learning models can be created and saved in ONNX format, which are stored within the Azure Synapse data store and used with the native PREDICT instruction.
  • Synapse Analytics Studio
  • https://www.sqlshack.com/understanding-azure-synapse-analytics-formerly-sql-dw/

Ravi Salahi

  • https://learning.oreilly.com/attend/exam-dp-203-microsoft-azure-data-engineer-associate-crash-course/0636920054124/0636920057411/
  • https://github.com/zaalion/oreilly-dp-203

John McIntyre

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMYOi5E14eU 2020
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvP0JwchjfI 2019 “SQL Data Warehouse”

Tim Warner:

Sample Exams:

  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-dp-203/

AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-204 learning paths says $165 for 180 max. minutes to answer 40 - 60 multiple-choice questions.




OReilly VIDEO Crash Course April 16, 2021 by Reza Salehi (@zaalion) https://github.com/zaalion/oreilly-az-204:

YOUTUBE: AZ-204 Azure Developer - Exam Cram │ Expert Talk by Brian L Gorman

  • https://www.whizlabs.com/learn/course/microsoft-azure-az-204/

Azure Penetration Testing

Course: Advanced Pen Testing Techniques for Active Directory by Malcolm Shore


Linux Academy: Azure CLI Esssentials

Learn Azure by Doing

Implementing App Infrastructure

Cost control in Azure

Intro to Azure Security

Azure IAM Concepts

Deployment Pipelines using GitHub Actions



Microsoft Digital Defense Report (MDDR) https://aka.ms/MDDR

Microsoft “Applied Skills” credentials

More about Azure

This is one of a series about Azure cloud: