Microsoft Exam MB2-702 – CRM 2013 Installation & Deployment
So I am churning out these exams at the moment to keep the boss happy and benefit from a Summer break in the usual rush of project work. Next up was the beast that is installing and deploying CRM 2013, something a little outside my regular job title but I have played around with installs on virtual machines for customer demos.
Happy to say that today I took and passed MB2-702: Installing and Deploying CRM 2013 however and this post then covers how I prepared, what sorts of questions came up and what material I used. It follows the same format as my other posts on CRM certifications.
The exam is the usual 48 questions of multiple-choice format with a passing level of 70%. It concentrates on installing CRM Server and all related elements (the CRM Outlook client, the Email Router, Active Directory), upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 and how to troubleshoot and maintain your shiny new CRM once it is in place. Both CRM 2013 online and on-premises/partner-hosted are covered in the exam.
The Microsoft page relating to the exam is here: –http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam.aspx?id=mb2-702
The main resources I would recommend are: –
1) If you can get hold of the official course material for this exam (course code 80539A) from the Microsoft Online Courses (MOC) site then this is the best source of training. It includes ten student PDFs for each of the main topics and also PowerPoint and virtual machine for lab exercises. Working through this is the best way of preparing as questions on the exam should limit themselves to what is covered on this course.
2) There is the installation and preparation section of the CRM 2013 Implementation Guide and this is also a great resource for learning about how to prepare, plan and execute your CRM deployment.
3) Any notes and material related to the older CRM 2011 Installation exam – MB2-867 – are useful as background material as the new exam will continue to test feature that have not changed (much) between CRM2011 and CRM2013 such as Email Router set up, Internet Facing Deployment configuration etc.
4) If you’re still hungry for more, then check the end of this article and I will paste the notes that I made when preparing for the exam although they are rather rough) to show you exactly what I considered important.
5) I reverted to MSDN articles to clear up a few unclear points about version compatibility.
6) Finally there is no substitute for playing with a trial CRM 2013 online version or walking through an on-premises CRM 2013 install yourself. The bulk of the questions on the test relate to doing this and so you should ideally have installed CRM in the course of your job or be prepared to set aside time to actually do a deployment yourself.
As a general pointer, the following sorts of questions came up a lot for me during the exam and are mentioned on the curriculum link: –
- Make sure you know your way around the Office 365 administration interface, be comfortable on the steps needed to set up a new CRM user here and assign a license to them. Know what you can change concerning the CRM instance itself.
- You should particularly know the difference between the administrative roles in O365 and the security roles in CRM, what is where?
- Understand the different rights of the essential, basic and professional licenses. I don’t believe Enterprise license is covered on this exam as it was introduced with the CRM release that post-dates the exam.
- Know your online and on-premises licensing, particularly what licenses are needed for different deployment scenarios (multiple servers hosting CRM roles, legacy users, do you need a license for email router or tablets and smartphones?)
- Understand the anatomy of a CRM Server, the services that get installed and the role group that they belong to. You should know which key features are processed by which services and how you would set services up in a load-balanced environment.
- Understand the role of Active Directory, what it does for CRM and how you might migrate CRM users from one AD domain to another. You should know the domain requirements for all the elements in a CRM solution (SQL Server, CRM Server, Email Router etc.)
- A bit of memory work but you should know the principal operating systems and versions that CRM and its allied elements support. I’ve included a table in the next section to try to pull this all together.
- Know the difference between workgroup and CRM server and how/if you can migrate from one to the other.
- Know how you use product keys during a CRM installation/upgrade.
- As I mentioned already, you should walk through at least one CRM on-premises install if you have never done one and get a feel for the main steps, it’s the best way to learn.
- Once you have done this you’ll also appreciate the command line interface for installation and what it is doing behind the scenes.
- Likewise, provision at least one CRM online instance if you don’t do this as part of your job and have a good nose around Office 365 Admin so you’re comfortable which what you can do.
- During on-premises installation understand what you would do if you did not have rights to create Active Directory groups and had to use ones already set up for you by an administrator.
- Know the difference between delivering CRM via HTTP and HTTPS and how settings interact between the CRM Deployment Manager and IIS.
- Know what the CRM Reporting Extensions are, where they get installed and what they give to CRM.
- Similarly, know what the CRM Authoring Extensions are, where you install them and what they are used in conjunction with.
- Internet Facing Deployment (IFD) is a big topic and one that I was personally weak on having never done a proper install. You should be familiar with the high-level steps of IFD and the role of each of the key components. You should know how you install a new CRM instance to be an IFD and how the procedure is different to change an existing CRM instance into an IFD.
- Pay close attention to the role of Active Directory Federated Services, what it is doing for IFD and the port it operates on.
- Load-balancing is a similar tricky subject and like IFD might be something that you (like me) have never had to personally implement. You should what CRM roles must be installed where for load balancing and, related, how you configure CRM to use a SQL cluster.
- I had a number of questions on disaster recovery, particularly how you plan to restore each element in the CRM architecture in case of failure (what do you back up?) Your experience at installing a CRM instance will be of help here so you can explain how you would quickly redeploy just one element of the architecture (CRM server, Email Router, AD, SQL Server) in case of failure.
- CRM 2013 introduced server-side synchronisation for email and so you should be comfortable on what it does, how it differs from the Email Router and how it is configured.
- You need to go and play with the Email Configuration web page under Settings within CRM and understand the entities there like server profiles and mailboxes so you’re comfortable with what gets configured where.
- Know what a forward mailbox is, why it might be used, why and when you approve email addresses in CRM and how emails are tracked (correlation, tracking tokens, smart matching), Again any time you can dedicate to playing with these and actually configuring some working mailboxes will be time well spent.
- Know the pre-requisites for installing the Email Router.
- Definitely install and have a play with the Dynamics CRM for Outlook control, you should be happy with the functionality that it offers and au-fait with the constraints for multiple users, multiple organisations, going offline etc.
- You should also know what permissions and rights are needed to install the Outlook control and how upgrade from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 and update rollups affects it.
- Upgrading is a whole section in itself and you should know the different upgrade options (in-place, side-by-side) and their strengths and weaknesses. I was expecting some scenario questions on these but didn’t get any.
- You should understand the option to defer the table merge at upgrade.
- You should know about upgrading the email router.
- Know how the update rollup packages for CRM work, just what Microsoft release and how they get deployed.
That’s a bit of a dump of everything I remember being important from the course study and from the emphasis placed in the exam.
Knowing which versions of operating systems, databases, browsers etc. are required for CRM will help you with a number of questions. You should have gained insight into this when you did your own install but here is (what I hope is) an accurate list taken from course notes and online sources as of June 2014. It details what I believe are the key things worth committing to memory.
|CRM Server||Windows Server 2008 (x64) SP2Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) SP 1
Web Server, Standard, Enterprise & Data Centre for 2008
Windows Server 2012 (x64)
Standard and Data Center for 2012
|SQL Server||SQL Server 2008 (x64) SP 3SQL Server 2008 R2 (x64) SP 2
Developer, Standard, Enterprise & Data Centre for 2008
SQL Server 2012 (x64) SP1
Standard, Business Intelligence & Enterprise for 2012
|Outlook CRM Client||Office 2007, 2010, 2013Windows Vista (x32 and x64) SP2
Windows 7 (x32 and x64)
Windows 8 (x32 and x64)
Windows 2008 Remote Desktop Server
Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Server
Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Server
IE8 or IE9 for setup
|Email Router||Windows 7 (x32 andx64)Windows 8 (x32 and x64)
Windows Server 2008 (x64)
Windows Server R2 2008 (x64)
Windows Server 2012
Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013
|SharePoint||SharePoint 2010SP1SharePoint 2013|
MB2-702 does take some dedicated study and, ideally, some real-world experience installing and maintaining a CRM instance both online and on-premises. If you’re coming to the exam as a seasoned CRM admin then you’ll want to concentrate on any elements of the solution with which you have less experience (IFD, load balancing, disaster recovery) and if you’re coming from a CRM business analyst or developer background where you have less day-to-day contact with deployment then it’s well worth creating a virtual machine to play with and a trial online instance.
As promised, here are my own revision notes taken from the course material. They are quite long and detailed as there was a lot of new material for me.