Everything to know about DP-900 Certification Exam


What is DP-900:

DP-900 – The newest addition to Microsoft certification family. With growing demand for cloud computing professionals Microsoft has come up with a new way to validate foundation knowledge on core data services and azure data services in candidates.

Completing DP-900 certification will give you broader knowledge about core data concepts and the way data services work in Azure platform. This certification also lays a basic ground for candidates who would like to peruse their career in Azure Data based role.

Certification Path:

As mentioned in Introduction, DP-900 provides a base for candidates towards various Data certifications which includes Data Engineer Associate Certification, Data Scientist Associate, Azure Database Administrator. Although, it’s important to understand that DP-900 is not mandatory certification in-order to prepare for the other mentioned certification paths. This is pure foundation course.

Career Path:

With exponential increase in data over last decade there is a growing need for Data professionals in market especially cloud data professionals there are numerous career opportunities, roles for candidates, but Microsoft advocated three distinct career paths with encapsulates all major roles inside them. In this blog let us see those three career paths along with their relevant certification they currently provide

1. Azure Database Administrator Role:

As an Azure Database administrator, the major responsibilities would include designing, maintaining, executing and constantly monitor the operational concepts of on-prem and cloud related database services and solutions. This also widely includes would include maintaining consistent performance of service and maximum availability without any downtime. Responsible in learning to optimizing available database services, plan for proper backup and recovery plans in case unavailability causes by manual error or natural calamities.

In-order to pursue this career path, DP-900 would lay a foundation. Although, DP-900 is not mandatory.

  • DP-900 – Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals 
  • DP-300 – Azure Database Administrator Associate

Azure Data Engineer is more of a collaborative role, where a Data Engineer work along side business stake holder to understand their organization business needs and develop, execute and understand the growing data related aspects to come up with a profitable business development proposal. They also help monitor the data and ensure privacy and security of data. Their major responsibilities also include data ingestion to pipelines, cleaning the raw data, transforming them into useful and manageable chunks of data and storing them and utilizing for analytical purposes whenever and wherever needed to understand the market trends based on data.  This also includes developing a meaningful process for storing and retrieving the data sets. This role includes working with wide range of tools and technologies.

2. Azure Data Engineer Role:

For candidates to pursue their career the current certification path provided by Microsoft is the below:

  • DP-900 – Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals
  • DP-200 – Implementing an Azure Data Solution
  • DP-201 – Designing an Azure Data Solution

Microsoft is replacing these two certifications with DP-200 and DP-203 with Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure exam making it simpler for candidates. Again DP-900 is more as a foundation and not a mandatory certification.

3. Data Scientist / Data Analyst:

The Data Scientist major roles include increasing the value of the data asset for organization. This includes designing, creating data models in small scale and analyzing them, cleaning and transforming those data and making them compatible for to be used in advanced analytics tools and use them to visualize the results through graphs and reports. A data analyst transforms raw data into relevant information depending on the organization’s needs with relatable insights.

For candidates to pursue their career the current certification path provided by Microsoft is the below once again, DP-900 acts as a base for below certification:

  • DP-900 – Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals
  • DP-100 – Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

Modules / topics:

Now, having discussed about various certification and career paths, let’s have a look at modules that DP-900 covers,

Core Data Concepts (15-20 percentage):

This module includes the following topics,

  • Defining data and different types of data, the way we store, access, retrieve them in cloud.
  • Different types of data processing methods like Batch processing and streaming are briefly covered, when can each be used and their differences.
  • Different types of Data storage including relational and non-relational data storage and their characteristics and use cases.
  • Data workloads which include Transactional and Analytical workloads, their properties, and best-case scenarios to use each of them.
  • Some core Analytics topics ETL and ELT processing and also touches upon various analytics tools and services and different methods of visualizing them.

    Understanding and exploring Relational Data in Azure (25 – 30 percentage):

This module explores more into defining and describing about Relational database services and how it works in Azure cloud platform that includes the following topics,

  • Describing Azure Data services and understanding basic Azure services like IAAS, PAAS, SAAS services.
  • How to deploy SQL server in Azure virtual machine with use cases and their advantages and business benefits.
  • Different types of azure SQL databases and their benefits, Azure managed instances, PostgreSQL, MySQL, or MariaDB their benefits.
  • Some basic querying techniques and how databases can be managed using Azure Portal, ARM templates, querying tools.
  • Understanding difference between structured and unstructured date and knowing the difference between DDL and DML in SQL language.

    Understanding and Exploring non-Relational Data in Azure (25-30 percentage):

This module provides a basic understanding about non-relational data offerings that Azure provides. The following concepts are included in this module,

  • Understanding different types of non-relational data storage services provided by Azure like, Azure Table storage, Blob storage, file storage.
  • How they can be accessed, via Azure portal and different other methods along with their use cases and business benefits.
  • Exploring about Cosmos DB, and the APIs supported along with use case and business benefits.

    Exploring modern Data warehousing and Analytics in Azure (25-30 percentage):

This module covers the following topics,

  • Exploring and understanding modern data analytics and warehousing concepts
  • Understanding core analytics concepts including Azure Data factory, Azure Data lake storage, Azure Data bricks, Azure Synapse analytics, Azure analytics services and their comparison, Azure HDInsight
  • Understanding various Azure analytics tools and exploring how the resulting date can be visualized using various Azure tool offerings.

Target audience:

As this is a beginner level certification, anyone who has interest to learn about Database services and services offered by Microsoft Azure can get certified. College students who would like to explore their career opportunities in Azure database field, IT professionals to improve their knowledge and skillset, Candidates working with data and data solutions, Data professionals, Data Engineers, Data Architects.

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