You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it! AZ-204 Exam Study Guide: Developing Solutions For Microsoft Azure - CHARBEL NEMNOM - MVP | MCT | CCSP | CISM - Cloud & CyberSecurity

AZ-204 Exam Study Guide: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

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Updated – 17/08/2023 – The exam guide below shows the changes to be implemented starting on August 21, 2023. The study guide has been updated to reflect the new exam objectives added by Microsoft.

Updated – 21/04/2023 – The exam study guide below includes a new Free practice assessment for the AZ-204 certification.

Introduction

Microsoft is keeping evolving its learning programs to help you and your career keep pace with today’s demanding IT environments. The new updated role-based certifications will help you to keep pace with today’s business requirements. Microsoft Learning is constantly evolving its learning program to better offer what you need to skill up, prove your expertise to employers and peers, and get the recognition—and opportunities—you’ve earned.

In January 2020, Microsoft announced new updates to several Azure and Data certifications which were released in March 2020. The certifications that you earned are not changing, but the exams required to earn the certifications are changing.

CertificationOld ExamNew ExamExpected Release
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate AZ-103AZ-104March, 2020
Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer AssociateAZ-203AZ-204February 20, 2020
Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions ArchitectAZ-300 & AZ-301AZ-303 & AZ-304June, 2020

Last year, I passed the transition exam AZ-202 to earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. The transition exam was only intended for those candidates who have taken and passed the previous Exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions.

To get the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification, you are required to pass only ONE exam, the AZ-204: Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate.

Here is the full path for the Skills required and the Exam to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate Certification:

AZ-204 Exam Study Guide: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure 1

I decided to update my skills and take the new AZ-204 Azure Developer Associate. I am so happy and grateful now that I passed the AZ-204 exam – Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure. I figured that I would share my experience in this post to help you prepare and tackle this exam successfully.

In this exam, I got around 49 questions including 2 case studies, and the total time for this exam is 130 minutes (~2 hours), so you have enough time to finish it. The questions do pretty much match the list of skills measured below.

Updated on 19/11/2022  For the renewal assessment, I got 25 questions in total without any case study.

Renewal assessment results for Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
Renewal assessment results for Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

The performance assessment is based on the following topics:

> Explore the Microsoft identity platform
> Implement authentication by using the Microsoft Authentication Library
> Explore Microsoft Graph
> Implement Azure Key Vault
> Implement Azure App Configuration
> Monitor app performance
> Explore Azure Event Grid
> Explore Azure Event Hubs

Exam Target Audience

Candidates for this exam are cloud developers who participate in all phases of development from requirements definition and design to development and deployment, and maintenance. They partner with cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement solutions.
Candidates should be proficient in Azure SDKs, data storage options, data connections, APIs, app authentication and authorization, compute and container deployment, debugging, performance tuning, and monitoring.

Candidates must have 1-2 years of professional development experience and experience with Microsoft Azure, and you must be able to program in an Azure Supported Language.

This certificate is for Azure Developers who design and build cloud solutions such as applications and services. They participate in all phases of development including solution design, development and deployment, and testing and maintenance. They partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement the solution.

Skills measured on this exam

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical topics listed below based on the latest update from Microsoft:

Develop Azure compute solutions (25-30%)

Implement containerized solutions

  • Create and manage container images for solutions
  • Publish an image to Azure Container Registry
  • Run containers by using Azure Container Instance
  • Create solutions by using Azure Container Apps

Implement Azure App Service Web Apps

  • Create an Azure App Service Web App
  • Enable diagnostics logging
  • Deploy code to a web app
  • Configure web app settings including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), API settings, and connection strings
  • Implement autoscaling

Implement Azure functions

  • Create and configure an Azure Function App
  • Implement input and output bindings
  • Implement function triggers by using data operations, timers, and webhooks

Develop for Azure storage (15-20%)

Develop solutions that use Azure Cosmos DB

  • Perform operations on containers and items by using the SDK
  • Set the appropriate consistency level for operations
  • Implement change feed notifications

Develop solutions that use Azure Blob Storage

  • Set and retrieve properties and metadata
  • Perform operations on data by using the appropriate SDK
  • Implement storage policies and data lifecycle management
  • Implement static site hosting

Implement Azure security (20-25%)

Implement user authentication and authorization

  • Authenticate and authorize users by using the Microsoft Identity platform
  • Authenticate and authorize users and apps by using Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), part of Microsoft Entra
  • Create and implement shared access signatures
  • Implement solutions that interact with Microsoft Graph

Implement secure Azure solutions

  • Secure app configuration data by using App Configuration or Azure Key Vault
  • Develop code that uses keys, secrets, and certificates stored in Azure Key Vault
  • Implement Managed Identities for Azure resources

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

Implement caching for solutions

  • Configure cache and expiration policies for Azure Cache for Redis
  • Implement secure and optimized application cache patterns including data sizing, connections, encryption, and expiration
  • Implement Azure CDN endpoints and profiles

Troubleshoot solutions by using Application Insights

  • Configure an app or service to use Application Insights
  • Monitor and analyze metrics, logs, and traces
  • Implement Application Insights web tests and alerts

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

Implement API management

  • Create an Azure API Management (APIM) instance
  • Create and document APIs
  • Configure access to APIs
  • Implement policies for APIs

Develop event-based solutions

  • Implement solutions that use Azure Event Grid
  • Implement solutions that use Azure Event Hub

Develop message-based solutions

  • Implement solutions that use Azure Service Bus
  • Implement solutions that use Azure Queue Storage queues

Lessons Learned and Exam Preparation

Practice, practice, and read… I cannot stress enough that hands-on experience and understanding of all the concepts will help you to pass this exam. The key success to passing this exam is to work with Microsoft Azure on a daily basis. You can create your free Azure account today and start practicing the new features.

To prepare for this exam, I use the official Microsoft Azure documentation which is a great resource to learn.

I also use Microsoft Learn the new learning approach to explore more advanced Azure Developer topics, I highly recommend checking the following Microsoft Learn modules:

  1. Create serverless applications (10 modules)
  2. Connect your services together (4 modules)
  3. Store data in Azure (5 modules)
  4. Deploy a website with Azure virtual machines (4 modules)
  5. Manage resources in Azure (6 modules)
  6. Deploy a website to Azure with Azure App Service (6 modules)
  7. Secure your cloud data (7 modules)

AZ-204 Books

As of December 16, 2020, Microsoft released the Exam Reference AZ-204 Book – Developing Solutions for Microsoft which you can place the order today here. This Exam Ref focuses on the critical thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate level.

Exam Ref AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
Exam Ref AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

I highly recommend this book to prepare for this exam.

AZ-204 Videos

If you are interested to cram for this exam, then I highly recommend you to check the Certification Talk, by Skill Me UP here which provides a summary and discussion around the preparation needed for the AZ-204 – Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Exam. Please note that this video is 3 hours long.

I highly recommend you check the AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Exam Prep training from Udemy and watch it entirely a couple of times. This course contains around 8.5 hours worth of content and is being updated to cover the newest AZ-204 exam objective. This is the most complete course available on the Microsoft Azure developer exam AZ-204 with a timed practice test.

Pluralsight also offers a great learning path for the AZ-204 Microsoft Azure Developer preparation, you can check it out here.

AZ-204 Exam Readiness

The Microsoft Learn exam readiness zone is a team of experts who share valuable insights, techniques, and strategies to help you prepare effectively for your Microsoft Certification exam.

The comprehensive exam preparation videos will assist you in identifying the key areas of knowledge and skills assessed in the AZ-204 exam, as well as guide you on how to allocate your study time efficiently. Each video segment below corresponds to a significant topic covered in the latest AZ-204 exam, and the trainer highlights objectives that many test takers typically find challenging.

1) Preparing for AZ-204 – Develop Azure compute solutions.

2) Preparing for AZ-204 – Develop for Azure storage.

3) Preparing for AZ-204 – Implement Azure security.

4) Preparing for AZ-204 – Monitor, troubleshoot and optimize Azure solutions.

5) Preparing for AZ-204 – Connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services.

These free videos include illustrative sample questions and detailed explanations of the answers. We recommend watching these videos once you have completed your training or gained some practice, although you are welcome to view them at any stage of your certification journey. Additionally, they provide additional resources to further aid you in your AZ-204 exam preparation.

Lab-training

Practice is the key to success and passing this exam. I highly recommended going through the following labs developed by Microsoft:

Learning Path 01: Implement Azure App Service Web Apps Lab: Building a web application on Azure platform as a service offerings
Learning Path 02: Implement Azure Functions Lab: Implement task processing logic by using Azure Functions
Learning Path 03: Develop solutions that use blob storage Lab: Retrieving Azure Storage resources and metadata by using the Azure Storage SDK for .NET
Learning Path 04: Develop solutions that use Cosmos DB storage Lab: Construct a polyglot data solution
Learning Path 05: Implement containerized solutions Lab: Deploy compute workloads by using images and containers
Learning Path 06: Implement user authentication and authorization Lab: Authenticate by using OpenID Connect, MSAL, and .NET SDKs
Learning Path 07: Implement secure Azure solutions Lab: Access resource secrets more securely across services
Learning Path 08: Implement API Management Lab: Create a multi-tier solution by using Azure services
Learning Path 09: Develop event-based solutions Lab: Publish and subscribe to Event Grid events
Learning Path 10: Develop message-based solutions Lab: Asynchronously process messages by using Azure Service Bus Queues
Learning Path 11: Troubleshoot solutions by using Application Insights Lab: Monitor services that are deployed to Azure
Learning Path 12: Implement caching for solutions Lab: Enhance a web application by using the Azure Content Delivery Network

AZ-204 Free Practice Assessment

Are you preparing for the AZ-204 certification exam? Microsoft just announced Practice Assessments on Microsoft Learn, the newest free exam preparation resource that allows you to assess your knowledge and fill knowledge gaps so that you are better prepared the take the AZ-204 certification exam.

The following assessment provides you with an overview of the style, wording, and difficulty of the questions you’re likely to experience on the exam. Through this assessment, you’re able to assess your readiness, determine where additional preparation is needed, and fill knowledge gaps bringing you one step closer to the likelihood of passing your AZ-204 exam.

> Take now the Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Free Practice Test (50 questions).

Prepare for your certification exam by assessing your knowledge through Practice Assessments, which are free and can be attempted multiple times. These assessments are created and regularly updated by the same team that develops the official certification exams.

You can access practice assessments on Microsoft Learn by signing in or creating an account. The score report for each question includes the answer, rationale, and links to additional information.

Instructor-led virtual training

Last but certainly not least, if you prefer instructor-led training, Microsoft released AZ-204T00-A 5 days course. This course teaches developers how to create end-to-end solutions in Microsoft Azure. Students will learn how to implement Azure compute solutions, create Azure Functions, implement and manage web apps, develop solutions utilizing Azure storage, implement authentication and authorization, and secure their solutions by using KeyVault and Managed Identities. Students will also learn how to connect to and consume Azure services and third-party services and include event- and message-based models in their solutions. The course also covers monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions.

If you prefer to get prepare for this exam with Microsoft MCT instructor-led virtual training, you can get in contact with me here.

Certification

By passing the AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure, you will earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate certificate.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

If you are planning to take this exam… I wish you all the best and Happy Studying!!!

__
Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author:
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect with 21+ years of IT experience. As a Swiss Certified Information Security Manager (ISM), CCSP, CISM, Microsoft MVP, and MCT, he excels in optimizing mission-critical enterprise systems. His extensive practical knowledge spans complex system design, network architecture, business continuity, and cloud security, establishing him as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in the field. Charbel frequently writes about Cloud, Cybersecurity, and IT Certifications.
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