There have been a few Microsoft Azure certifications for awhile now, and on October 27, 2015 Microsoft added another with the Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (70-473) exam. Passing this exam will earn you the Microsoft Specialist: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions certification. This is a Microsoft Azure certification centered around SQL Server databases in the cloud; from Azure SQL Database to SQL Server running inside a Virtual Machine.

Update July 2017: This article is out-of-date. The 70-473 exam was update in June 2017 with new exam objectives. Please refer to the newer exam objectives and study resource list outlined in the 70-473 Designing and Implementing Could Data Platform Solutions Certification Exam РJune 2017 Update article instead. Happy Studying!

Certification Target Audience

Being focused on SQL Server and relational databases, this exam and certification is definitely targeted more towards those who build and/or manage data platform solutions with Microsoft SQL Server. This certification will test and validate your skills in designing and implementing Microsoft data platforms solutions. This includes SQL Server running on a Virtual Machine in Azure, as well as Azure SQL Databases (the PaaS SQL Database solution within Microsoft Azure.)

Skills Measured

Here’s a high level list of the skills measured and exam objectives tested on this exam. The percentages represent how much of the exam questions will be focused on each of the high level exam objective areas.

  • Design and implement database solutions for Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Database (20-25%)
    • Design a hybrid SQL Server solution
    • Implement SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs)
    • Design a SQL Database solution
    • Implement SQL Database
    • Design and Implement data warehousing on Azure
  • Manage database management systems (DBMS) security (25-30%)
    • Design and implement SQL Server Database security
    • Implement Azure SQL Database security
  • Design for high availability, disaster recovery, and scalability (25-30%)
    • Design and implement high availability solutions
    • Design and implement scalable solutions
    • Design and implement SQL Database data recovery
  • Monitor and manage database implementations on Azure (25-30%)
    • Monitor and troubleshoot SQL Server VMs on Azure
    • Monitor and troubleshoot SQL Database
    • Automate and manage database implementations on Azure

The official page for the Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (70-473) exam lists out more details on the full exam objectives that are measured.

Training Material

At the time of writing this the exam is still fairly new, so there isn’t a huge amount of training materials dedicated towards passing his specific exam. Fortunately there are a few training options available to help get you the skills necessary to pass this exam (70-473) and achieve the Microsoft Specialist: Designing and Implement Cloud Data Platform Solutions certification.

Here’s a Free video training course that’s geared specifically towards this exam:

Hopefully these training material links help. Also, remember to look through the Microsoft Azure and SQL Server documentation for content that covers the different exam objectives. The above videos / courses will give you tons of information, but you’ll still want to do some studying using multiple sources of information to help drill in and retain everything. Like any of the other Microsoft certification exams, this exam does cover quite a lot of material.

Practice Exams

In addition to using multiple training / study material sources for learning all about the exam objectives, there’s another very important companion when studying for any certification exam. This is a good practice test that will really help prepare you for taking the real exam.

MeasureUp one of the leading practice test vendors for Microsoft certification exams, and even though the 70-473 Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions exam is still relatively new (at the time of writing this) they already have a practice test available for purchase.

You can find it at the following link:


Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect