This blog is part of a series. For more exam prep guides check back in the future

NOTE: This exam is currently in Beta and will not be GA for the next few months. During that time you can take it once, and the results will not be out until the end of the Beta period. More on participating in Beta Exams can be found here

Analyse, Act and Automate.

Buzzwords these may be – but the importance of the Power Platform is real. About a year ago, I was sitting in a meeting in Dublin discussing Microsoft 365 with a partner whose business was built upon Power Apps. As much as I was impressed with the app on the IPad they’d recently developed after their receptionist left, it was the dawning on how they viewed Microsoft 365 through the prism of applications. It’s very easy to narrate a story on Microsoft 365 around Security, Teamwork or the modernization of devices (three narratives Microsoft typically use today). But I had never considered doing that based upon apps. Never even entered my head.

Think about it. Exchange is an app for mail. Teams is an app for Teamwork. However, these apps are essentially generic apps with a set functionality which may never do what users and teams actually need in order to make them work best. In other words they can only do so much – and that is how it should be. PowerApps, on the other hand, can fill in the blanks, just as Power Automate can begin to cull the endless, laborious, often mind- bending tasks which spring up in the use of those business productivity apps. Power BI can analyse our productivity and goals and what we need to focus on, helping us to make better, data driven decisions.

I better stop there though. It’s starting to sound like I am trying to sell it to you. I don’t need to do that. The importance of the Power Platform to Microsoft is as important as Teams, as Azure or anything else it has in its arsenal. Satya Nadella said it himself at Inspire in 2019 –

“This new generation app model composes with everything that you have done in the past. That to me is the key of how we’re going to move tech intensity in every corporation, every company, every institution. 500 million new apps are going to get created in the next five years. Think about that, that’s more apps than in the last 40 years…If you look at the architecture, it composes, it builds on Azure Services, it has this common data model, it has connectivity back to Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 so you can think of all of the applications inside of Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 as micro services and data that’s available for any PowerApp developer”

I wager a lot of us will probably end up working with the Power Platform.

PL-900 – Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals – was released in Beta on November 4th 2019 at the start of Microsoft Ignite. It was the fourth of the modern fundamentals after Azure, Microsoft and Dynamics 365. I didn’t do it straight away partly because I did MS-700 Microsoft Teams Administrator first – but also because I don’t claim to have a great deal of previous knowledge regarding working day in and day out with the Power Platform. Much like before I started to engage seriously with Azure it was something I had skirted around and dipped in and out of. I had built a few rudimentary canvas apps,  a few simple flows between Office 365 apps, and a couple of Power BI dashboards pulled through to Teams – but nothing what you would call major.

Having taken the Beta – 50 questions straight up and a surprising 3 hour time limit (Fundamentals are usually an hour which could always be the case when it goes GA), I would like to just put it out there and say that if you go into this one having just done the Microsoft Learn course without prior experience, hands on or more reading around on Docs or other sources, then unless you have exceptionally good luck there is a high probability that it will result in failure. From personal experience, there are multiple questions which are not covered in that Learn course, and which didn’t look out of place in an associate level exam. Luckily, the materials which I used below – a combination from Learn, Docs and other Microsoft sites stood me in relatively good stead and nothing was completely out of left field. I would urge anyone preparing for PL-900 to have a good grasp of the following subjects: the Common Data Service, the difference between Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service, Power Apps Portals, AI Builder Models, the difference between Business Rules and Business Process Flows and also how Power Platform works with Dynamics 365 particularly the Customer Engagement apps.

So get well prepared for this one! As always – I can never say it enough – get hands on. Whilst I feel that it was the hardest of all the fundamentals I have taken,  maybe that was because it’s the one I want the most. If anything, it’s certainly given me the opportunity to spend more time with the Power Platform – and I had a hell of a time creating apps.

Let’s be citizen developers together.

Best of luck!

Link to Exam: Here
Released: 4th November 2019 (GA expected Jan/Feb 2020)
Practice Test: Available 2020
MOC Course: Available 2020

MS Learn: Modules available

Important Note: this exam prep guide should be used to supplement your own resources and should not be used for the whole of your learning. Some of the resources may be not completely cover the requirements especially if the requirement is vague. If you find better articles than the ones below, please feel free to reach out and I’ll amend.

Status: Awaiting Beta Results

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Understand the business value of Power Platform (20-25%)

Describe the value of Power Platform applications

  • Analyze data by using Power BI
  • Act with Power Apps
  • Build solutions that use Common Data Service (CDS)
  • Automate with Microsoft Flow
  • Interoperate with external systems and data

Describe the value of connecting business solutions

  • Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Third-party services and apps

Understand Power Platform administration and security

  • Understand how Power Platform implements security
  • Understand Power Platform as a service
  • Describe how to manage apps and users
  • Describe admin centers
  • Understand how the platform supports compliance

Understand the Core Components of Power Platform (25-30%)

Understand Common Data Services

  • User experience vs unique job role using Power Apps
  • Identify entities, fields, and relationships
  • Describe environments
  • Describe use cases and limitations of Business process flows
  • Describe use cases and limitations of business rules
  • Describe the Common Data Model (CDM)
  • Identify common standard entities

Understand Connectors

  • Describe uses for and types of triggers
  • Describe actions
  • Describe connectors
  • Identify use cases for custom connectors

Understand AI Builder

  • Identify the business value of AI Builder
  • Describe models
  • Consumption by the Power Platform

Demonstrate the business value of Power BI (15-20%)

Understand common components in Power BI

  • Identify and describe uses for visualization controls
  • Describe types of filters
  • Describe Tabs
  • Custom visuals
  • Compare and contrast dashboards and workspaces
  • Compare and contrast Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service

Connect to and consume data

  • Combine multiple data sources
  • Clean and transform data
  • Describe and implement aggregate functions
  • Identify available types of data sources
  • Describe and consume shared datasets and template apps

Build a basic dashboard using Power BI

  • Design a Power BI dashboard
  • Design data layout and mapping
  • Publish and share reports and dashboards

Demonstrate the business value of Power Apps (15-20%)

Understand common components in Power Apps

  • Describe canvas apps
  • Describe model-driven apps
  • Identify and describe controls
  • Understand uses for templates
  • Understand use cases for formulas

Build a basic canvas app

  • Connect to data
  • Use controls to design the user experience
  • Describe the customer journey
    • Within other links
  • Publish and share an app

Understand Power Apps portals

  • Describe use case for and the business value of portals
  • Describe how to extend CDS data, use controls, and embed Power BI objects

Demonstrate the business value of Microsoft Flow (15-20%)

Understand the common components of Microsoft Flow

  • Flow types
  • Connectors
  • Conditions
  • Expressions

Build a basic flow

  • Create a business process flow
  • Implement a Microsoft Flow template
  • Modify a flow
  • Run a flow
  • Export a flow to Logic Apps

I would also recommend

  • Troubleshooting Flows

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