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Michael Taschler

Cloud Certifications: Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals

Michael Taschler

  • Aug 5, 2020
  • 11 Min read
  • 1,371 Views
  • Aug 5, 2020
  • 11 Min read
  • 1,371 Views
Cloud
Cloud Fundamentals
Cloud Platforms

Introduction

Cloud-based solutions have been high in demand over the last several years, and this is not likely to change in the future. Today, organizations of all shapes and sizes increasingly use cloud-based software and services.

In this guide you will learn about the Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification and the exam you can take to achieve it.

Microsoft 365 Power Platform Fundamentals Certified Badge Image

The Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification follows Microsoft's departure from broader certifications like the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) or its older sibling, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Nowadays the focus is on specific roles. Please note that this exam is currently in beta.

Target Audience

As a candidate for this exam, you are aspiring to improve productivity by understanding the capabilities of the Power Platform, automating basic business processes with Power Automate, performing basic data analysis with Power BI, acting more effectively by creating simple Power Apps experiences, and creating powerful chatbots by using Power Virtual Agents.

Applicable Exams

A single exam, the PL-900, is required to gain the Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification. It is important to understand that Microsoft has taken up the practice of retiring and replacing exams at a much faster pace than in the past. Since the cloud is ever-changing, Microsoft updates live exams frequently. As of today, the content of this exam was last updated on July 13, 2020.

The price for the exam is US$99/€99. Microsoft offers a student discount if you verify your academic status when booking the exam by using one of the following: a school email account, a school account, an International Student Identity Card, a verification code, or other documentation proving your eligibility for the student discount.

Prerequisites

While there are no specific prerequisites to taking the PL-900 exam, it is worth noting that experience with the required skills is key to a successful experience.

Learning Path for Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals

Ensure that you possess sufficient experience and invest the time to go through the relevant Pluralsight courses and other resources.

Skills Measured

Your skills will be measured in the following six categories:

  • Describe the Business Value of Power Platform (15-20%)
  • Identify the Core Components of Power Platform (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power BI (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power Apps (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power Automate (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power Virtual Agents (10-15%)

These categories are broken down into details as follows, according to the exam skills outline:

Describe the Business Value of Power Platform

Describe the Business Value of Power Platform Services

  • Analyze data by using Power BI
  • Act with Power Apps
  • Build solutions that use Common Data Service
  • Create flows by using Power Automate
  • Use connectors to access services and data
  • Create powerful chatbots by using a guided, no-code graphical interface

Describe the business value of extending business solutions by using Power Platform

  • Describe how Dynamics 365 apps can accelerate delivery of Power Platform business solutions
  • Describe how Power Platform business solutions can be used by Microsoft 365 apps including Microsoft Teams
  • Describe how Power Platform business solutions can consume Microsoft 365 services
  • Describe how Power Platform business solutions can consume Microsoft Azure services
  • Describe how Power Platform business solutions can consume third-party apps and services

Describe Power Platform administration and security

  • Describe how Power Platform implements security including awareness of Common Data Service security roles, Azure Identity Services
  • Describe how to manage apps and users
  • Describe environments
  • Describe where to perform specific administrative tasks including Power Platform Admin center, Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Describe Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies
  • Describe how the platform supports privacy and accessibility guidelines

Identify the Core Components of Power Platform

Describe Common Data Service

  • Describe the Power Apps user experience
  • Describe entities, fields, and relationships
  • Describe use cases for solutions
  • Describe use cases and limitations of business rules
  • Describe the Common Data Model (CDM)
  • Describe how to use common standard entities to describe people, places, and things

Describe Connectors

  • Describe triggers including trigger types and where triggers are used
  • Describe actions
  • Describe licensing options for connectors including standard or premium tier Identify use cases for custom connectors

Describe AI Builder

  • Identify the business value of AI Builder
  • Describe models including business card reader, detection model, form processing model, and prediction model
  • Describe how the Power Apps and Power Automate can consume AI Builder data

Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power BI

Identify common Power BI components

  • Identify and describe uses for visualization controls including pie, bar, donut, and scatter plots and KPIs
  • Describe types of filters
  • Describe the Power BI Desktop Reports, Data, and Model tabs
  • Describe uses for custom visuals including charts or controls
  • 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 including Microsoft Excel
  • Describe use cases for shared datasets and template apps and how to consume each

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 Capabilities of Power Apps

Identify common Power Apps components

  • Describe differences between canvas apps and model-driven apps
  • Describe portal apps
  • Identify and describe types of reusable components including canvas component libraries and Power Apps Component Framework (PCF) components
  • Describe use cases for formulas

Build a basic canvas app

  • Describe types of data sources
  • Connect to data by using connectors
  • Combine multiple data sources
  • Use controls to design the user experience
  • Describe the customer journey
  • Publish and share an app

Describe Power Apps portals

  • Create a portal by using a template
  • Describe common portal customizations
  • Identify differences in portal behavior based on whether a user is authenticated
  • Apply a theme to a portal

Build a basic model-driven app

  • Add entities to app navigation
  • Modify forms and views
  • Publish and share an app

Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power Automate

Identify common Power Automate components

  • Identify flow types
  • Describe use cases for and available templates
  • Describe how Power Automate uses connectors
  • Describe loops and conditions including switch, do until, and apply to each
  • Describe expressions
  • Describe approvals

Build a basic flow

  • Create a flow by using the button, automated, or scheduled flow template
  • Modify a flow
  • Use flow controls to perform data operations
  • Run a flow
  • Modify a flow

Demonstrate the Capabilities of Power Virtual Agents

Describe Power Virtual Agents capabilities

  • Describe use cases for Power Virtual Agents
  • Describe where you can publish chatbots
  • Describe topics, entities and actions

Build and publish a basic chatbot

  • Create a chatbot
  • Create a topic
  • Call an action
  • Test a chatbot
  • Publish a chatbot
  • Monitor chatbot usage
  • Monitor chatbot performance

Pluralsight Courses

Make sure you check out Pluralsight's Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals (PL-900) learning path, which currently contains five courses with another one soon to be released.

Other Resources

Microsoft Learn provides training resources free of charge. Take a look at the following learning path:

Utilizing the Microsoft Power Platform Docs and navigating to the relevant topics will also enable you to prepare for this exam.

Compensation and Employment Outlook

The cloud business has been booming in the last several years. Microsoft is a leader in this area and keeps growing. While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, it certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on Microsoft's cloud growth.

Gaining an up-to-date certification like the Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification from a household name like Microsoft should make you much more attractive to both current and future employers, especially since the cloud is booming. Your current employer might not raise your salary, but the next time you go looking for a job make sure you check trusted Internet sources for up-to-date information on salaries in your region.

It's difficult to provide absolute figures because they will depend on numerous factors like your experience, company type and size, industry, and region. Expect salaries for Microsoft Power Platform business analysts and developers to range from US$72,500 to US$127,900 in the United States.

Conclusion

As a fundamentals-level certification, gaining the Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals credential, while challenging, will earn you recognition as a subject matter expert in this field. All it takes is a single exam.

Sign up at Power BI or one of the other services for a free trial and book the exam, which you can take right in your home or in one of many testing centers.

I hope that this guide is useful and wish you good luck in gaining your certification.

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