Microsoft Exam 70-487 Study Guide

Hello all of my fellow certification-aholics :)  This post covers Microsoft’s 70-487 exam: Developing Windows Azure and Web Services.

I will admit that I have not been the best about finishing this blog series on the MCSD certification track.  I took the 70-487 test about one month ago and found it to be as difficult as I expected it to be.  The study guide used for this test is a bit sloppier than my former posts (Microsoft Exam 70-486 Study Guide and Microsoft Exam 70-480 Study Guide) as well as very incomplete.  However, a number of readers have requested that I at least post a small tidbit on this test.  To make this more worthwhile, I will open the post to the comments section below.  If you have any links, whether it your own blog posts or something you have found, please post in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to this page ASAP.


Note on Changes to Test

It appears that there will be some modifications to the 70-487 exam.  Thank you Sean for posting information on April 15, 2014 regarding changes to the test.

Comment from Sean:

It’s official, new stuff for anyone doing the exam from the 30th of April onward:


Exam Overview

For me, this was the most difficult test of the three.  However, several people have stated it was the easiest, so it definitely just depends on your experience with the topics (which is pretty broad).  In my case, I have not worked on a production level project that involved Azure, so my experience was limited to labs and tutorials.  However, WCF is my strong suite, which was my saving grace on this test.  I was pretty surprised in regards to the WCF questions on the test.  It dove into what (IMHO)  are 300 – 400 level advanced WCF extensibility features.  If you have a Plural Sight license or are willing to make a smart investment, the WCF Extensibility course covers everything I recall being tested on.  It is not a Beginner level video though, so some pre-requisite WCF knowledge will be helpful.

Furthermore, Plural Sight also has a great video for Web API that will assist you in studying for the “Creating and Consuming Web API-based services” section of the test: Introduction to ASP.NET Web-API.


Training for the Test

Definitely leverage the Plural Sight videos mentioned before if you can.  However, if this is not an option, there are courses that cover Azure and WCF located within many of the sites that I mention in this post: Awesome and Free Online Learning for Microsoft Products

Much of the practice that I did for this test consisted of writing code and demos for the topics that I mention below.  I recommend the same to anyone that does not have a lot of experience with the subject matter as it will force you to run into and resolve complications involved in implementing the various technologies.  If you run into any weird issues when writing your code sample, I would be more than happy to help if you reach out to me through the comments, twitter, or my email (available on my about page).

Overall, I probably put around 30 hours into studying for the test, with the majority of my time spent studying the Azure concepts and going though the Microsoft code samples available.  If you’re new to Azure, the Virtual Academy is a great place to start…  and best of all…  IT’S FREEE!!!  Thank you Microsoft: Microsoft Virtual Academy – Introduction to Windows Azure.


Testing Structure

As was the case for the 70-486 test, this test consists of multiple choice A – D questions, multiple choice / multiple answer questions (checkboxes), and drag and drop answer sets.  Furthermore, the test also contains case studies.  Case studies consists of a fictional project concept that consists of business requirements, technical requirements, and code samples.  The questions will be related to the case study (scenario) and range from questions about debugging the code samples, questions about adding new functionality that meet the technical requirements and business needs, to conceptualizing / architecting scalable solutions.


Test Content

As mentioned before in this post, many of the questions are focused on WCF.  It is stated to only be 19% of the test, but I recall it being a much larger percentage in my case.  Be prepared for more advanced WCF comments.  I appologize that my study guide does not provide too many links for this.  This subject is more of my strong suite, so I did not study as much for this.  I apologize if I emphasize this too much, but over studying is always better than understudying.

Many of the questions surrounding deployment cover not only the tools in Visual Studio for deployment, but also features in IIS.  Many of these questions are more conceptual in nature as well in regards to the various deployment strategies available (FTP, HTTP through Web Deploy, etc).

Below are some links for training content.  Sorry again for it not be as extensive as my previous posts.  I was hesitant to even post this, but hopefully what is here at least helps a bit.  Please provide any useful links you find in the comments below and I will be sure to include them.


Other Online Study Guides and Blogs

Check out these other great online study guides:


Accessing Data (24%)


Querying and Manipulating Data by Using the Entity Framework (20%)


Designing and Implementing WCF Services (19%)


Creating and Consuming Web API-based services (18%)


Deploying Web Applications and Services (19%)


Shout Outs

Thank you to all that hit me up on Twitter and through the comments.  Special thanks to Tobias ( | @tobiasnilsson80) who put together another great post with references for the 70-487 exam.



Although it is not extremely extensive, I hope you find this post to be helpful.  The comments below are open for link contributions.  Even if it is blog post that you put together that covers the topics in more detail, please pass me along anything you found to be helpful.  I would much rather pass along my Google page rank to posts that will be more helpful to readers.

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Reader's Comments »

  1. By Tobias on January 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I´ve just posted my own study guide with a lot of links that I will be using when studying for the exam. You beat me by 1 hour or so! :)

    My guide:

  2. By chris on January 10, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Nice Tobias! That covers all of the topics that I did not and more. Thank you for letting me know. I’ll add a link to you on my post.

  3. By Blogged By Chris » Microsoft Exam 70-487 Study Notes on January 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    […] post is related to the previous post I had that covers exam 70-487.  However, the content on this post is much more thorough and provides examples for the topics […]

  4. By Radu on February 3, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for this useful study guide. Can you please tell us what is the passing score on the exam, 700 or 800?

  5. By chris on February 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Passing score on most (if not possibly even all) Microsoft tests is 700+ out of 1000. Most of the tests I have taken are usually in the range of 2-3 hours and consist of about 50-75 questions.

  6. By Marcos Paulo - Slipmp on April 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Perfect! Thanks a lot!

  7. By Terra on April 27, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for this info! Passed the first 2 exams using your guides, hoping to get this one knocked out soon too.

  8. By Lucie on May 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks for this very helpful post. I have used it as my study guide and will take the test soon.

    Since 70-487 will be my first Microsoft exam, I wonder if you need to write any code during the exam and in what format. Is there anyway to run and test the code?

  9. By Levi on May 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Really love your guides! I used the 70-480 one heavily… by far the most comprehensive on the net. I recently made one for this exam as well ( Check it out if you’re interested!

  10. By Meu guia de estudos para o Exam 70-487 Developing Windows Azure and Web Services | Vitor Meriat on December 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm
  11. By Meu guia de estudos para o Exam 70-487 Developing Windows Azure and Web Services | Vitor Meriat on March 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm
  12. By Sean on April 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    It’s official, new stuff for anyone doing the exam from the 30th of April onward:

  13. By chris on April 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    @Sean, thank you for posting this. I will get this added into the main content.

  14. By Padmika on May 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Chris I just wanted to say thank you for all your study guides as I completed MCSD : Web Applications today. Your guides inspired me a lot and hope to see more of them in the future.

  15. By Brian on June 5, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I took the 70-486 test today from prometric, and it didn’t have the new content (no mention of vs2013 or signalR for example). Consider checking with prometric to see if they have the 70-487 changes.

  16. By Brian on June 5, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Pluralsight just added a 70-487 Learning Path, which lists their relevant courses:

    And thanks, Chris. Your references helped me pass 486.

  17. By HasTeq on August 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I looked at the Pluralsight learning path for 70-487 exam there are about 60 hours of video training approximately. Could any of you suggest, whether pluralsight or Chris’ learning path, which one would be effective and precised..

  18. […] The Great Big Microsoft Certification 70-487 Study Guide Microsoft Exam 70-487 Study Guide […]

  19. By paras on November 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    chris..i have a doubt that how much gap can we take between two exams..i mean…how much period we can rest or study between two consecutive exams

  20. By Stuart Dobson on December 15, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the guide, I have taken many of your links and used them in the Official study guide which is now complete.

    It feels pretty comprehensive now but I haven’t taken the exam yet so I can’t vouch for its accuracy, although most articles seem to match up with the official “Skills Measured”.

  21. By ColinD on December 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Chris. Sadly I just failed my 70-487 for the second time in two weeks – this time I scored 15% less, despite 2 weeks of 4-hour a day cramming. I feel beaten, and I really need some good advice. I passed my 70-486 in the summer quite easily, even though I’ve never written an MVC application in my day job. On the other hand, I’m well into an Azure applications and I’m currently rolling out a commercial Azure app which uses WCF, Asterisk, WebAPI, EF etc. I’ve been writing commercial network apps for 20 years. I did the Prometric test, and got over 90% two times running as they suggested. I have to say that the test didn’t look very much like the exam. The latter was surprisingly heavy on Linq syntax, and I had a lot of difficulty with the pace – it worked out at about two minutes per question, given case study reading time. Am I being unrealistic to assume that I could pass the exam in three months?

  22. By chris on February 5, 2015 at 4:57 am

    @ColinD: I’m really sorry to hear that. I would not lose hope. I recently had the same struggle with a SQL Administration test I needed to pass for my MCSA. It took me 2 failed attempts. Only thing I can say is to maintain persistence. If there is one thing I am certain of, it is that you will eventually pass. Will you pass in 3 months? That is hard to say. It depends on how many hours you spend in that three months studying. With working experience, I imagine that 3 months of studying would be sufficient.

  23. By hpok on December 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Passed today! I’m a MCSD now, thank you, i used all your guides, it was the hardest of the 3 exams, i scored 717… Took the 3 in 2 months lapse…
    Also used the Pluralsight learing path ( worth every cent, and if you’re in Dreamspark, you get 3 months free… Be sure to ask if you’re a college student…

  24. By Leonardo Lorens on September 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    You can use OTE file with all Q&A from here and use it together with free account at Simply click on the file name to import and use it at

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