As mentioned in my previous blog post, for some time ago an opportunity came up to do a review of a new book written by MVP Julian Sharp. I took this opportunity, reviewed the book and scheduled for the exam. I passed it and all of a sudden I had inspiration for writing about Microsoft Certifications. Both in general, take a look at this blog post, and PL-200 in particular, which I wrote about in my previous blog post.

Before I let you in on my thoughts about Julian’s book, I do want to mention that there is a lot of learning material available for free too. Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn is amazing with lots of great learning paths and just so much information to gain from there, all for free. There is also a whole community out there putting out content for free! Week after week! (You are a subscriber I hope?! PPWeekly and PPDevWeekly). But if you are looking for learning material with a little extra spice which will prepare you for PL-200 or if you want your new colleague to become familiar with the low-code aspects of Power Platform in a great way – I really recommend Julian’s book.

More than an exam preparation book

The title of the book is Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant: PL-200 Exam Guide: Learn how to customize and configure Microsoft Power Platform and prepare for the PL-200 exam and it is written by Julian Sharp. The ISBN is 1838985689. It was published on December 4, 2020 and consists of 648 pages full of knowledge and experience from someone who has worked with this platform for a long time.

In the beginning of the book you can read that this book is for functional consultants who are involved in implementing solutions based on Power Platform or Dynamics 365. It also target people who has been working with Dynamics 365 and want to get up to date with more parts of the Power Platform. After reading the book I find it suitable for the target audience and I do believe it would be beneficial for other audience as well. Since the author goes through the main building blocks of the Power Platform, both as an overview as well as in details for many parts, I believe it would be valuable for anyone involved in Power Platform related projects who needs to gain understanding about when to use what technology and to gain insights into how Dataverse works.

As the title of the book reveals, the purpose of this book is to be your guide to the Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant Exam, PL-200. After reading the book I find it as such, however, to me this book is so much more than an exam preparation book. It is like the ultimate guide to the low-code aspects of the Power Platform. It is a perfect fit for a person who is new to Power Platform and is about to start a career as a functional consultant and at the same time it might be beneficial for anyone who wants to pass the PL-200 exam and/or becoming more familiar with what you can do with the Power Platform. It says in the preface that by reading this book you will be well placed to take and pass the exam. For me this was 100 % true. I read the book and I passed the exam. I have many years of experience from working with Microsoft Business Applications, but still I found pieces of information which was new to me in this book.

The book is easy to read and the content easy to grasp. There are a lot of explaining screenshots throughout the book which enriches the well written content. The author’s expertise shines through every page with lots of tips and tricks for the readers (in fact, there are more than 100 tips in this book!). Tips and tricks as well as important notes are marked with dedicated icons, making the book easy to read and important information easy to find. At the end of each chapter there are questions to test your knowledge. There are also lots of links with tips for further reading for the readers to gain an even better understanding for the different concepts. The last chapters include tips and tricks related to taking exams as well as two PL-200 practice tests with questions similar to the questions the exam is built up from.

This book is written in a way that teaches its readers not only how to pass the exam, but also how to work as a Power Platform functional consultant implementing solutions with Power Platform. This book is like one person’s long gathered experience from working with Power Platform (and the platform which Power Platform has been evolved from, Microsoft Dynamics CRM) compressed in a pocket size format. Let this book be your guide on your learning journey and make sure to mix it with practical exercises.

As already mentioned, there are a lot of resources available for free too. But if you are like me, and like reading books within this subject and you are about to prepare for PL-200, this might be something for you. You’ll find the book here. As mentioned in my previous post, there is currently a code to be used until the end of May, giving you a better price, have a look here.