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SAP Business One certification: How to ace your TB1200 (updated April 2019)

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(Opinions in this publication are mine and do not represent necessary the ones from my employer.)

This paper is all about the preparation of the CTB1200, what you should expect in terms of investments, difficulties and time lines. And while doing so, let’s open the subject to all CTB1200 training’s formats, whatever it is on-site, blended or from home.

Proposed agenda:

  1. Plan your time (study time, systems, formats).
  2. Plan the material (courses, softwares).
  3. 1st round: the Discovering phase.
  4. 2nd round: the Associating phase.
  5. Final round: Study Guide & final exam.
  6. Conclusion.

I – Plan your time seriously

Plan the study time

The TB’s are not difficult as such, but their content is demanding (1300 pages without the exercises, 1600 pages for the new 9.2 training) and will require well planned dedicated time. The original schedule for on-site TB training (1000, 1100 & 1200) with an instructor is 2 weeks. That’s 80 hours minimum fully allocated to the learning, excluding your own revisions at eves. So you must understand what you are getting into!

Plan the system

Some of us will have a limited access to the SAP Business One system. Indeed, the trial version (fully operational) expires after 30 days. You must use those 30 days at their best.

Good News 2019: SAP Business One 9.3 is now available for SAP Partners and SAP Customers to be deployed within their Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud accounts… read more.

Alone or Instructor?

There are different education’s channels: from SAP directly, from existing B1 Partners, from schools or universities as well as from your own cozy living-room.

So, all together, you are presented with 3 options (or any combinations of the 3):

  1. With an instructor, on-site.
  2. With an instructor, virtually.
  3. Alone, with the comfort of your home.

1 and 2 will cost you money (unless in a special Student Program), while 3 is free.

1, when done by SAP, is short and intensive (2 full weeks maximum) while 2 is better suited for people with an actual job (5 weeks minimum, 7 weeks for 9.2).

If you choose 1, you might incur additional costs (flight, car, hotel). You can check where and when a course is available for you (see Training and Certification Shop).
(update March 2019: it seems that SAP Education has stopped, at least momentary, to propose the SAP Business One TB training…) 

You also could access training through the University Alliance. Students can sign up once their University is a member of the program. If you’d like to join and your university is not yet a member of the alliance, please encourage your University to contact SAP Education to join the program.

With 2, SAP introduced a new virtual class called “TB1200 Blended Class” for partners only which consists of 5 weeks virtual training (7 weeks for 9.2). Here, again, you might check the dates and places with your LPE (Local Product expert).

With 3, you do it alone (see ‘Courses’ section below). Having an instructor is beneficial but when studying alone, you can find multitude of free information if you have internet access, for example on the legendary SAP Community Network (SCN).

NO MATTER what formula you choose, you will succeed only if you work!

I often have the question if being experienced on SAP Business One is an advantage for succeeding the final exam. My answer is yes, because one can associate SAP B1 features better and faster. But I also say that experienced consultants have a propensity to over-complicate the TB’s structure and unique goal which is to prepare for the final exam in a “TB” mindset. Therefore, experienced consultants might fail where newbies succeed, no matter if they worked alone or with an instructor

 

II – Plan the material

Courses

Although the certification refers to the CTB1200, the course contains the TB1000 and TB1100 as well. SAP has moved the TB materials from a restricted PartnerEdge portal to a fully accessible SAP Business One Academy on the Learning Hub (picture above).

The portal has a lot to offer, but you would focus on the SAP Business One 9.3 topics as shown in this following picture.  

 

Choose the SAP Business One 9.3 in you language* and you will be presented with this structured visual learning map below. 

(*) at the time of publishing (updated March 2019), valid in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese only.

 

Softwares

You will need a SAP Business One system to practice. SAP Business One needs 3 main components in order to run:

  1. A Business One Server
  2. A Business One Client
  3. A database system: HANA or Microsoft SQL

I always recommend to work locally (your laptop) but that means you will have to find and install yourself those components. To avoid this burden, looking at a cloud or remote connection is an appealing alternative.

Good News 2019: SAP Business One 9.3 is now available for SAP Partners and SAP Customers to be deployed within their Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud accounts… read more.

Local installation

More suited for existing consultants that have access to the PartnerEdge in order to download the SAP installation files with knowledge on how to install SQL server, SAP Business One Server & SAP Business One Client. There is no downloadable version outside the restricted PartnerEdge Portal, which actually is a “full” version but without a license, therefore valid for 30 days from the date of installation. Note that the installation file is approximatively 8GB (oops, that’s more than my monthly internet cap!). So unless you have a PartnerEdge ID to access the SAP Business One download page and a comfortable bandwidth, you are stuck !

Cloud/RDC connections

If you are not part of a SAP Business One Partnership, don’t hesitate to visit one close-by and explain what you are trying to achieve. Most SAP Partners are now offering B1 in the Cloud, sometimes with already preset 30 days trial, so discuss the possibility to access it. 

You also have more and more cloud offering from 1/3 parties for SAP Business One on HANA (which I strongly recommend), for example SAP Business One on AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Point is you must find a system to practice and it can be a tricky part. Also, it must be aligned with the TB family you are studying.

TB courses are created by ‘family ‘. Note that family 8.xx is no longer available, so you will study the family 9.xx.

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III – 1st round: the Discovering phase

A first round?

Yes, no matter if you plan to study in a classroom or by yourself. Why?

  • As already mentioned, the content of the TBs is quite heavy. The best way to mitigate this, is to take advantage of the free material at your disposal for a first round of preparation. A ‘2-waves’ study cycle will tremendously increase your knowledge: one wave to discover the modules separately and another one to link them together.
  • If you have a B1 system with 30 days trial, you might prefer to use it when it matters the most. Discover all the materials first, then review them on the system in round 2.
  • TB1000 (Logistics) & TB1100 (Financials) are basic knowledge. Of course, they are somehow related to SAP Business One, but they are to be found in any ERP systems and any ERP Business Processes. A Debit and a Credit is the same all over the world! But some of us can understand it faster then others.
  • The TB1200 (Implementation & Support) is easy enough to understand, even without the support of a demo system. My recommendation of course is to get a support system from the very beginning.

Where to start?

I don’t think it matters. Personally, I like to start my classes with the TB1100 (Accounting) simply because it is universal and it is the backbone of any ERP system. As well, for some students, it is more demanding, so better start with the “big” chunk.

Each chapter has its summary at the end. They have been created for a purpose, so read them carefully to help structuring your study.

Exercises with their solutions are provided. Of course it is better to do them in a demo system, but there is no pain of reading the solutions during the first round and without any system: It will help you to revise the TB content through the structure of the answers.

What else in this round? Register for your final exam. Availability can vary between Certification Centre and you would prefer to pass your exam immediately after round 3 when everything is still fresh in your head.

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IV – 2nd round: the Associating phase

Exercises & Solutions

Start this round with all exercises and solutions. Touch & feel the system as much as you can: printing the B1 screens in your head will help you when passing the final exam. And don’t be shy! Extend the exercises to your own scenario. SAP Business One is probably the most sexy ERP system in the world! Once you start using it, you can’t stop.

Case Study

TB1200 finishes with a study case which consists of creating a prototype using SAP Business One. The database is created from scratch and will guide you through all subjects covered in the TBs. Use this ‘general’ exercise to further establish your knowledge.

The OEC Computer demo database, provided when installing the SAP Business One system, is used for all exercises of the TB. So if you are studying a french TB, you would prefer to exercise on a french localised OEC Computer database. In english, you will choose the UK localisation.

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V – Final round

There we are! You are soon to be certified.

Study Guide

(Update March 2019: At this point of time, I am not aware of a study guide for 9.3. The latest seems to be for 9.2, in my eyes still very relevant for the 9.3 certification).

What I like with the study guide is the type of question that oblige you to resume an answer from your global knowledge. There are no answers given for you. Example of a question: What is the purpose of user-defined shortcuts and how are they set up?

The guide has 17 chapters with questions on specific subjects all linked to the TB courses. Answer them the best you can and in your own words. If you can answer them easily, then you are ready for the final exam. If not, you know where to further gain knowledge.

Tips: If you don’t know how to answer a question, copy the key word from the question and paste it in ‘find’ mode into the pdf TB document. All the instances of that keyword will be listed.

 

Final exam

It’s all on the screen! You provide your ID card when arriving at a certified centre (a common one is Pearson Vue), you sit in front of a computer and the exam will start in the language you requested during the registration.

80 questions in 3 hours. That’s 2.25 minutes per question in a MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) format. And if there are more than one correct answer, it will tell you “there are 3 correct answers to this question”. There is no negative marking.

The pass rate is 60%.

As for all type of exams, READ THE QUESTION PROPERLY!!! Very often, the answer sits in the question itself. Or should I say, the non-answers. Example, the question says “Mr. XX wants to automatically do a banking reconciliation…”. In the 4 proposed answers, 3 are discussing a manual process, not automatically done by SAP Business One. Bingo!

You can ‘mark’ questions so that you can review them later. Once you are done, you click the finish button and there is no come back.

The result is instantaneous. Deadly!

 

VI – Conclusion

  1. Do not under-estimate the workload and time needed.
  2. Plan your study time accordingly.
  3. Stick to the plan.

And most important, there is no single way to prepare. Only you know what suits you best. But two things are sure: you must work and you must have fun!

8 Comments
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  • Hello everybody,

    Another good question asked: Can I run SQL 2012 Express with an SAP B1 Database?

    Answer: Yes, a free, lightweight version of SQL server limited to:

    • databases max. size of 10 GB (SAP Demo database is probably 200 MB)
    • multicore processing (on only 1 CPU)
    • max. 1 GB of RAM utilization

    Basically, it’s all you need to setup a demo system for your TB1200 study and exercises.

    Download size is much less then the full SQL, and I recommend the “With Tools” version named SQLEXPRWT (64 or 32 bits), check the link below:

    Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Express Download

    You can find the SQL 2012 Express SAP Installation guide inside the PartnerEdge (s-user needed) here: Link to document (PeD) 

    Thank you for asking,

  • Hi Frederic Bada,

    Thanks a lot for providing this info. How and where can I download an SAP B1 system. I am fine with a trial version, but can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    Also, SQL server 2014 is available for free for a 6 month trial period. If that helps.

    Thanks,

    Phani

    • Hello Phani,

       

      Thank you for your remarks 😉

       

      Indeed, the download of a SAP B1 system, even with a 9.0 trial version, is still a burden. I mentioned it internally so that all could download the installation files, for example from our excellent Sap Business One Academy web site. 

       

      Regarding SQL 2014, I didn’t mention it because it is officially SAP supported for 9.1 and 9.2 versions only. Since we are talking about a 9.0 certification, I didn’t want to confuse our readers.

       

      Regards, 

       

      Frédéric

    • Hi Nasser,

      The complete set of 9.2 training materials is available for free on the SAP Learning Hub.

      If you are not an SAP partner, you can register for free access to the Learning Hub. Registration is open to the public and is free of charge.

      Enjoy 😉