Salesforce Certified Advanced Developer (SFCFAD)

The Certified Advanced Developer exam is for individuals who want to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities developing custom applications using the programmatic capabilities on the cloud platform. Here are examples of Advanced Developer concepts that you should understand to pass the exam:

  • Develop custom applications using Apex and Visualforce
  • Manage the development lifecycle and environments
  • Write and execute comprehensive test plans


Recommended training for this certification

As preparation for this exam, Training and Certification recommends a combination of: hands-on experience building custom applications on the platform using the declarative and programmatic capabilities of Apex code and Visualforce pages; training course completion; and self-study. Training and Certification recommends the following instructor-led courses, online courses, and other resources to guide your study:

  • Apex & Visualforce Controllers (DEV501)
  • Online resource: Cookbook
  • Online course: Apex
  • Online course: Managing Development with
  • Online course: Visualforce Controllers
  • Workbook: Workbook
  • Workbook: Apex Workbook
  • Workbook: Visualforce Workbook
  • Documentation: Apex Code Developer's Guide, Visualforce Developer’s Guide, Metadata API Developer’s Guide, and Migration Tool Guide—available on Visualforce Workbook
  • Podcast: Apex Programming on the Platform
  • Become a member of
  • Create a Developer Edition account


The Certified Advanced Developer credential has three steps: (1) multiple-choice exam (2) programming assignment (3) essay exam. To earn the Certified Advanced Developer credential, you must successfully complete all three components in this order. Completion of each component is required to move on to the next step. Certified Advanced Developer Exam

  • 69 multiple-choice questions
  • 120 minutes allotted to complete the exam
  • 73% is the passing score
  • Registration fee is USD 400
  • Retake fee is USD 200
  • No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam

Programming Assignment

  • Development of the programmatic components of an application using Apex and Visualforce against a set of business requirements in a pre-configured Salesforce organization
  • 1 month allotted to complete the programming assignment on your own time; Plan for a minimum of 20 hours within the allotted window to complete the assignment
  • Submission of the programming assignment for evaluation by a team of experts
  • Results are provided by email, 6-8 weeks following exam submission, in combination with essay exam results.
  • Successful completion of the Certified Advanced Developer exam is a prerequisite

Essay Exam:

  • When registering for the programming assignment you will schedule your essay exam
  • 3–5 short-answer essay questions related to the programming assignment you submit
  • 60 minutes allotted to complete the exam in a proctored environment
  • Results are provided by email, 6-8 weeks following exam submission, in combination with programming assignment results


Successful completion of online, release-specific Certified Developer exams is required to maintain the pre-requisite to the Certified Advanced Developer credential. Release exams are published three times a year for each of the product releases throughout the year. Successful maintenance of the pre-requisite credential, Certified Developer, is required to maintain this credential. An annual maintenance fee of $100 will be charged when registering for every third release exam, based on when the pre-requisite credential was earned. The maintenance fee includes the three release exams and access to the supporting training material. Certified professionals will be notified automatically when new release training material and exams become available.


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