Thursday, December 23, 2010

IBM MDM Server Certification (Test 000-420: IBM InfoSphere MDM Server v9.0)

I cleared the IBM MDM server certification exam.I wish to share my experience in preparing for the same. 
Here goes the test objectives.

Section 1 - Configure and Deploy InfoSphere MDM Server in a Development Workstation (9%)
Given a scenario, describe workstation RAD/RSA development environment setup
Demonstrate knowledge of deploying Custom Code
Demonstrate knowledge of configuring MDM Server features

Section 2 - MDM Server Architecture and Domain Model (12%)
Describe basic MDM Server architecture
Describe MDM Server business entities and their relationships

Section 3 - Extensions and Additions (through Workbench) (12%)
Given a scenario, demonstrate knowledge of differences between a data extension and an addition
Given a scenario, demonstrate knowledge of creating code tables
Demonstrate knowledge of how to create a behavior extension

Section 4 - Composite Transactions (8%)
Describe how to create composite transactions using Business Proxy
Describe the difference between composite XML transactions and Java business proxy composites

Section 5 - External Rules and Validation (9%)
Describe External Business Rules Framework
Describe how to create a new external rule
Describe external validation and when to use it

Section 6 - Search Strategy (5%)
Describe search strategy (high level)
Describe different implementations of seach strategy

Section 7 - Suspect Duplicate Processing (14%)
Describe party SDP work flow
Demonstrate knowledge of implementing customized SDP logic
Demonstrate knowledge of 'evergreening'

Section 8 - Features and Functionality (16%)
Describe simple/compound history
Describe the MDM Server components
Demonstrate knowledge of configurable inquiry levels

Section 9 - Security (6%)
Describe MDM Server data visibility and accessibility control
Demonstrate knowledge of Authentication versus Authorization

Section 10 - Troubleshooting (9%)
Given a scenario, demonstrate knowledge of configuring and analyzing MDM Server log files
Given a scenario, demonstrate knowledge of Error handling

There will be 63 questions and the time frame is 90 min and the passing score is 67% which means you have to clear alt least 43 questions.
Even if section percentage is given as above,for the actual exam there may be a few difference like
Section 1 -10% 6 questions out of 63
Section 2 -13% 8 questions out of 63
Section 3 -13% 8 questions out of 63
Section 4 - 7% 5 questions out of 63
Section 5 - 10% 6 questions out of 63
Section 6 - 5% 3 questions out of 63
Section 7 - 14% 9 questions out of 63
Section 8 - 15% 10 questions out of 63
Section 9 - 3% 2 questions out of 63
Section 10 - 10% 6 questions out of 63

 As I am working in an company which is an IBM business partner I was able to undergo the training from IBM.But the training itself wont assure you success as it cannot cover everything in a certification perspective.The point I wish to emphasize is that I had ready access to all the training materials and the pdf which are essential in clearing the exam. 

Materials you should refer are
  • MDM Transaction Reference Guide
  • MDM UI Developers Guide
  • MDM Understanding And Planning Guide
  • MDM Workbench User Guide
  • User Interface Generator Guide
  • MDM Common Data Dictionary
  • MDM Common Services Transaction Reference
  • MDM Data Dictionary
  • MDM Data Stewardship UI Users Guide
  • MDM Developers Guide
  • MDM Developers Samples
  • MDM Installation Guide
  • MDM Product UI User Guide
  • MDM Query Connect Guide
  • MDM Quick Start Guide
  • MDM Release Notes
  • MDM System Management Guide
  • MDM Transaction List
  • Redbook: Master Data Management: Rapid Deployment Package for MDM
  • Redbook: WebSphere Customer Center: Understanding Performance
  • MDM Server version Infocenter (for v 9.0)
Do you think I am joking by giving you a list of pdf each spanning across 100 to 600 pages and telling you clearing the exam is a cake walk?.
Out of these pdfs I recommend you to read MDM Developers Guide,MDM System Management Guide,TRG which you can use as reference .But still the developer guide is so huge for you to read right ?.So pick up the exam objectives read only those :).
How we have prepared for the exam ?.
Ours is a small team .We divided the topics among each .
We prepared a schedule for the entire objective list.By 1and a half week ie 5+3 working days we covered the entire objective.
Every one prepared their topic well by referring the materials mentioned above & glanced through other topic.
Each day around 2hrs we kept apart from the work schedule & discussions we held for the days topic.We kept a certification tracker internally & posted all the doubts which came across during the discussion.

I forgot to mention that I used the sample test available from the link for free:
I can see a few questions from the pdf available in the site for the actual exam.
MDM server best practices are available in the following link.Read the SDP article as section 7 is 14% of the entire exam objective.

Also refer the chapter Configuring pluggable keys which is a small one but you will get a easy question on it.Read about SMART Inquiries,Summary Data Indicators also.Even if I didn't work on both they are easy to understand.
Also I had seen questions from the external validation section like the types of external validations,which all tables are involved in the field level ,group level validation.I had discussed a little about external validations in one of my previous blogs which seems to be sufficient in answering them.
There is a question which shows a diagram and asking us to identify the missing component in the picture.The answer was DWLRequestHandler.
Go through the triggers section.There was question like when SIMPLE(update) triggers are used and when COMPOUND (insert/update)trigger is used/triggered.
There are questions from the behaviour extension/service extension section like the levels ACTION (COMPONENT)events,TRANSACTION events(CONTROLLER). 

All these information shared across are the ones which I remember but the question may change as IBM may be having a good question bank and they may be picking up questions randomly from it.

Here goes the link where you get complete information about the test.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beginners Guide for Creating an IBM MDM External Validation

External validation is the ability of MDM  to validate end user data before updating or adding transactions.IT determines the data being entered is a valid or invalid one. External validation are triggered at the pre of the controller.

There are 2 main categories of external validation 
1)Field Level(Element Level)
2)Cross Filed Level(Group Level)
I will elaborate more on field level validation here.The element level validation is generally used under the following circumstances.
         To check whether the field is optional or mandatory
         To specify minimum and maximum field lengths and values
         To specify allowable and prohibited values and patterns etc.

The tables involved are 
The V_ELEMENT contains the attribute which needs to validated.
V_ELEMENT_VAL relates the attribute(element) with the validation function.
V_ELEMENT_PARAM can be used to specify the param type and the param value.The param type is used to retrieve the param value in the validation function we write.
V_FUNCTION contains the fully qualified class path to the validation function class.(Function name , Java class).