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Cleared IBM XML 141 today!

Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
Hai all,
I've cleared the IBM XML exam - 141 today. Fortunately I just passed it. on dot with 65%, i donno which question saved me;-)
The paper was definitely tougher than the sample test. In the sample test I scored 85% and you can check the difference for yourself.
The questions covered were:
- Architecture: Similar to something like a B2B application has to be designed. Which is the MOST likely alternative to be present in the design?
Which are the options which may NOT be part of the design.
What are the major issues a developer needs to focus on when he is working on an application which processes XML on server side and generates output in HTML.
- XML Schema/DTD: Good number of questions in this area.
What would be the correct representation of a the design of objects(a design diagram was attached) in the XML schema
If you want to make alterations to the entities declared which is the best way? modify the DTD or modify the entities in the XML instance document etc..
When would you use xsd:import instead of xsd:include?
Given a particular scenario when would you use SAX and when would you use DOM.
What is ParserAdapter? (I donno the answer yet)
How would you capture an attribute value in SAX2 (2 correct choices)
- XSL-FO and CSS: I got some questions on XSL-FO and CSS, so do have a look at these topics. I didn't study these so I had some trouble answering these questions
- XSLT: This was my weak area. The questions included XPath expressions which I could handle. Two questions on how will you read a XML document for XSLT which reads and then returns the root node, and how would you save multiple documents of XML using XSLT. the choices were like read("doc.xml"), parse("doc.xml"), save("doc.xml"), document("doc.xml") and nothing of such is specified in XSLT. This also contributed to good number of questions.
- Namespaces: Which of the following are the benefits of namespaces? (three correct answers). Included some two to three questions.
- SOAP/UDDI/Web Services: 3 to 4 questions.
- one question on XML signatures. What is the core requirement of XML Signature?
I don't think any questions from XPointers were asked. One question on XLink was asked. It was conceptual.
Overall 35-40% syntax oriented (mostly in XSLT/Schema/DTD) and the rest were conceptual.
Reference materials I used:
Professional XML 2 Ed.
XML in a nutshell
w3c specs for XML Schema, DOM, SAX. - good for some quick reference
The topics I studied were Basic XML, DTD, Schemas, XSLT, XPath, XLink, XPointers, DOM, SAX. A brief overview on SOAP & XML signatures.
I recommend reading XML in a nutshell to begin with. It's a very good book for basic XML, DTD, XPath, XLink, XPointers. Then you can refer to Professional XML 2 ed. But none of these cover XSLT extensively. May be you need to refer to Java&XSLT or XSLT by oreilly. For schemas refer to Part 1 Schema Primer on w3c. It's really very good and I think it's vast enough.
Take the sample tests available on javaranch, witscale, and I initially took XML@whiz tests but i really didn't like the tool. Some of the answers are wrong and I used to lose the confidence. so i stopped looking at it. if interested you may try since there is no other tool.
I spent around 160 hours spread over 3 months. On the whole I went through the topics three times, first overview, second a bit deeper and last two weeks was a thorough study. I had some prior understanding of XML so it helped. It also played a spoilsport - I was a bit overconfident in the beginning.
I think this info would help the prospective XML professionals attain their goal. Let me know if you have any questions.
My sincere thanks to all the javaranchers who shared their ideas and clarified the doubts. This is a great place to visit.

Time for me to think of next certification, but after a break!
Good luck,
[ August 20, 2002: Message edited by: Rakesh Gudur ]
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Good job Rakesh

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Hari babu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 208
Congrats!! Rajesh. Iam taking up the exam next week.
Can you elaborate on the following?
If you want to make alterations to the entities declared which is the best way? modify the DTD or modify the entities in the XML instance document etc..
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
Hari babu,
The second option is better as the modification will not effect other XML files already in use which adhere to the DTD. The changes to the local entities would be local to the XML file. In contrast if you chjange the DTD all the other XML files have to be modified to suit the new rules.
I hope this answers your question.
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Good Job Rakesh!
Thanks for the tips.
Niraj Sheth

Joined: Oct 26, 2000
Posts: 16
Thanks Rakesh,
I know questions are multiple choice questions. Do they tell you how many choices are correct( like SCJP ).
Thanks again
John Wetherbie

Joined: Apr 05, 2000
Posts: 1449

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen all at once.
- Buckaroo Banzai
stephen Kang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 26, 2002
Posts: 53
Congratulations! Rakesh
i bought Professional XML2e today and want to prepare the exam. I don't have any idea how long it will take. You scare me how the exam difficult was
Anyways,i am thinking about buying wrox prof XML Schema. Do you think W3C specs is enough for XML schema? If it is enough for the exam, i don't want to spend the money.
Basically, i am kind of book-oriented and later on, i am planning to look up those references above while doing the mock test or mock exam.
And what do you recommend about XSLT book?
the last question is
Is it okay to skip the chapters from prof XML2e following the tips from the javaranchers? or Do you think it is necessary to cover at least once?
Could you guys give me some tips?

Stephen Kang
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
Thanks all for the wishes. Niraj, the no. of correct choices to be selected would be mentioned below the question. that's not a problem.
Stephen, please don't get scared abt the exam. the idea is only to caution you people to put more attention and stay focussed. understand where to concentrate more. it is definitely not required to have a prior knowledge of XML. and it is not so difficult that you will not pass. only thing is you need to put some consisten effort.
if it is easy for you to study from the books, then you may get them. but i found that there are many mistakes in the sample code given in the PX2E book. you may refer to the books and once you are comfortable refer to specs where you need more info. XML in a nutshell can give you the initial push. for XSLT refer to XSLT by Dough Tidwell. i have not used it but i think it is good. some of the javaranchers are using it.
yes, you can skip some chapters, you need not study it start - end. refer to chapters mentioned by ranchers. i think i have answered ur questions. let me know if you need any more info.
good luck,
Only hardwork is the shortcut to success!
Anitha Lingam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2002
Posts: 38
Congratulations On Your Success!
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy

Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
Hi Rakesh
The answer for the XSLT question u had is
document("xyz.xml") and their is no functions like read parse save.
<xsl:value-of select=document("xyz.xml") />
<xsl:value-of select=document("abc.xml") />
<xsl:value-of select=document("foo.xml") />
by this way u read multiple document and save it to single OUTPUT
Just FYI.

Spritle Software Blogs
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
Thanks Anitha and Balaji. Thanks for the clarification on XSLT
It is pardonable to aim high and miss, but it is unpardonable to aim low.

Joined: Aug 16, 2002
Posts: 11
Hi there,
I want to write IBM XML certification.I don't know where to get registered to write that exam & fees details.
Another question i heard abt whizlabs xml exam pack,
Is that really good?Is it worth buying that?
or online material is enough to get certification?
Plz help me.
Jeff X Williams

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 29
- one question on XML signatures. What is the core requirement of XML Signature?
So, what is the "core requirement of XML Signature"?
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
you can get the test information at IBM site.
And regarding whizlabs test tool checkout my first posting.
and Jeff, I don't have answer to that question. I've blindly selected one of the choices which I felt is closer. I don't remember the choices and the exact question asked.
J Reddi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 24, 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks for sharing your expertise with us.
I would like to know the market value and job potential of getting XML cert.
Any ideas
Thnaks in advance
J. Reddi
SCJP for Java2 platform
SCWCD for J2EE platform
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
This certificate definitely adds weightage to your CV. XML is now a defacto standard for the data transfer in the middle tier and so having knowledge and proving it through a third party certification will be an advantage.
Since you already have sun certifications, you may go for XML for bettering your own career opportunities.
Good luck,

Joined: Aug 16, 2002
Posts: 11
Do i need to get SCJP b4 going to XML?
I know Java but i don't know have certification. can i write XML certification now?
Iam so confused. plz help me,
Rakesh Gudur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 79
You can take XML without having any other certifications. There is no pre-requisite from IBM on this. Also you are not required to have any knowledge of Java but it is better if you have it especially for DOM/SAX.
I hope I've answered your question.
Good luck,
IBM Certified Dev - XML and Rel. Tech.
[ August 29, 2002: Message edited by: Rakesh Gudur ]
Sunny Tea

Joined: May 25, 2006
Posts: 1
hello everybody,
i am preparing for ibm xml certifications.
a friend has who has cleared the cerifictions told me about the some of books must for it.
so i like to share that with u all.Skonnard. xml reference is must for starter.
i hav soft copy of the book if ny body wants an p[m me.
for xslt dough tidewell oreilly publications. is must. if any anybody have that book plz get me that book.i could not find it on book stall.
my email id is
sunny26july AT
all the best .
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Cleared IBM XML 141 today!