SCDJWS preparation – a kick start guide

If you are looking for getting started with preparing for SCDJWS (Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services) certification then its very normal that you will be stuck on the material required for it. SCDJWS in nature is very vast in its scope. So you have to be very careful in choosing the appropriate resources. There are many varied implementations on the usage of the API’s which help you implement J2EE web services but you have to remember one thing. You are giving the SUN certification, so its but obvious that you have to use the API’s that SUN provides for creating the J2EE web services. There are many different API versions of the same J2EE web services specifications like those from Apache, BEA, IBM, but since the implementations can be somewhat different from each other, you always have to study the core API’s provided by SUN. This will help you avoid confusion. Moreover, studying SUN API’s is more beneficial since they are present in any vendor implementation. The vice versa is not true.

First Step – Getting Started.
The first and the foremost thing you have to do before you can get started with the preparation is to learn the W3C standards which prepare the foundation for implementing the web services. They are:
1. XML 1.0 – for representing data
2. XSD 1.0 – structure for the data
3. SOAP 1.1 – protocol to transfer the data
4. WSDL 1.1 – contract for the service access
5. UDDI 2.0 – registry for your listing services

Of course they might be too overwhelming to start with rather than learning the API’s but remember, getting acquainted with the standards will make your half job done in the preparation. Once you get to know the standards learning the API’s will be much more easier than trying them out in the first place.

Second step – Making a mark
The second step is the most fascinating one where you will be learning about the API’s to create the web services. You will be requiring the SUN JWSDP 1.6 pack (latest is 2.0, but the test refers to 1.6) which includes the following API’s
1. JAX-RPC – for creating a web service and its WSDL or its client
2. SAAJ – for handling of SOAP messages
3. JAXP – for parsing/ transforming XML data
4. JAXB – for advanced handling of XML and XSD
5. JAXR – for inquiring and communicating with UDDI

It would be beneficial if you follow the order mentioned here in learning the API’s. Its not a mandate however, just a comfortable approach to cover all the API’s without having to get entangled in learning them all at the same time.

Third Step – Rising from the fall
The third step is tightly bound to the second step. First let me tell you what this steps includes learning.
1. Basic Profile 1.0 – for solving your headaches
2. J2EE blueprints (Service Endpoint Design) – for giving you relief from the pain
3. Web service Security – to protect your services

Well these things actually are meant to be learnt before you actually do a SOA web service project but I am telling you to learn them after the API’s. Why? because it will embed in your minds the problems which you might encounter in the future if you didn’t have the Basic profile and the blueprints at all. You might call it reinventing the wheel. Why should you learn them after facing problems when they are present to solve them. Well, the first thing is that learning them in theory is boring and you wouldn’t even know what they mean in practicality if you never had been in the mentioned situation. Well its just like you learn to avoid slippery places only after you know what might happen if you fall. After learning to implement web services and use the API’s you would really appreciate why the Basic Profile and Blueprints have been created.

Fourth and final step – Taking the plunge
So now that you armed with the power to defeat and destroy.. umm..err.. give the test, you might as well get some first aid in the form of mock tests. They help you point out which area you might have been neglecting all the while and also brush up and strengthen the stuff that you have learnt. Give mock test 2 to 3 times so that you have to aim for the 100% when you are giving it for the 3rd time. A 90+ score in the 3rd time will indicate that you are almost ready for the actual test. Well, there’s no stopping you from scoring a 90+ in the first and second time, but from an average point of view, I am indicating that you might require 3 times. I did!

And finally BEST OF LUCK for the grand finale- the SCDJWS test! It would be truly a moment to rejoice when you clear the exam as I have felt. Just like you won a big war!

Coming up : Materials to use for SCDJWS preparation

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