Yesterday I have completed my exam on Windows Communication Foundation. This is the second exam towards my preparation to MCPD on Enterprise Application Developer 3.5. Next in my list is ADO.net application development. I thank my guru Robert Seder who has guided me all the way through my preparation.
It took me 3 attempts to clear this exam. So I hope I have handful of experience to share. In this paper I am planning to share some of the interesting things I found during my exam preparation and in the exam itself.
- The exam spans for 2 hours with 45 questions.
- I used 2 books for preparation.
- First one is Self-Paced Training Kit from Microsoft press (Authors: Bruce Johnson, Peter Madziac and Sara Morgan). I found this book well organized and covers at least 95% of the examination syllabus.
- The other book I book that helped me a lot was Pro WCF Practical Microsoft SOA implementation written by Chris Peiris and Dennis Mulder.
- One important thing I found during my preparation is, only after having a hands on practicals (the least is to do the practicals given in the lab section of the each chapter) our study gets fulfilled.
- Having said the above point I found it was difficult to completely understand the security related chapters since I couldn’t try all of them at my home machine. Everything else is doable from home.
- The exam syllabus is categorized in the following titles.
- Creating Services
- Exposing and Deploying Services
- Instrumenting and Administering Services
- Consuming Services
- Securing Services
- Managing the Service Life Cycle
- Even though the training materials guide us through chapter by chapter, we can’t expect any question to be from a single chapter. In other words, every single question is a combination of multiple chapters. For example a question might be asked on duplex communication where the answers might carry different combination of session modes and concurrencies applicable to it. It essence, we can’t ignore any chapter during our study, because it might certainly impact the exam attempt.
Following are a few tips and areas of concentration that might help the people preparing for this exam.
Wring of regular contracts, writing one way operations.
Writing Message and data contracts keeping in mind the opt in mechanism.
Writing duplex MEP contracts, initializing the proxy of duplex services.
Concurrency mode to be used on duplex services. Single concurrency is not applicable to duplex is the key to keep in mind. For thread safety we opt the Reentrant concurrency otherwise Multiple is the choice.
Asynchronous consumption of services.
Consuming com+ operations in WCF.
Representational state transfer style of programming. WebGetAttribute and its template styles.
Quota specifications and throttling.
Handling the Session lifecycle manually.
Configuration of the system.diagnostics node for instrumentation.
Introduction of Parameter Inspector and Message Inspectors in WCF pipeline.
Understanding of use of Reliable sessions.
Controlling transactions including Transaction flow.
Controlling the lifecycle of the service using the Instance Contexts, Sessions and Transaction.
Programming Host factories.
Programming Behavior extensions.
Use of Message object, extracting the body and header from it and Message object’s state cycle.
Imperative configuration of service without a config file.
Serialization of contracts (mainly the way they are serialized, i.e, nodes, attributes and node text).
Various modes of consuming a service.
Of course, there a lot more to study during the preparation. But this paper can serve as a checklist before heading to the examination hall.