I took up Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) 6.0 Architect certification (9A0-385) recently. I thought to jot down few pointers for my fellow enthusiasts aspiring for passing this exam. You may find this post useful. Please post your question as comment if you have one. All the best.
Questions & Timing
Time allotted for this exam is 90 mins. If you’re a non-native of English, you would be getting additional 30 mins to complete this exam. As am from India and non native to English, I got 120 mins to complete 53 questions. So, approx. 2 mins per question.
Type of questions
Questions are mostly scenario based. I felt that the experience in breadth of AEM and a bit of analytical skills certainly help to get them right. Do prepare for few weeks without looking for any shortcuts. It would help your AEM career. Depth of the subject as a developer may not be required for clearing this exam. Most of the questions were of single answer type. Few questions esp. on templates requires you to answer based on the exhibits (screen snaps) shown.
Key preparation topics
- Importing content from external system – Explore various options such as poll importer, eCommerce product importing, POST servlet, Content packages (best for large content per adobe doc), live feed integration, etc.
- Integration with external system such as eCommerce PIM, Offer creation system, etc.
- Serving the web pages created by external system from AEM.
- About adobe products such as Dynamic Tag Management (DTM), Analytics, Target and Campaign.
- Dispatcher – Dispatcher.any, permission sensitive caching, dispatcher cache invalidation, etc.
- Dispatcher server selections – IIS / Apache and how in the context of phased migration to AEM.
- Deployment options for author / publish and impact on parameters such as performance and failover – TarMK (farm), MongoMK (cluster).
- Clientlibs and how it helps in improving load time (performance).
- Queries – Performance, how to hide certain results and all the nuances.
- Performance of author machines – Concurrent workflow, Limiting parallel jobs, Disable asset synchronization service, etc.
- Identifying number of templates given the pages.
- Basics of AEM forms esp. the deployment setup of processing node when a form is submitted.
- AEM apps – Content sync, phone gap, etc.
- Online backup – stages, options, etc.
- David’s content model – ACL, Uniquely identifying nodes (mix:referancable), etc.
- Sightly basics.
- Multiple languages for dialog – Language nodes, translator, etc.
- AEM translation framework.
- Security – SAML, LDAP, Custom login module, Authentication handler, 2 factor authentication, clickjacking, CSRF, XSS, firewall rules, DOS attack, ACL groups / users etc.
- Account management activities – Password reset, etc.
- Tagging – Best way to model tag structure.
- AEM replication.
- WCM Components – Geo location support, OOTB components, Column component, extending components, etc.
- Ecommerce – product data importing , price information, ecommerce API, etc.
- UGC / Communities – Moderation, forum support, messaging support, adobe social, social logins, etc.
- Site hierarchy – MSM, live copy, blueprint, live action, roll out config, language copy, translation workflow, etc.
- Solution architecture – Conceptual Vs Logical Vs Dataflow Vs Physical
Preparation materials – few links.
- Certification guide from adobe should be the starting point
- Materials available in docs.adobe.com is the ultimate source for preparation.
- Read all best practices.
- MSM, Live copy synchronization.
- Security – Checklist, LDAP, SAML.
- Workflows, workflow steps.
- OOTB components – List.
- AEM forms – Link.
Some more notes
Factors influencing site content structure.
- Which location content has been authored.
- Which language content has been authored
- Use W3C ISO standard for language and country codes. For example, en_us, hi_in. If country and language are split. Country should come first.
- For regions, use region masters (only if required, otherwise use language master)
- Between top level authoring and country sites, there shall not be more than 3 levels.
- Create language masters if the language is shared by more than one country
- MSM supports only one language. Use MSM + Language copy for best results.
MSM – best practice.
- Reduce customisation for upgradeability, performance.
- Establish governance. Minimise authority for local content producers
- Use blueprints to leverage full MSM blueprint.
- OnModify trigger on blueprint will have authoring performance issues.
- Rollout config order of preference. Page > Blueprint > Parent of the page > Branch of the page > System default.
- Memorise stuff in this http://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-0/administer/sites/multi-site-manager/msm-sync.html#Synchronisation%20Actions
- AEM supports hybris, agility pim, ibm web sphere, elastic path, magenta, in river (in dev), jcr based – Sample implementation.
- AEM works very tightly with commerce engine.
- Connector provided for specific commerce engines
- APIs are generic.
Way I approached the questions
- Read the question and paraphrase in mind.
- Attach importance to every single word in the question.
- Shorter questions are a trap. Be extra cautious.
- Use elimination method on answers and choose the answer.
- Validate the answer connecting it to the question and move on to next question.
- Utilize the full exam time available.