CompTIA's latest vendor-neutral certification proves your knowledge of Internet applications.

Tackle the iNet+ Test

CompTIA's latest vendor-neutral certification proves your knowledge of Internet applications.

As with CompTIA's popular A+ exam, i-Net+ is designed to test your overall knowledge of a given subject; in this case, implementing and supporting Internet applications. This test makes a good attempt at being non-vendor-specific when it comes to creating, implementing, and supporting Internet and Web-based applications. It covers a wide variety of topics—if it has to do with the Internet, then you'll find it on here.

CompTIA i-Net+ (IK0-001)
Reviewers Rating: "Have a good general knowledge of all technologies needed to support a Web and, more specifically, an e-commerce application."

Title: i-Net+

Number of Questions: 162 on beta; 72 on live exam

Time allowed: 150 minutes for beta

Current status: Expected to go live January 2000

Who should take it? Internet systems administrators, Internet security specialists, Internet application developers, Internet database specialists, Internet e-commerce specialists, Internet network specialists, Internet site designers.

Because I've been in Internet development for over four years, I found most of the questions on the beta exam that I attempted to be relatively easy. As an MCSD, and MCP+Site Building, I've taken plenty of Microsoft exams and a couple of Microsoft beta test. This, however, was my first experience in taking a non-Microsoft exam. I found a couple of the questions on the test worded in such a way that it was hard to understand which answer was most correct. For some of the questions, it seemed as if multiple answers might be right, but only one could be selected. That said, I didn't find this exam to be as taxing as sitting through a Microsoft test.

Tip: Be careful when reading the questions. Go over them twice just to make sure you understand what they're asking.

The best way to prepare for i-Net+ is to do Internet application development and/or implementation. Also be able to use the various Internet clients that are available. I'd recommend having at least one year of experience in supporting e-commerce applications and Internet clients before tackling the exam.

Tip: I'm sure you'll see several study guides hit the market by the time this test goes live. But why spend money when you don't have to? Start with the exam objectives posted at www.comptia.org/certification/inetplus/
objectives.htm
.

Internet Clients

Many questions on the exam test your knowledge as an Internet user. Be familiar with how the various clients work and how the software is configured. Learn what type of client uses what Internet protocols and what port is the default for a particular protocol. You'll also need to know how to use the software: how to transfer files via FTP, the differences between ASCII file transfers and binary transfers, and how to conduct advanced searches using browser-based search engines or via protocols like Gopher.

Be familiar with how to use the clients and in what circumstance you'd use each. Know the browser inside and out: how it handles cookies, performance considerations when caching pages or images, MIME type formats, and compatibility issues.

Working with Internet clients and downloading files to your computer can, of course, open your systems up to potential viruses. Understand how viruses transfer from one system to another.

Development

A large percentage of this exam focuses on development of Web-based applications. You don't need to be a heavy coder in order to get through those questions; but you do need to understand programming concepts and which technologies are available for the job.

Know how to implement a database and understand the differences between flat vs. relational database management systems. Be aware of the different methods for connecting to and manipulating a database.

Be familiar with scripting and development technologies, including VBScript, JavaScript, ASP, Perl, and Java. Where do the processes occur for each-server-side or client-side? Know which type of scripting technologies are appropriate for which platform or for what task you need to perform. Be familiar with multi-tier application development using technologies such as CORBA and COM and the platforms they pertain to. Investigate the optimization of application performance using client caching, proxies, and general page layout or design.

One aspect of the Web that has made it so popular in recent years is the graphical nature of pages. Know how to implement graphics on a page and what each media type supports. Understand transparencies, image compression, vector vs. bitmaps, and streaming file formats. Know the various issues that can arise when implementing media formats such as display, mime types, and browser compatibility.

Of course, no exam on Internet development would be complete without some reference to HTML. Know the various attributes that can be applied to tags, such as height, width, and align. Understand proper HTML document structure and which tags should be included in all documents.

Tip: Browsers display HTML differently; some have proprietary tags. Make sure you can identify cross-browser vs. browser-specific coding.

Once you complete your application, you should know how to test it by viewing it in different browsers and at different screen resolutions or by trying different connection speeds and environments. Be familiar with the problems that arise during the testing phase and how to resolve them.

Networking

Hardware, hardware, and more hardware. Know the difference between the various parts that make up a network environment and the protocols that make up a network. Understand the differences among routers, hubs, gateways, and bridges, as well as the job each does. Understand TCP/IP, how it works, and how to diagnose problems with it. You should be able to use software tools like ping, ipconfig, and arp to diagnose connectivity issues.

A major complaint of the Web is speed. Know the different transfer rates of connection methods: standard modems, ISDN, DSL, T1, and T3.

Understand the differences between Internet, intranet, extranet, and virtual private network. Know when to use each type and what security issues come into play. Regarding VPN, understand the underlying point to point tunneling protocol (PPTP) used.

You'll need to know TCP and how it relates to DNS, HOST files, subnetting, and the different address class types. On top of TCP you'll also need to know the differences between SLIP, PPP, X.25, PPTP, and others identified on the objectives list. Read up on the protocols and be able to differentiate between them.

i-Net+ Exam Domains
Basics 10%
Clients 20%
Development 20%
Networking 25%
Net security 15%
Business concepts 10%

Internet Security

OK. You know how clients work, how to develop the killer Web app, and how to set up the network to support it. Time to launch your site-right? Wrong! First, you need to understand the different security models and decide what level of security to apply to your application. Understand Secure Sockets Layering (SSL), client certificates, access control lists (ACLs), Kerberos, and LDAP, and how these various technologies affect security.

How do you monitor your information sources to discover when your site gets hacked? What type of intrusion was it, and what can you do to secure your system from being the recipient of the attack again?

Business Concepts

You should always keep in mind the goals of your e-commerce or Web application and how the application will fit into the existing business systems. Understand the different models-Internet vs. intranet vs. extranet and so on-and which one is best for tasks such as gaining new customers, servicing existing customers, or fostering organizational collaboration and knowledge exchange. A major goal for organizations is often how to integrate new Web applications into legacy programs. How much do you know about the issues that arise with this type of integration?

Tip: Know existing business technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Understand the concepts of promoting your site using keywords effectively for search engine indexing, using list servers for targeting email, and pushing personalized content to users.

Because it truly is a World Wide Web, know the basics of internationalization issues like currency conversion, language, and security.

Finally, because we put information out on the Web and make it available for anyone to see and take, understand legal issues like copyrights and trademarks.

Additional Information
You'll find CompTIA's home page for i-Net+ at www.comptia.org/
certification/inetplus/index.htm
.

The Concept Thing

CompTIA did an excellent job of creating an exam that tests our overall knowledge of how to develop, implement, and support Internet clients and applications-and did so in a way that's truly vendor neutral. That neutrality meant that questions couldn't drill down on specific product or company practices, making the questions concept-oriented rather than technology specific. With hands-on and methodical review of the topics on the objectives list, you should do fine. Good luck!

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