Behind the Browser
The IEAK 5.0 exam forces you to prove your knowledge of Internet Explorer and the technologies that make it work.
The Internet Explorer 5.0 Administration Kit exam tests
your knowledge of the browser, as you’d expect, but it
also tests you on all the technologies that make it work.
If you’re going for the coveted MCSE+Internet certification
and plan on taking this test to finish it off, don’t think
you’ll be able to cruise through with ease. You’re going
to have to prove knowledge of TCP/IP networking, Windows
NT policies and security, network infrastructure, and,
of course, the Administration Kit itself.
Planning and Implementing
As with many recent Microsoft exams, this one poses scenario
questions. These take the form: “This is what you want
to accomplish; this is what you did. How many of your
goals did you actually accomplish by performing those
tasks?” For instance, one skill being measured is your
understanding of licensing differences for ISPs, companies,
and content providers. A scenario question might ask you
what licensing requirements you would need based on how
you were going to implement IE 5.0. Say you’re a software
developer creating an application that uses IE browser
technology that you’re going to distribute. What type
of licensing would you need to apply for to Microsoft
in order to distribute IE with your software?
This exam also tests your knowledge of the various components
available with an IE install. For example, if your users
need a particular Internet service, such as email, which
component of the install will provide your clients with
this functionality? Or if users need to edit HTML pages
on the company intranet, which component of IE can provide
Scenario questions always present several requirements
and optional results. You always deploy a specific set
of options. Be prepared to sort out what requirements
you’ve met with the installation you’ve deployed. Requirements
could range from security restrictions to installation
options. Make sure you’re up to speed on bandwidth considerations,
existing machine configuration, mobile computing, network
issues, and international issues. Do you know how to synchronize
IE for offline browsing for mobile users? On the international
side, understand how to set up IEAK for creating a different
language version of IE. Also, make sure you can create
different versions of IE for different operating systems.
You might be presented with basic applications of IEAK:
the Customization Wizard, Profile Manager, and the Connection
Manager Administration Kit (CMAK). You’ll need to know
the role of each application and how it applies to your
Study the distribution of IEAK. Know the differences
between a flat, download, branded, or CD distribution.
For example, say you’re going to a tradeshow, and you
want to provide clients with an HTML presentation and
a company-branded browser to view it with. What method
would you use to distribute the build to people walking
around the show? (One possible answer: a CD build would
work; after all, you don’t want them lugging laptops,
hoping to download the site from a nearby T1 connection.)
Rating: “Definitely not the hardest
exam I’ve taken, but it covers a lot of
and Supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer
5.0 Using the Microsoft Internet Explorer
Number of Questions:
118 in the beta; about half that on
Expect around 90 minutes for live exam.
Live as of February 2000.
Who should take
it? Counts as elective credit
toward NT 4.0 MCSE and MCSE+Internet
What classes prepare
- 956, a two-day instructor-led course
that focuses on IEAK 4.0.
- 1400a, a downloadable self-study
Networking issues are a major part of this exam. Make
sure you understand TCP/IP networking, especially the
basics of subnets, routers, gateways, DNS, and so on.
If you’ve already passed the TCP/IP exam, then you shouldn’t
have any problems here. Practice doing an ipconfig in
NT and understand what those numbers are that you’re seeing.
Likewise, understand the fundamentals of linking with
a Remote Access Service (RAS) connection, Virtual Private
Networking (VPN), or hooking up to an Internet Service
Provider (ISP). Understand what a proxy is and how it
Also, break out the JScript books, particularly the sections
on auto-proxy script files. Do you know how to evaluate
a JScript conditional statement that sets up your client’s
Internet connection based on several criteria? Can you
detect whether the user is connecting via a RAS dial-in
and then connect that person based upon this connection
information? The proxy detection script allows you to
do tasks like this.
Know how to use the Connection Manager to set up different
dial-up configurations for your clients. This could be
based on what area code a person is in. Say, for example,
you’re an ISP with multiple locations and you want to
make it as easy as possible for your clients to call their
local service provider. How can you use the CMAK to configure
the Internet connection information?
Know how to set up a VPN connection via dial-up networking.
Understand how to connect via IP address or domain name
and why this even matters. If your network uses DHCP and
your VPN server gets an assigned IP address; what would
be the best connection string to use in your dial-up connection,
domain name, or IP address? Also know what protocols can
be used over a VPN connection.
About the MCSE+Internet?
wondering which exams you should tackle
as electives for the Windows 2000 MCSE,
the IEAK test is one to consider. Although
the NT 4.0 MCSE+Internet certification
requires exams from seven core areas,
in six of those areas every single exam
has been scheduled for retirement (the
exception is the Windows 98 test). For
the seventh, the IEAK requirement, Microsoft
hasn’t announced anything. Presumably,
once the exam reviewed here is live, we
can expect version 4.0 to be added to
the retiree ranks. (Although Microsoft
used to follow the practice of allowing
two versions of a product to be represented
in live tests, they’ve thrown that habit
out the window with their most recent
program announcements; it’s a new world.)
For now and the foreseeable future, IEAK
5.0 is still a safe bet.
Problems and Efficiencies
Troubleshooting and optimization go hand in hand. After
your deployment, you will no doubt be presented with problems
from users. Through the process of troubleshooting these
issues, you gradually develop best practices for optimizing
your IE deployment. For the exam, be prepared to diagnose
various problems concerning network infrastructure and
Also be ready to troubleshoot simple issues like name
resolution and problems with a client’s IP configuration.
If you’re presented with a network diagram of routers
and workstations and their IP configuration, could you
diagnose the connectivity problems based upon this schematic?
Other issues might reside at the client but affect your
entire network. For instance, your clients could be using
synchronization and downloading huge Web sites all at
the same time or during a heavy traffic time of the day.
You should know how to schedule synchronization of IE
offline sites to enhance performance while providing users
with the latest content. Also, be acquainted with IE settings,
like when to tell it to check for a new version of a page.
Do you have a thorough knowledge of the various components
you can install with IE and what they do? For example,
to provide users with the ability to edit HTML pages and
send and receive Internet email, you’d provide Outlook
Express and FrontPage Express as part of your IE distribution.
Tip: Understand the different
security zones of IE and how it may apply to your distribution.
Say you’re going to set up a kiosk that will be available
to any user; you may need to restrict the browser from
downloading and installing active content or executing
scripts. In your initial build you’ll be using the IE
Customization Wizard for this task.
Next, it’s time to prepare for the actual deployment.
IEAK provides you with three methods of installation:
silent, hands-free, and interactive. Know when to use
what method of installation, and then once your install
is complete, know how to maintain it using the Profile
As with most every exam, you need to have some hands-on
using the product. I went through an IE 5.0 build and
deployment a couple of weeks before taking this test,
and it helped me tremendously. Go through applying for
the license, creating some builds, and then deploying
Oh, yeah, and make sure you also practice acting as the
user—that is, know how to use IE. Know how to set your
security settings and what the different zones mean. Don’t
be afraid to go to the Tools | Internet Options in the
IE menu and then click on the Advanced tab. Have a look
around at the advanced settings, and you’ll see that everything
here can be pre-configured in the IEAK. Know what these
settings do and how they affect the application.
Play around with the applications that come with IE 5.0:
Microsoft NetMeeting, Outlook Express, and FrontPage Express.
See how they work, how to set them up manually, and the
I’d have to say this definitely was not the hardest exam
I’ve taken, but it covers a lot of ground. Make sure you
spend time going over the exam matrix located on Microsoft’s
site to make sure you’ve covered every aspect of the product.