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1 Introduction

This is a page to help you prepare the COAP-3180 exam, December 2007.

2 Conceptual exam topics

2.1 Web databases, major database types and simple Internet architectures

  • Understand the difference between major database types
  • HTML Forms, server-side scripts and databases: you should understand roughly how they interact
  • The three-tier architecture model (client, webserver+script, database)


2.2 Simple web 2.0 databases

  • Understand the potential of tools like Zoho Creator and other virtual office software, e.g. other Zoho applications or Google Apps like Google Docs


2.3 Webtops and widgets

  • Understand the principle of a web top like Pageflakes
  • Understand the principle of web widgets and how to create simple mashups (either in a webtop or on your own HTML page)


2.4 Relational databases

  • Principles of relational databases, i.e. how objects can be represented with tables, and how tables can be linked together with keys


2.5 The LAMP architecture

  • Understand what Apache/MySQL/Php means
  • Understand advantages/disadvantages of working with a web hosting service, a local WAMP installation or a WAMP on a memory stick.
  • Know about some other alternatives (e.g. ASP/.Net or Java/JSP/J2EE)


2.6 PHP/MySQL and Code generators

  • Be able to produce scripting code with a generator
  • Understand what the generator does and why generators can be useful
  • Have a basic understanding how PHP interacts with MySQL


2.7 Installation and configuration of LAMP-based portalware

  • Discuss the design of a CMS, i.e. its purpose, front page design, menu layout, skin and extra tools installed
  • Understand different user roles: Administrator, editor, user and guest
  • Understand the difference between a front end (user) and a back end (admin).


2.8 The W3C XML framework

  • Purpose of XML
  • Basic technical features of XML:
    • well-formedness,
    • validity, i.e. the Schema concept (DTD, XML Schema, etc.) and its purpose
    • namespaces
  • Some understanding of the purpose of important XML applications, e.g. XHTML, XSLT, XPath, SVG.
  • Understand the difference between "true XHTML" and XHTML used as "just" HTML


2.9 XML Databases

  • Understand the purpose of XML databases
  • Advantages and disadvantages compared to other database technologies
  • Have a rough understanding on how XPath, XQuery, Xupdate, XQuery Update, XSLT and CSS may work together


2.10 Web services

  • Have a general understanding of what we mean be "webservice"
  • Be able to distinguish between a REST, A XML-RPC and SOAP interface
  • Understand the role of XML formats (query languages, web service languages, data formats)


2.11 LDAP databases


3 Technical exam topics

You are expected to master technical details (beginner's level) of these topics. Note: Other SQL and XQuery tutorials can be found on the web, e.g. at

3.1 SQL basics

  • Be able to create a simple table with an SQL statement (CREATE)
  • Be able to query and update a table (SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE)
  • Be able to query 2 tables (SELECT)


3.2 PHP/MySQL basics

  • Be able to use the PHPMyAdmin interface (create users and databases; fix permissions, i.e. GRANT user rights for a database)
  • Install a portal on a LAMP server


3.3 XQuery basics

  • Be able to write a simple XQuery application (of course, this includes simple XPath expressions)
  • Produce both XML and HTML output
  • Be able to upload XML data files and *.xq files to an eXist server
  • Query and eXist database with simple REST expressions