· May 23, 2022

Beta Testers needed for our upcoming InterSystems IRIS System Administration Specialist Certification Exam

Hello IRIS Community,

InterSystems Certification is developing a certification exam for IRIS system administrators and, if you match the exam candidate description given below, we would like you to beta test the exam. The exam will be available for beta testing on June 20-23, 2022 at InterSystems Global Summit 2022, but only for Summit registrants (visit this page to learn more about Certification at GS22) . Beta testing will open for all other interested beta testers on July 18, 2022. However, interested beta testers should sign up now by emailing (see below for more details). The beta testing must be completed by September 30, 2022.

What are my responsibilities as a beta tester?

You will be assigned the exam and will need to take it within one month of the beta release. The exam will be administered in an online proctored environment (live-proctored during Summit), free of charge (the standard fee of $150 per exam is waived for all beta testers), and then the InterSystems Certification Team will perform a careful statistical analysis of all beta test data to set a passing score for the exam. The analysis of the beta test results will take 6-8 weeks, and after the passing score is established, you will receive an email notification from InterSystems Certification informing you of the results. If your score on the exam is at or above the passing score, you will have earned the certification! 

Note: Beta test scores are completely confidential.

Exam Details

Exam title: InterSystems IRIS System Administration Specialist

Candidate description: An IT professional who:

  • installs, manages, and monitors InterSystems IRIS environments, 
  • and ensures data security, integrity, and high availability.

Number of questions: 72

Time allotted to take exam: 2 hours

Recommended preparation:

Classroom course Managing InterSystems Servers or equivalent experience. Online course InterSystems IRIS Management Basics, is recommended, as well as experience searching Platform Management Documentation.

Recommended practical experience:

  • 1-2 years performing system administration, management, and security tasks using InterSystems IRIS data platform version 2019.1 or higher.
  • Review the set of practice questions found in the PDF file at the bottom of this page 

Exam practice questions

The practice questions found in the PDF file at the bottom of this page are provided to familiarize candidates with question formats and approaches.

Exam format

The questions are presented in two formats: multiple choice and multiple response. Several documentation books from the Platform Management section of InterSystems IRIS Documentation will be available during the exam. Please visit the practice question document at the bottom of this page to see the documentation books that will be available during the the exam.

DISCLAIMER: Please note this exam has a 2-hour time limit. While several documentation books will be available during the exam, candidates will NOT have time to search the documentation for every question. Thus, completing the recommended preparation before taking the exam, and searching the documentation only when absolutely necessary during the exam, are both strongly encouraged!

System requirements for beta testing 

  • Version or earlier of Questionmark Secure
  • Adobe Acrobat set as the default PDF viewer on your system
  • Windows 10 or 11 STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!
    • MacOS will work, but the ability to search the included documentation is extremely limited on MacOS.

NOTE: We delayed the release of this beta test in an attempt to get the search functionality across all operating systems to behave similarly. Unfortunately, Questionmark, our exam delivery service, has been unable to resolve the search functionality issues. Thus, regardless of your system’s OS, please prepare for your exam attempt by launching this short sample “exam experience” in Questionmark Secure. Completing the sample assessment will take ~10 minutes and will familiarize you with taking an exam in our locked-down browser (Questionmark Secure), the format of how the documentation books will be presented on the exam, and how to troubleshoot any search-related issues you may encounter. PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT THIS SAMPLE ASSESSMENT BEFORE YOUR EXAM (IT WILL GREATLY REDUCE YOUR EXAM STRESS)!

Exam topics and content

The exam contains question items that cover the areas for the stated role as shown in the KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) chart immediately below.

KSA Group

KSA Group Description

KSA Description

Target Items


Installs and configures InterSystems IRIS  

Installs and upgrades instances

Installs development, client, server, and custom instances; Performs different security installs of InterSystems IRIS; Identifies structure and contents of folders in the Installation directory; Starts, stops, and lists instances from the command line; Upgrades existing instances



Configures namespaces, databases, memory, and other system parameters

Creates, views, and deletes namespaces and databases;  Identifies contents and characteristics of default databases; Maps and manages globals, routines, and packages;  Determines when it is necessary to directly edit the iris.cpf and when it is inadvisable; Determines appropriate size of global buffers and routine buffers, and tunes them as needed; Determines appropriate journal states, database size, and maximum size for database; Determines disk space requirements for installation and operation; Determines memory requirements for installation and operation; Determines appropriate values for generic memory heap settings; Increases lock-table sizes



Manages licenses

Activates and reviews licenses; Configures license servers


Manages and monitors InterSystems IRIS

Manages databases

Mounts, dismounts, and expands databases; Compacts, truncates, and defrags databases; Checks database integrity; Manages data; Manages routines



Manages user and system processes

Performs process operations: suspend, resume, terminate; Inspects processes; Manages process locks; Uses Task Manager to view, schedule, execute, manage, and automate tasks



Manages journaling

Configures journal settings and locations; Uses journaling; Identifies the importance of enabling the "Freeze on error" option for data integrity; Differentiates between WIJ and journal functions; Uses Journal Profile utility; Restores journals; Purges journal files



Diagnoses and troubleshoots problems

Accesses and configures system logs; Identifies and interprets errors stored in system logs; Runs IRISHung/Diagnostic Report; Identifies and terminates stuck/looping processes; Inhibits access; Gains emergency access to configuration



Monitors system

Uses ^PERFMON to monitor system;  Determines which monitoring tools are appropriate for different performance issues such as journal profiles,  ^BLKCOL, and ^SystemPerformance; Runs the ^SystemPerformance utility; Determines global sizes


Implements system continuity

Implements mirroring

Identifies requirements to set-up mirroringIdentifies mirror members and describes mirror communication; Configures mirroring; Determines failover possibilities;  Adds databases to mirrors



Implements ECP

Uses ECP; Configures ECP data and application servers; Monitors and controls ECP connections



Manages backups and recoveries

Plans backup strategies including frequency required, journal file retention, and considers OS level vs InterSystems online backups; Identifies contents included in backups;  Uses the FREEZE and THAW APIs for snapshot backups; Verifies backups; Restores system


Implements system security

Uses audit log to track user and system events

Enables and disables audit events; Views audit entries and audit event properties; Identifies the root cause of common audit events; Manages audit database



Manages security

Creates users and roles; Assigns roles and privileges; Grants permissions to resources; Enables and disables services; Protects applications and resources within applications; Implements database and data element encryption; Encrypts journals; Manages system-wide security settings; Imports/Exports security settings; Reduces attack surface; Implements two-factor authentication; Identifies the multiple layers involved in configuring and troubleshooting the Web Gateway (including connecting an external web server to InterSystems IRIS)

Interested in participating? Email now!

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