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IMS1907 : Database Systems


The Exam.

A small number of students have commented about the exam. I wish to make the following ponts clear:

1. I indicated that there was conflicting information about the length of the exaam, and that it would either be 2 or 3 hours long. In terms of the examination length and the nature of the exam, I do not see how its length could affect student prepation. Given that there was a problem over the length of the paper, students attending the last lecture were effectively warned that it could be either two or three hours long.

2. It makes little difference which of these it is [2 or 3 hours] except in terms of how much material I expect you to present in response to the questions - to a large extent a 2 hour exam is easier for students, as an examiner's expectations are generally reduced.

3. I am, of course, taking into account the length of time to take the exam and reducing my expectations accordingly.



This subject provides students with an introduction to structured databases, their application in enterprises and some of the basic processes in design, creation and implementation of databases. The Unit Outline [42kb] provides more detail.

We will be using an Open Source application, MySQL, as a development tool.

Students can download a copy of MySQL from the website http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/4.1.html. This is a moderately large file [38MB] and students may prefer to get a copy from me or their tutor, using a memory stick. It is suggested that students use one of the stable releases of MySQL 4.1 - 4.1.12a-win32 is the version loaded to the laboratory machines.

For additional reading on MySQL [and a number of related database topics such as Normalisation and E-R basics] students should check the Dev Shed website http://www.devshed.com/c/a/MySQL/

Chris Gonsalvez has made available her notes on normalisation. [Note that there is no p.2 - that is a blank sheet.]

This tutorial [http://www.phlonx.com/resources/nf3.php]may also help, as it shows E-R diagrams and the 1NF, 2NF and 3NF elements.

Denis Santoro has a useful paper called Data normalisation: a primer that may also be helpful. This goes to 5NF - for this subject just 1-3NF will do.

If you come across something you found particularly useful, and that may be of value to other students, please email me the details.

You may want to try a graphic interface to MySQL called NaviCat, available at http://www.navicat.com/index.html. This can be used for a brief period, but should be enough for you to become familiar with it, and even to use it to help with assignment 2.

Lecture Topics

Week Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Tutorial
1 Introduction [19kb] Types of databases 17kb] None
2 Databases and society [51kb] Databases and DBMS [9kb] [15kb]
3 No Lecture Entities and Business Rules [13kb] [20kb]
4 Attributes [9kb] Introduction to E-R model [8kb] [15 kb]
5 Modelling Issues [35kb] Normalisation [17kb] [31kb]
6 E-R Diagrams [174kb] [ [173kb] Some slides were unclear - here are all the single slides ] Logical Design [12kb] [18kb]
7 Introduction to SQL [16kb] Data Dictionary [13kb] [23kb]
8 Database Life Cycle [11kb] Database Performance Basics [13kb] 15kb]
9 More on Database Design [15kb] MIS, DSS, EIS, etc. [36kb] Keep on with Week8
10 Data Warehouse - 1 [20kb] Data Warehouse - 2 [8kb] Work on Assignment 2
11 Data Administration and Database Administrator Role [16kb] Database Architecture [12kb] Work on Assignment 2
12 Database Security [20kb] Backup & Recovery [16kb] Work on Assignment 2
13 Databases and the Web [40kb] Revision [16kb] Revision



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