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Department of Computer Science, Unit Catalogue 2007/08

CM20145 Database systems

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW 40%, EX 60%
Before taking this unit you must take CM10134
(or equivalent first programming unit approved by Director of Studies). Students are expected to have a prior knowledge of requirements elicitation and analysis techniques and the software development process (completion of CM10136 or suitable prior reading). Aims: To introduce students to database concepts. To provide practical skills at using database management systems, designing, using and managing databases. To teach database theories. To provide a systems-based insight into database management system implementation.
Learning Outcomes:
1. To be able to design and build a database using a database management system, given a description of user requirements.
2. The ability to answer non-trivial queries using databases produced by others.
3. To demonstrate understanding of relational database theory.
4. To be aware of alternative models for databases.
5. To understand the implementation issues, including security and reliability.
6. To understand the legal and ethical framework within which a database practitioner must operate.
IT (T/F, A) (including legal awareness).
Introduction to databases and database management systems (DBMSs). Functions of a DBMS. The organisational context. Data models and conceptual modelling through entity-relationship models. Overview of alternative database models. Sets, the relational model and the relational algebra. Keys, joins, SQL query language. Logical database design. Completeness of relational models. Codd's classification of canonical forms: first, second, third, BCNF, fourth and fifth normal forms. Physical database design. Constraints and triggers, views. Concurrency, transaction management and database security. Recovery and Backup, Memory, File store and Index management. Query processing and optimization. Ethical foundations and professional practice, the legal framework for data protection and freedom of information.