Spring 2011



Most applications written today rely on direct interaction with relational database. If you end up working in the software industry you will almost certainly be querying, populating, maintaining or designing a database. This course introduces the student to principles of relational database design and the structured query language (SQL).

Beyond learning the theory behind Database Systems, we will be doing projects and smaller assignments using PostgreSQL, a relational database management system. Documentation can be found at PostgreSQL.org. You will access PostgreSQL on one of the department servers via your preferred database client (although I will recommend psql). Detailed instructions will be given in class. You must access it from an on-campus host. You are welcome to install and use PostgreSQL on your own machines but assigments and projects will be completed on the designated system.

The effort needed for the individual database project will probably be roughly evenly divided between database design, SQL coding, data collection and massaging, and web interface coding. Conventional wisdoms suggests that you select a project topic that relates to a personal interest. The project will be much more fun this way and you will probably learn more.

Course Materials