College of Business Administration, University of Cincinnati

IS 321, Winter Quarter, 1994


To: My students

From: Dr. Allen S. Lee, Associate Professor of Information Systems

Subject: Course syllabus and course policies

Date: January 4, 1994

OFFICE HOURS:                E-MAIL (Student Access                      OFFICE: 
Scheduled office hours             Network):                    331 Lindner Hall 
are on Tuesdays,                     LEEAN                                       
1:30-4:30.  Also feel                                           MAILING ADDRESS: 
free to drop by at any             TELEPHONE:                  Mail Location 211 
other time.  If  I am               556-7195                 College of Business 
busy, we will schedule an                                         Administration 
appointment for a                  MAIL BOX:            University of Cincinnati 
different time.                 302 Lindner Hall       Cincinnati, OH 45221-0211 
Appointments are also                                                            
available.  Phone to                                                             
arrange a time.                                                                  

Prerequisite: IS 280.

Required Textbooks:

Fred R. McFadden and Jeffrey A. Hoffer, Database Management, Third Edition, Reading, Massachusetts: Benjamin/Cummings, 1991.

Larry R. Newcomer, Select...SQL: the Relational Database Language, New York: Macmillan, 1992. ISBN: 0-02-386693-4.

Optional Casebook:

Fred R. McFadden, Jeffrey A. Hoffer, and Ananth Srinivasan, Casebook for Database Management, Third Edition, Reading, Massachusetts: Benjamin/Cummings, 1991.

Software (Optional, But Highly Recommended):

J.L. Harrington, R:BASE 3.1, Relational Database Concepts in Practice, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Course Technology, 1991.

This course is about database management systems (DBMS's). The objectives of the course are:

Although the course uses a DBMS software, the focus of the course is not on any particular software product, but on database principles, which are constant across different software products. DBMS software products will always be changing. A focus on any particular DBMS software product would impart a skill that would obsolesce quickly. For this reason, the course emphasizes database principles, rather than the syntax of any particular database software product.

Your grade for the course will depend on two hands-on DBMS assignments (20% each), one paper (20%), the midterm examination (20%) and the final examination (20%). Attendance at all classes is required. There will also be some ungraded software tutorials. Though I will not grade participation, I will call on you to answer questions during class.

The last day do withdraw from the course is March 1. An "incomplete" grade is given only in exceptional circumstances after the withdrawal deadline. Problems that might interfere with taking the final exam must be discussed prior to finals week. Makeup examinations are given only in exceptional circumstances. Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor. Be sure to keep backup copies of all assignments (hardcopies of text and printouts, as well as software) for yourself.

There are three categories of DBMS's into which most DBMS softwares fall: relational, hierarchical, and network. The concrete examples which this course uses to illustrate database principles involve relational DBMS's.

The assigned projects require the use of a microcomputer-based relational DBMS software, R:BASE 3.1, which is available on the network in the student lab on the second floor of Lindner Hall. An option, not a requirement, is for you to purchase a copy of R:BASE 3.1 at the UC bookstore. Unlike the student versions of other database packages, the student version of R:BASE is not crippled. Though a software product for microcomputers, R:BASE contains a powerful application generator and code generator, capable of easily creating menu-driven applications for end users (provided, of course, that the database has already been properly designed according to general database principles). Also impressive is the fact that R:BASE, though only an inexpensive relational database product for microcomputers, supports the ANSI-1989 Level 2 version of SQL (i.e., the full language of SQL except for IEF - the Integrity Enhancement Feature). Some microcomputer-based relational database products do not support any SQL.


                                                       McFadden & Hoffer        

            Topics                                   Chapter    Pages             

Week 1                                                                            
Jan 4       the Database environment                    1       3-30              

Jan 6       A Database Application for Pine             2       34-77             
            Valley Furniture                                                      

Week 2                                                                            
Jan 11      data modeling                               3       79-119            

Jan 13      the relational dbms                         3       112-119, 127-128  

Week 3                                                                            
Jan 18      database requirements definition            5       167-189, 193-202  

Jan 20      demonstration of some r:base                                          

Week 4                                                                            
Jan 25,     conceptual database design                  6       207-232, 242-247  

Week 5                                                                            
Feb 1, 3    data structures and storage                 7       255-299           

Week 6                                                                            
Feb 8       midterm examination                    1, 2, 3, 5,                    
Feb 10      implementation and physical design                  304-332           

Week 7                                                                            
Feb 15      data administration                         9       337-385           

Feb 17      the hierarchical dbms                      10       395-418           

Week 8                                                                            
Feb 22      case discussion: "data                                                
            administration in citibank, brazil"                                   

Feb 24      the network dbms                           11       422-480           

Week 9                                                                            
March 1, 3  SQL                                        12       487-536           

Week 10                                                                           
March 8     SQL                                                                   

March 10    review of database principles                                         

Exam Week                                                                         

March       FINAL examination                      1, 2, 3, 5,                    
14-18                                              6, 7, 8, 9,                    
                                                   10, 11, 12                     


    WEEK:     1          2          3          4          5          6         7          8          9          10     

Do-It-Yourself Introducto Newcomer,  Newcomer,  Newcomer,  Newcomer,  Newcomer,  Newcomer,  Newcomer, Newcomer,        
 Tutorial and  ry R:BASE  chapter    chapter    chapter    chapter    chapter    chapter     chapter  chapter          
Exercises:     tutorial   5, pages   6,         7, pages   8, page    9, pages   10, pages  11,       12, pages        
                          91- 93:    pages      125-126:   157:       190-191:   202-203:   pages     258-260:         
                          5.1-5.13   105-107:   7.1-7.3    8.1-8.4    9.1-9.11   10.1-10.3  224-227:  12.1-12.7        
                                     6.1-6.9                                                11.1-11.1                  

Hands-On Assignments:    Assignment 1                                     Assignment 2                          
(due on Week 5,                                (due on Week 10,                        
February 3)                                        March 10)                           

Paper Assignment:                          Read the case,                     Final                        
"Data Administration in Citibank Brazil"       Paper                         
(DRAFT paper due on Week 7,              (due on                       
February 15)                     Week 8,                       
                                                                            Feb.  24)                      


Week 5, February 3: Assignment 1

Week 6, February 8: Midterm examination

Week 7, February 15: Draft paper

Week 8, February 24: Final paper

Week 9, March 1: Last day to withdraw from the course

Week 10, March 10: Assignment 2

Finals week, March 15: Final exam, 1:30-3:30