What you will study
This module is about designing, building and using databases: collections of data that may be essential to the operation of large organisations, or just may be of interest to an individual. The module looks in detail at relational databases, which store data as tables and are widely used on all computer systems.
The module will benefit you if you are involved with (or interested in) the planning, design, operation and use of a database. It offers various points of view, from the broader scope of information systems, the mathematical underpinnings of relational theory and the technology of databases that use the general-purpose software known as database management systems. By the end of the module, you’ll understand the concepts underlying all relational databases, and have practical experience of applying the concepts in different situations. Knowledge of SQL is one of the most sought-after skills by employers in the IT sector.
There are lots of examples and activities, and software is provided on a CD-ROM.
As you study the module, you will be using email and online discussion forums for communication with the University, your tutor and other students. You may also have the opportunity of attending face-to-face tutorials with your tutor and other students in your tutor group.
You will learn
The main body of the module focuses on the development of a database to meet specified requirements. This development will assume requirements analysis has taken place and that a requirements document is available. The development model will make use of conceptual data modelling, relational algebra and SQL for the expression of design and implementation artefacts.
The module is organised in five blocks.
Block 1 introduces the context of databases as part of an information system, which may be used by many people for different purposes and with different requirements. You will then examine the types of software that are necessary for accessing a database, and how each database has to be specially designed to satisfy the requirements of its users.
Block 2 introduces the mathematical theory underpinning relational technologies and shows ways that the theory is used in the database environment.
Block 3 is concerned with relational database management systems, and, in particular, the use of the database language SQL, the recognised standard for defining and accessing a relational database.
Block 4 is a detailed analysis of the steps involved in developing and implementing a database system. It examines, in depth, the tasks and techniques appropriate for each step in the development process and makes detailed comparisons between implementation alternatives and data representations.
Block 5 focuses on the on-going development and application of relational database technologies in the context of JAVA and XML.