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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LIS 533 - Database Design for Information Management

LIS 533 - Database Design for Information Management

Course Outline   Course Outline (Winter)
 Course Description:
An introduction to core concepts, principles, and techniques of database design for information management, from user requirement analysis, to data and information modeling and querying.


By the end of this course, students should:
  • Understand the role of database management systems in resolving users' information needs, and the importance of analyzing these needs in the development of database applications;
  • Know database design methodology and associated techniques, and be able to apply them to real world information management situations;
  • Understand the relational model in general and MS Access in particular;
  • Be able to use SQL for basic database queries and other types of data manipulation;
  • Be aware of contemporary issues in database design and management.


  • Database application lifecycle
  • User requirement analysis and fact-finding techniques
  • Entity-Relationship modeling
  • Developing relational models
  • Normalization
  • Defining relational databases with MS Access and SQL
  • Manipulating database content using Query-By-Example and SQL
  • XML and relational databases
  • Web technology and DBMSs


A combination of lectures, labs, demonstrations, class exercises & discussion will be used throughout this course.

Required Text:

Connolly, T.M. & Begg, C.E. (2010). Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 5th edition. (early editions are also okay.)
You may also want to find a resource on MS Access such as a boos or an online tutorial.
Check the Resources page for online resources on database technology.

Course Relationships:

Elective course; Prerequisites: LIS 501

LIS 533 - Database Design for Information Management

Assignments and Evaluation (Winter) N/A

Class Participation - 10 marks

This represents individual contribution for the benefit of the entire class, and is intended for all students to actively participate in the learning process. This includes (but is not limited to): class discussion, preparatory reading, attendance, attitude, small-group interaction in class, providing additional resources, etc. Comments, criticism, and questions are expected to be relevant to the topic, to reflect preparatory reading on the topic, and are expected to be respectful of other students and the instructor. Anticipated absence from class must be communicated to the instructor prior to the class. At the end of the course, in class time, you will be given the opportunity to submit a brief self-assessment of class contribution which will be considered when I assign your class contribution mark.

Assignments - 90 marks

See individual assignment sheets distributed in class for details of the following assignments. They can also be found in eClass.
  • MS Access - 10 marks
  • SQL - 10 marks
  • ER Modeling - 10 marks
  • Normalization - 10 marks
  • Term Project - 50 marks
All assignments are due by 1pm on the due date and must be submitted via eClass unless otherwise specified. Extensions will only be granted with appropriate documentation (e.g., a doctor’s note) in advance of an assignment’s due date. Late assignments will be assessed a penalty of 10% of the assignment value per day (i.e., if the assignment value is 10 marks, the late penalty is 1 mark per day).

Marks are raw scores that are totaled at the end of the course and converted to the University of Alberta’s letter grading scale.

Tentative Timetable (Winter)

* Class time: Thursdays 1:00 - 3:50pm, Rm. 3-110 Education North
* Chapters indicated on this page are from the following textbook. Check the Readings & Resources page for additional resources on database design and management.
Connolly, T.M. & Begg, C.E. (2010). Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 5th edition.


  • Class canceled – Instructor is sick.


  • Introduction
  • Readings: Chapters 1 - 2


  • The relational model; Defining relational databases with MS Access
  • Readings: Chapter 4
  • MS Access tutorial - tables & relationships (e.g. Richard Holowczak’s tutorial, 1 – 5)



  • Using SQL to manipulate database content and structure
  • Readings: Chapter 6, Chapter 7 (scan this chapter)
  • Learning SQL at W3 Schools - optional
  • Assignment due: MS Access


  • SQL - ctd.; Database system development lifecycle; Database analysis
  • Readings: Chapters 10 & 11


  • No Class – Reading Week
  • Entity-Relationship modeling I
  • Readings: Chapter 12
  • Assignment due: SQL


  • Entity-Relationship modeling II
  • Readings: Chapter 13


  • Normalization
  • Readings: Chapter 14, Chapter 15 - optional
  • Assignment due: E-R modelling


  • Database design methodology; Developing relational models
  • Readings: Chapters 16 & 17
  • Assignment due: normalization
  • Term project topic must be approved by today.


  • Physical database design; Creating user interfaces in MS Access
  • Readings: Chapters 18 & 19 (scan)
  • MS Access tutorial – forms and reports (e.g. Richard Holowczak’s tutorial, 7 – 8)


  • XML and relational databases
  • Readings: Chapter 31
  • Bourret, R. (2005). XML and Databases.
  • Seligman, L. and Rosenthal, A. (2001). XML's impact on databases and data sharing. Computer, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 59-67, June, 2001 -optional
  • Jung, F. (2000). XML backgrounder: technology and applications - optional
  • Assignment due: Term project parts I & II


  • Web technology and DBMS; Issues and trends; Summary
  • Readings: Chapters 3 & 30 (scan), Chapters 20, 21, & 35 (scan)


  • No class
  • Assignment due : Term project parts III & IV

Readings and Resources (Winter 2010)

This page provides additional resources on database design and management. For weekly reading assignments, check the Tentative Timetable page.

Databases (General and History)

  • Databases at about.comBasics and tutorials
  • Database Bootcamp"This material is designed for students with little or no formal database education, training, or experience. The goal of this course is to prepare you to learn how to develop database applications using tools such as Microsoft Access, FoxPro, or Oracle."
  • Database Directory"... a website devoted to the most popular Relational Database Management Systems like MS SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MS Access." "... short reviews of each of these databases describing their features, application, scalability, performance," and "... various database related articles discussing topics like Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Text Mining, Database Development, SQL, Data Recovery and many more."
  • Database Scalability (PDF)What, Why, and When?
  • Database Security"... the World's Leading Resource on Database Security"
  • Introduction to Data Modeling: Overview of the Relational Model"This document is an informal introduction to data modeling using the Entity-Relationship (ER) approach. It is intended for someone who is familiar with relational databases but who has no experience in data modeling. The basic techniques described are applicable to the development of microcomputer based relational database applications as well as those who use relational database servers such as MS SQL Server or Oracle."
  • MS Access 2007 Tutorials
    "This web site is dedicated to Microsoft Office Access 2007, providing lessons, articles, and links to assist you with creating wonderfully functional databases."



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