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Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
Department of Physics and Computing

CP363A -- Databases I, Course Outline -- Winter 2002

Course Description

The course provides an introduction to the basic features of Database Management Systems (DBMS), focusing on Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMSs). Students will obtain an understanding of how the different components of a DBMS system fit together. They will write programs to interact with a particular DBMS as a case study.

Prerequisites   CP264 (Data Structures II) or permission of the Depatment

Instructor   Ilias Kotsireas,  Office 2076A,
            Office Hours TBA,  Phone 884-0710 ext. 2218  E-Mail

         Sailors Relational Database Schema      Q32 Q34 Q35      Q1 Q2      Q6      Q36      4 queries

Programming Downloads

Until the file is copied to all the machines in N2085, you may download sqlpp.exe_, the Windows SQL preprocessor, from here. (You may need to right-click on the link and save it to disk in order to download this file.) After downloading, rename the file to sqlpp.exe. (i.e. remove the trailing underscore from sqlpp.exe_.)

On unix you will find the equivalent file, sqlpp, in /opt/sybase/SYBSsa7/bin. Make sure your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable is set to /opt/lib. To check, type:

set | grep LD

To set the environment variable if it is not correct, type:


Lecture Notes

Download pdf files with overheads/lectures notes:

  1. Generalities
  2. ER overheads in pdf format
  3. ER overheads in ppt format
  4. ER figures in pdf format
  5. Functional Dependencies in pdf format

If you spot any errors or typos, please e-mail me and I will correct them. Thank you.


Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant Navathe 
Fundamentals of database systems, 3rd ed.
Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley, c2000.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 0805317554

Textbook Support Web Site   A link to the book support web page is available at: http://www.aw.com/cs_supplements/

Course Website   A link to the course web page is available at: http://sauron.wlu.ca/kotsireas/teaching.html

Lecture Topics

Databases Concepts and Architecture, Entity/Relationship (ER) Model, Extended Entity/Relationship (EER) Model, Object Model, Universal Modeling Language (UML), Relational Databases, Structured Query Language (SQL), ER to Relational and EER to Relational, Examples of Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS), Object-Oriented Databases, Functional Dependencies and Normal Forms, Transactions, Database Recovery, Database Security

Class Schedule

Winter Semester Timetable

              |   Mon     |    Wed     |    Fri      |
              | 8:30-9:20 | 8:30-9:20  | 8:30-9:20   |        
	      |	  N1044   |   N1044    |   N1044     |
              |           |            |             |
Week 1:       |  Jan 7    |   Jan 9    |   Jan 11    |            
Week 2:       |  Jan 14   |   Jan 16   |   Jan 18    |   
Week 3:       |  Jan 21   |   Jan 23   |   Jan 25    |
Week 4:       |  Jan 28   |   Jan 30   |   Feb 1     |  
Week 5:       |  Feb 4    |   Feb 6    |   Feb 8     |
Week 6:       |  Feb 11   |   Feb 13   |   Feb 15    |
              |           |            |             |
Reading Week  |   Feb 17 - Feb 23   N o   C o u r s e s 
              |           |            |             |
Week 7:       |  Feb 25   |   Feb 27   |   March 1   |
Week 8:       |  Mar 4    |   Mar 6    |   Mar 8     |
Week 9:       |  Mar 11   |   Mar 13   |   Mar 15    |
Week 10:      |  Mar 18   |   Mar 20   |   Mar 22    |
Week 11:      |  Mar 25   |   Mar 27   | Good Friday |
Week 12:      |  Apr 1    |   Apr 3    |   Apr 5     | 
Last Class    |  Apr 8    |            |             |
              |           |            |             |


Either Mon Feb 25 or Wed Feb 27, just after Reading Week.

Assignment Schedule


The assignments as well as the marking schemes used, will be posted here.

Final Exam

The final exam date will be announced as early as possible. The examination period for this course is April 11, 2002 to April 30, 2002.

Software available

SQL Anywhere 7.1 (Sybase Corporation)
SQL Anywhere runs as either a server or as a client. The department has SQL Anywhere servers on physcomp6 (an NT server), physcomp1 (a Solaris unix server), and sauron (the department web server). We have clients running on the PCs in the N2085 lab and on the Sun workstations in the N2095 lab. There are two front ends available: a Windows client (Sybase Central 3.2) and a Java client (Sybase Central 4.0). The Java version has more functionality than the Windows version, but its performance is somewhat less.

Course Mailing List

The course mailing list is administered by Mr. David Brown.

Student Evaluation

Databases Research

A valuable source of information on cutting-edge research in databases is the http://www.vldb.org/ web-based archive.
It contains information on:

  1. the VLDB Conference Series (that have been held annually since 1975)
  2. the VLDB Journal by Springer (published since 1992)

VLDB stands for: Very Large Data Bases

Ethical Conduct

Please read the University statement on Academic and Research Misconduct. Incidents of plagiarism and/or failure to comply with the University Regulations on Academic and Research Misconduct will be reported to the Dean of Science. Sanctions and Procedures for investigation and discipline in cases of allegations of academic or research misconduct are clearly laid out in the Laurier Undergraduate Calendar.

Final Exam Date

The final exam date will be announced as early as possible (as soon as it has been scheduled by the Registrar's office). The Academic Dates section of the Calendar (Printed and Web Site Versions) clearly states the examination date period for each semester. Students must note that they are required to reserve this time in their personal calendars for the examinations. The examination period for this course is April 11, 2002 to April 30, 2002. Students who are considering registering to write MCAT, LSAT, or GMAT or a similar examination, should select a time for those examinations that occurs outside the University examination period. For additional information that describes the special circumstances for examination deferment, consult the University calendar.

Special Needs Students

Students with disabilities or special needs are advised to contact Laurier's Special Needs Office for information regarding its services and resources. Students are encouraged to review the Calendar for information regarding all services available on campus.