Databases are at the heart of modern commercial application development. Their use
extends beyond this to many environments where large amounts of data must be stored for
efficient update and retrieval. This course is intended to give students an appreciation
for the classical issues and techniques of database design and use, as well as the
background needed to appreciate current developments in the field. To further the latter
goal, students go beyond the covers of the textbook in the projects they develop as part
of the course
We will focus on the relational model of data, with SQL as the language. We will use
Microsoft SQL Server (and to a lesser extent Access 97) to provide hands-on experience,
and students will participate in developing a small but real database application.
However, it is not a goal of the course to develop expert level knowledge of SQL,
SQL Server, Access, or any particular applications development environment.
The class meets three times a week for lectures. We won't meet in the computer lab
except perhaps very occasionally. We will skip around somewhat in the textbook and
eventually cover about 14 of the 23 chapters. There will be tests and quizzes, written and
computer-based homework, and a group design and implementation project. A week-by-week lecture schedule may be found on the Web.
MWF 11:30-12:20, Thomson 135
Staff Information & Office Hours (subject to change -- check Web site)
Database Management Systems by Raghu Ramakrishnan (WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1998).
Notes, handouts, and other materials
There may from time to time be handouts or course notes required for purchase or
duplication. Disks may be needed in connection with hands-on assignments or projects.
Quizzes and Exams
Quizzes will be short, and will focus on current material. They will usually be
announced one class period in advance. There will be one midterm and a final exam.
The final exam will begin at 2:30 on Wednesday, June 9. Please do not
schedule travel or other activities which would conflict with this date and time. It
will not be possible to take the final exam on any other day. The final exam will be
comprehensive but will emphasize material from the latter half of the course.
Programming and Homework
This is not a programming class! Nevertheless, some programming will be necessary. There
will be some mandatory SQL programming for setting up and querying a database. Such
queries are usually short compared to typical programs in other languages. There will be
some pencil and paper SQL practice (i.e., you don't have to run it on the machine), and
some homework that doesn't involve programming at all. On the other hand, there could be
programming of all sorts in your group project, depending on its design and your role in
Every student will join one of several "service projects". These group
projects will include the design and implementation of a database application. The
project should be one that will be permanently useful for some non-commercial use after
the course ends. Students will have defined roles within the project. Grading will be
based upon their own, their peers', the client's, and the instructor's evaluations of the
project outcome and of their contribution to that outcome.
The form of homework turn-in will vary with the assignment. It might be done with
diskettes and printouts, or via e-mail, or on the Web, or by face-to-face grading. The
service projects may require a hands-on demo with all project members participating.
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date, unless otherwise
announced. Barring usual circumstances, late homework will not be accepted.
Tentative Grading Breakdown
In-class activities and quizzes: 10%
Service project: 30%
I hope you will attend every lecture. If you miss a lecture, talk to a friend who was
present, and be sure to check the Web site for class messages. Lecture outlines will be on
the Web, and old handouts can be obtained from the TA, but otherwise, instructors and TAs
will not furnish notes or make-up materials to individuals who miss class.
The World-Wide Web and e-mail will be used extensively to provide you with course
information, such as the schedule mentioned above, homework assignments and solutions,
class messages and many other things. All students are required to subscribe to the class
For the required hands-on homework, students need access to SQL Server (a
Microsoft product that is part of the Backoffice Suite) and Access, the Microsoft PC
database system that is part of Office 97. This software is available in the NT lab (Sieg
232). For the group projects, the group should decide on a platform; it must be one that
all the group members, the TA, and the instructor can conveniently use.
Computer Use Policy
Some excerpts from the campus policies.
Take them seriously: "You must use all UW [computing] resources in strict accordance
with local, state, and federal laws. These laws cover such areas as illegal access to
computer systems, networks, and files; copyright violations; and harassment issues
Software and information resources provided through the university for use by faculty,
staff, and students may be used on computing equipment only as specified in the various
software licenses. Unauthorized use of software, images, or files is regarded as a serious
matter and any such use is without the consent of the University of Washington If
abuse of computer software, images, or files occurs, those responsible for such abuse will
be held legally accountable."
All work turned in is expected to be your own. Although students are encouraged to study
together, each student is expected to produce his or her own solution to the homework
problems. Coping or using sections of someone else's program, even if it has been modified
by you, is not acceptable. The University has very clear guidelines for academic
misconduct and the staff of CSE 444 will be vigorous in enforcing them. (For the group
project, we will have other standards of authorship and participation.)