FIS1343 – Introduction to Database Management & Design


(Note: Syllabus and course outline adapted from Keith Thomas’ 2006 FIS1343 course and Steve Hockema’s 2007 FIS1343 course)


Semester:  Winter 2009                                        

Meeting Place:  Lectures: BL 313                          Meeting Time:  Mondays 1-4 PM

                              Labs: BL 225




Teaching Assistant


Kelly Lyons

Daniela Rosu

Office Room: 

iSouth #314

SF4306 (Sandford Fleming)

Office Phone: 



Office Hour: 

By appointment via email

Friday’s before assignments are due:

10am to noon

Monday’s after assignments are returned:

5pm to 6pm

Or by appointment via email



Course Objectives

The course is intended to enable the student to:

Course Description

The course consists of eight three-hour lecture sessions and four hands-on lab sessions (see the Detailed Course Outline).  The lectures sessions will consist of a mix of instructor lectures, guest lectures, discussions, and active learning sessions in which students engage individually and in groups in instructor-led activities.


The student’s grade will be based on three assignments and a final exam.


This is a professional masters program course. Therefore, we will learn together, from one another, and relate the knowledge learned through the course to our past experiences and imagined future opportunities.  During discussions on-line through Sakai and in class, interaction among students is essential in making the course a success. See also my general teaching philosophy and expectations.


Assignments and Assessment


The following list identifies the assignments, their due dates and their value toward the final grade. The specific requirements for each assignment will be handed out separately.  All assignments are to be submitted via Sakai.


Note that an assignment which has not been submitted by 12 noon on the due date (as indicated by its Sakai time stamp) will be subject to a penalty of 10% of its value immediately, and to an additional penalty of 2% of its value at noon on each day thereafter that it remains outstanding.



Due Date


A1. Database Design I

9 February noon


A2. Database Design II

9 16 March noon


A3. Database Queries and Reports

30 March noon






6 April in class









Information Resources

A course website will provide the course syllabus and outline and Sakai will be used as a learning management system to support sharing of information, slides, important dates, assignments, and other information about the course, as well as the facilitation of interaction among students on topics related to the course. 


Note: Questions should be posted to the discussion forums of the Sakai course site.  Students are encouraged to post answers to the questions of other students where appropriate.


Important: Questions posted to the discussion forums or sent by email will be answered within two (2) business days.



We will be using the online learning management system, Sakai, for course communication.  Most course materials will be made available there.  Students are expected to log into Sakai to check for Announcements on a weekly basis (and/or configure their accounts such that they can be informed via email).  The course worksite is “FIS1343H_01_01_W09”.  See the Sakai help site for more help with Sakai.

Required Text  (general database theory and practice)

Database Management Systems, Third Edition

Ramakrishnan, R., & Gehrke, J.

McGraw-Hill; 2003

ISBN:  0-07-246563-8.


This is a comprehensive and up-to-date book that covers all the topics on the course, and more.   Its explanations are concise, with limited examples, but it should serve as a useful reference for a few years.  A copy of the 2nd edition is on reserve in the Inforum.

Additional Reading

The Semantic Web: A Guide to the Future of XML, Web Services, and Knowledge Management

Daconta, M., Obrst, L. & Smith K.

John Wiley & Sons; 2003.

ISBN: 0-47-143257-1    

This is available as an electronic resource through the library.


Modern Information Retrieval

Baeza-Yates, R & Ribeiro, B.

ACM Press/Addison-Wesley; 1999

ISBN:  0-20-139829-x

A copy is on reserve in the Inforum.  The following portions of this text are required reading:

Ch 2, Sec 2.1 - 2.5 (pp 19-34) and Sec 2.9 & 2.10 (pp 61-69);

Ch 3, Sec 3.1 & 3.2 (pp 73-83);

Ch 6, Sec 6.1 - 6.4 (pp 141-1 56);

Ch 7, Sec 7.1- 7.3 (pp 163-173);

Ch 8, Sec 8.1 - 8.5 (pp 191-215).

MS Access Resources

We will be using Microsoft Access, part of the Microsoft Office tool suite, for some of the exercises, labs and assignments in class.  This is available on all lab computers and other workstations within Toronto iSchool.  It is possible to learn MS Access to the extent required for this course simply by using it and its extensive on-line help system.  For those who feel the need of a text there are many choose from.  We do no VBA programming, so an introductory text will be sufficient.  A suitable text for beginners is:

Access 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies

Simpson, A., & Young, M. L.

John Wiley & Sons; 2003.

ISBN: 0-76-453988-4


There are also electronic resources available on-line through the library, including:

The complete idiot's guide to Microsoft Access 2000. Habraken, J. W. 1999

Access 2000 for Windows for Dummies. Kaufeld, J. 1999

Access 2000:  The complete reference. Andersen, V. 1999

Mastering Access 2000:  Premium edition. Simpson, A. 1999

Creating Microsoft® Access 2000 solutions:  A power user's guide. Padwick, G. 2000


We may also use MySQL in lab this semester.  An installation of this is available on the lab computers, but you may also download a free copy for your own computer from here.  This is not required.  If you do so, you may also want to download the GUI Tools and Workbench from the same area.  There are fairly good resources and documentation for MySQL available online, including an extensive reference manual at here.