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The subject introduces key topics in modern information organisation, particularly with regard to structured databases. The well-founded relational theory behind modern structured query language (SQL) engines, has given them as much a place behind the web site of an organisation and on the desktop, as they traditionally enjoyed on corporate mainframes. Topics covered may include: the managerial view of data, information and knowledge; conceptual, logical and physical data modelling; normalisation and de-normalisation; the SQL language; data integrity; transaction processing, data warehousing, web services and organisational memory technologies. This is a core foundation subject for both the Master of Information Systems and Master of Information Technology.
This subject serves as an introduction to databases and data modelling from a data management perspective. Database design, from conceptual design through to physical implementation will be covered. This will include Entity Relationship modelling, normalisation and de-normalisation and SQL. Additionally the use of databases in various contexts will be explored (web based databases, connecting programs to databases, data warehousing, health contexts, geospatial databases).
Intended learning outcomes
Having completed this unit the student is expected to:
- Understand the different technologies available to manage structured data, and the evolutionary process that led to them
- Be familiar with how databases work within a larger application architecture
- Understand the relationship of database systems to a variety of fields such as data warehousing, health informatics and Geospatial applications
- Through the combination of seminars, labs and assignments, students gain expertise and confidence to make informed decisions about database systems and appropriate modelling techniques for the structured informational needs of modern organisations. They will gain considerable hands-on experience in modelling a number of diverse informational situations, drawing upon the first principles and techniques taught, useful to both organisations and individuals
- Be able to construct data models at the conceptual, logical and physical level from real-world, natural language requirements documents and apply data normalisation to these models
- Be able to competently use a CASE tool (computer-aided software engineering)
- Be competent in basic SQL and familiar with the usage of advanced SQL commands
- Understand the need and mechanism for database transactions, including the so-called ACID properties
The student will acquire skills in Information Modelling - a generic skill that will serve the student well throughout a career in Information Systems. Scoping within analysis is also a valuable cross-discipline skill honed during this subject.
Last updated: 25 May 2020