Introduction to Information Systems (IIS)

Spring Term 2009

Page outline

Course Description

Databases are at the heart of modern commercial application development. Their use extends beyond this to many applications and environments where large amounts of data must be stored for efficient update and retrieval. The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the design and use of database systems, as well as an appreciation of the key issues in building such systems in heterogeneous and Web environments.

We begin with the relational model and the SQL language. We then study methods for database design, covering the entity relationship model. Next, we discuss XML as a data model, and present languages for querying it. We see how XML is used for sharing data among different applications in a distributed environment. There is also a strong focus on XML (SOAP) based Web services. Finally, we touch on some advanced topics on the implementation of database systems, such as transactions, recovery etc.


Time & place

Lectures take place in INM10, Wednesday 8:15 - 10:00
Exercises/project: INF 1, Wednesday 10:15 - 12:00

Your team

Lecturer: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Heinz Stockinger

Student Assistant: Toufic Saad (Toufic dot Saad at epfl dot ch)


Exercises, Project & Grading

Students are requested to follow exercises and complete a project during the course.
The exercises are not graded, but solving them will help to prepare for the exam. Additionally, some exercises provide important information on the project!
The project is divided into 3 phases, and each phase will be graded. More information is available on IIS Project Web site. Please check it regularly for updates!

The grading formula:

Overall Schedule

The following table gives you a quick overview of the semester. We will update it to reflect necessary changes, add slides, solutions, etc.

Date Lecture Optional Exercise Project and milestones
Wed 18-02-2009 Introduction pdf
Basic SQL pdf
Project introduction pdf
Start Phase 1
Wed 25-02-2009 Advanced SQL pdf E1: SQL (solutions) Team finalisation (11:30)
Understand Linux, Java, MySQL
Wed 04-03-2009 Entity/Relitionship Modelling pdf Create data model and database for your company
Wed 11-03-2009 Database Programming, JDBC pdf
Software Development Review pdf
Get experiene with JDBC: first implementation of Java program
Wed 18-03-2009 Relational Data Model pdf E2: Database tuning, Functional dependencies   (solutions) Adapt database schema accoring to normal forms.
Improved program and DB tuning for inserts and queries.
Mon 23-03-2008 Phase 1 deadline (15:00)
Wed 25-03-2009 Discussion of Phase 1
Start: 9:00 in exercise room (INF1)
Wed 01-04-2009 Relational Algebra pdf Start Phase 2
Start interface design
Wed 08-04-2009 XML and Web Services pdf Extended design
Wed 15-04-2009 Vacation (Easter)
Mon 20-04-2009 Web Services 2 pdf INR219
Wed 22-04-2009 XML Parsers, XPath and XQuery pdf E3: XML and Web Services Part I , Part II (solutions) Project meeting (discussion of interfaces and roles
Understand Web services
Mon 27-04-2009 Regular expressions pdf
Transactions pdf INR219
Wed 29-04-2009 Recovery pdf E4: Transactions & recovery (Solutions) Phase 2 deadline (15:00)
Submit WSDL
Thu 30-04-2009 Start Phase 3
Receive URL (endpoint) + WSDL
Wed 20-05-2009 Database Heterogeneity pdf Test service interaction
Tue 02-06-2009 Phase 3 deadline (15:00)
Submit final report
Wed 01-07-2009Final exam.
  • Time: 8:15 - 12:00
  • Location: CM1
  • All exam questions have to be answered in English.
  • No additional material is allowed (i.e. no lecture notes, no documentation etc.)




We hope you will attend every lecture. If you miss a lecture, please contact a colleague who was present, and be sure to check the Web site for any information passed during the lecture.

Academic Misconduct

All work turned in is expected to be your own. Although students are encouraged to study together, each student is expected to produce her/his own solution to the homework problems and projects. Copying or using sections of someone else's or some other group's program, even if it has been modified by you, is not acceptable.

Latest update: 20 May 2009.