Database Management Systems – MGS 404

University at Buffalo – State University of New York

School of Management

Fall 2009 (updated  8/26/2009)


Syllabus in Microsoft Word is available at:


Instructor: Jeff Fineberg



Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:50 

Course Location: 122 Jacobs

Office hours: 325B Jacobs on Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm or by appointment


Course URL: (check for updates)

Link to this document:


Course Description:   The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the various aspects of database technology, including the Database Development Process: database analysis, design and implementation, with additional focus of various database platforms and programmatic interfaces for accessing data.  A critical component of the course will be to gain an understanding of SQL as a mechanism for accessing data.  SQL will be utilized with a variety of interfaces, including command line, graphical (GUI) and through the use of programmatic techniques.


Labs: these are exercises for providing hands-on experience to aid understanding of theoretical aspects of the course.  It is important that students complete these in order to be prepared for assignments, as well as the final project.  Please note that there will be demonstrations in class, however all lab exercises are to be done outside of the class time.


Assignments: designed for reinforcing the concepts from lectures and lab exercises, as well as the textbook.  Assignments consist of both written work and the utilization of various database tools.


Project: a collaborative group project is an important component of the course, in order to reinforce an understanding of the course material, as well as to gain practical experience. 


Prerequisites: MGS 351, senior standing in the School of Management


Required textbook:


“Modern Database Management” – Ninth Edition – Hoffer, Prescott, Topi (Prentice Hall)

ISBN: 978-0-13-600391-5

Link to the text resources:

Note: Chapters 14, 15 and 16 are online and downloadable from the link (above).


Optional material:


“A Guide to SQL” – Seventh Edition – Pratt (Thomson)

ISBN:  978-0-619-21674-0

Link to: A Guide to SQL - Student Resources


“Database Modeling and Design” - Fourth Edition - Teorey, Lightstone and Nadeau (Elsevier) ISBN: 978-0-12-685352-0


Software (not limited to):


Oracle 11g, Oracle SQL Developer, MySQL, HeidiSQL and Microsoft Access, PHP.


Class Discussion Web:  For questions that would benefit the majority of the class, please use the UB Learns website



Assignments  (to be assigned based upon the schedule below)


Lecture and Whiteboard notes


Web Resources


Interesting Websites (picked by students and instructor)


Time Management and Study Skills Resources



                              Fall Schedule – (subject to change – refer to ublearns for updates) 

Class Date

Topic(s) Discussed / Activities

Assignments / Reading - see details under "assignments"

Sep 1, 3

Syllabus, Course Overview and Survey.

Chapter 1 – The Database Environment

-          Read Chapter 1

Sep 8, 10


Chapter 1 – The Database Environment


-          Read Chapter 2

-          Lab 1

Sep 15, 17



Chapter 2 – The Database Development Process

CIT Academic Oracle Environment

-          Read Chapter 7

-          Assignment 1


Sep 22, 24

Chapter 7 – Introduction to SQL


-          Read Chapter 3

-          Lab 2

Sep 29,

Oct 1

Chapter 3 – Modeling Data in the Organization

-          Read Chapter 4

-          Study for Test 1

Oct 6, 8

Test 1

Chapter 4 – The Enhanced ER Model and Business Rules

-          Read Chapter 5

-          Assignment 2

Oct 13, 15

Chapter 5 – Logical Database Design and the Relational Model

-          Read Chapter 8

-          Lab 3

Oct 20, 22

Chapter 8 – Advanced SQL (joins, triggers, functions, procedures)

-          Read Chapter 6 and 9

-          Assignment 3


Oct 27, 29

Chapter 6 – Physical Database Design and Performance

Chapter 9 – The Client/Server Database Environment

-          Read Chapter 10

-          Study for Test 2

-          Lab 4


Nov 3, 5

Test 2

Chapter 10 – The Internet Database Environment – Semantic Web

-          Read Chapter 11

-          Assignment 4


Nov 10, 12

**Nov 13 – last day to Drop with ‘R’ grade**

Chapter 11 – Data Warehousing

-          Read Chapter 12

-          Final Project assigned

-          Final Project Work

-          Lab 5

Nov 17, 19

Chapter 12 - Data Quality and Integration of Databases

-          Read Chapter 13

-          Final Project Work

Nov 24

Chapter 13 – Data and Database Administration

*** No class on Nov 26 Fall Recess ***

-          Read Chapter 15

-          Final Project Work

-          Lab 6

Dec 1, 3

Chapter 15 – Object Oriented Data Modeling - UML

-          Final Project Work

Dec 8, 10

Group Presentations

Review for Final

-          Final Project Due

-          Study for Final Exam

Dec 14-21

Final Exam – date to be assigned



                                    (Bold items in schedule are of high importance)


Grade assessment: Comprehension of the material will be assessed through homework assignments, tests and a final project utilizing the following grading policy:


                          Grading Policy



30% (2 @ 15% each)


20% (4 @ 5% each)

Final Project


Final Exam


Class participation (contributing to discussions, participation, group work, etc.)
























59 and below




Comments regarding grading criteria and material:

-          Tests are given to help you gauge your understanding of the material.  They consist of material covered within the period since the previous test.  Since some material builds on previous topics, tests may be somewhat comprehensive.  Advanced arrangements must be made if a test is to be missed (unless a documented emergency exists).

-          The final exam will be cumulative.


Make-up Policy / Late Work **WARNING – an absence does not automatically give an extension to assignments**

-          Assignments/Projects not submitted in by the due date will be penalized by 20% per day.  If a test or assignment is missed with no advanced warning and a documented emergency exists, it will be the instructor’s discretion as to whether or not a make-up test (or time extension) will be allowed.


Incompletes: under normal circumstances these are not given.  Where appropriate, any special cases need to be approved and have supporting documentation.


Class List by email: Periodically messages may be sent via email (or UB Learns) to everyone in class regarding assignments, etc.  Also, please feel free to email me directly with any questions or suggestions at:  Note: the email subject line should begin with MGS404.


Attendance: attending class is critical in order to gain an understanding of the material, including demonstrations of software required for the course.  As is typical in many courses, there is some material that you will be responsible for that is covered exclusively in class.


Class participation: It is expected that students will be prepared to discuss the assigned material for each class.  The class participation portion of your grade is composed of class activity work, contribution to discussions in class, suggesting useful / interesting resources, URLs, etc. 


Academic Integrity / Plagiarism: all students are expected to perform their own work.  Any acts of plagiarism will be taken very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance of the University’s policy (refer to: 


In addition, please refer to the section “Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Infraction”

(on pages 32-35) of the School of Management’s policy at:

Students with Disabilities: The Office of Disability Services (ODS) coordinates needs for special accommodations for eligible students. Information on registering is available on the Student Affairs website. If you require special accommodations, please talk with me as soon as possible.