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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • be familiar with the currently available models, technologies for and approaches to building distributed database systems;
  • have developed practical skills in the use of these models and approaches, so that they will be able to select and apply the appropriate tools for a particular case;
  • be aware of the current research directions in the field and their possible outcomes;
  • be able to carry out research on a relevant topic, identify primary references, analyse them and come up with meaningful conclusions;
  • be able to apply learned skills to solving practical database related tasks.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Assignments/Tutorial exercises and attendance: 90%; Presentation: 10%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Lab Exercises and Attendance 10% (2% each) Weekly (Weeks 2 to 6 Labs)
Assignment 1 - Research Paper Report 40% 12pm Monday, 5 September 2011, Week 7
Research Paper Presentation 10% Week 7, Week 8 or Week 9 Labs (to be advised)
Assignment 2 - Practical Project 25% 12am (midnight) Friday, 10 October 2011, Week 10
Assignment 2 - Demonstration 15% Week 11 or Week 12 Labs (to be advised)

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
The teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews
  • Test results and feedback

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

Oracle 10g R2 and JDeveloper

Software will be available in computer labs and can also be downloaded freely from:

  • http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/oracle10g/htdocs/10201winsoft.html
  • http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/10204-winx64-vista-win2k8-082253.html
  • http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/jdev/downloads/archives-090457.html

To use Oracle at home you need to install the Monash VPN from:

  •  https://secure.monash.edu/its/vpn/

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Students need to allocate themselves to tutorials and visit unit website No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to distributed database systems and computing  
2 Distributed database design I Lab Exercise 1 due Week 2
3 Distributed database design II Lab Exercise 2 due Week 3
4 Semantic Data Control Lab Exercise 3 due Week 4
5 Distributed query processing I Lab Exercise 4 due Week 5
6 Distributed query processing II Lab Exercise 5 due Week 6
7 Distributed query optimisation Assignment 1 due 12pm Monday, 5 September 2011, Week 7; Research Paper Presentation due Week 7 Lab (to be advised)
8 Transaction Management in Distributed DB Research Paper Presentation due Week 8 Lab (to be advised)
9 Distributed Concurrency Control I Research Paper Presentation due Week 9 Lab (to be advised)
10 Distributed Concurrency Control II Assignment 2 due 12am (midnight) Friday, 10 October 2011, Week 10
11 Reliability and Fault Tolerance in Distributed Databases Assignment 2 Demonstration due Week 11 Lab (to be advised)
12 Parallel and Grid Databases Assignment 2 Demonstration due Week 12 Lab (to be advised)
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Lab Exercises and Attendance
    Weekly exercises in the lab will focus on the practical aspect of learning distributed database concepts. The total number of exercises to be completed is 5. The exercises will be performed using Oracle and JDeveloper.
    10% (2% each)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Completion of lab exercises and attendance.

    How well the solutions/programs address the weekly exercises and questions.

    Due date:
    Weekly (Weeks 2 to 6 Labs)
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 1 - Research Paper Report
    Students will write a research paper that requires investigating and analysing an area related to Distributed Databases.
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well the research issue has been studied, investigated, understood and analysed.

    The level of writing and referencing skills demonstrated.

    Due date:
    12pm Monday, 5 September 2011, Week 7
  • Assessment task 3
    Research Paper Presentation
    Students will deliver a PowerPoint presentation of the research paper they have written for Assignment 1.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The level of oral presentation skills demonstrated.

    Due date:
    Week 7, Week 8 or Week 9 Labs (to be advised)
  • Assessment task 4
    Assignment 2 - Practical Project
    Students will design a client-server and distributed database application using Oracle and JDeveloper. Accompanying documentation will be required.
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well the code (PL/SQL and Java) is written.

    How well the triggers, procedures and functions are designed.

    How well the program, diagrams and flowcharts are documented.

    Due date:
    12am (midnight) Friday, 10 October 2011, Week 10
  • Assessment task 5
    Assignment 2 - Demonstration
    Demonstration and running of the application/program developed for Assignment 2.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Practical demonstration of skills and understanding of the DDBS concepts covered in the lectures and labs. 

    Due date:
    Week 11 or Week 12 Labs (to be advised)


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

 APA style is recommended.

Refer to:


Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

Reading list

Oszu, T. and Valduriez, P. Principles of Distributed Database Systems, 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall, 1999

Coronel, Morris & Rob (2011) Database Systems Design, Implementation, and Management (9th Edition), Cengage Learning: Boston, MA

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