TDA357 / DIT621 Databases lp3 VT20 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Computer Science and Engineering


  • 2019-11-19: Started construction of this page by copying information from last time. More information will be added and some old information might be updated.

Contact details

Course purpose

The course covers the basic principles of database systems as seen by users, application programmers and database administrators. A laboratory assignment develops these topics as a running example throughout the course. These include programming in SQL, as seen by a user querying or modifying an existing database, by a database designer, and by an application programmer invoking SQL from a host language. Course contents include:

  • Database querying and manipulation through SQL
  • Entity-Relationship modelling
  • Functional dependencies, normal forms, and relational algebra
  • Interfacing to a database from a host language (Java/JDBC)
  • Altenative data models: XML, JSON, NoSQL

The course is thus a typical first course in database systems, and occupies a traditional place in the curriculum.


First lecture: 22 January 2020 at 13:15-15:00 in HB2


  • lectures Monday 15-17 HB2, Thursday 10-12 HB3;
  • exercises Wednesday 10-12, 13-15 in EL43 (notice: we don't use the 8-10 time)
  • labs on Monday 10-12, Thursday 8-10, Friday 13-15 in ED-3507

The detailed schedule with times and locations is in TimeEdit.

Lectures, exercises, deadlines:

22/1 Wed:  Lecture 1 Introduction Notes 1, Book 1
23/1Thu  Lecture 2 SQL 1 Notes 2, Book 2
27/1Mon Lecture 3 SQL 2 Notes 2, Book 2
28/1 Tue Deadline 0 Group registration Fire
28/1 Wed Exercise 1 SQL

Questions Solutions_pdf


30/1 Thu Lecture 4 Entity-Relationship modelling Notes 3, Book 4
3/2 Mon Lecture 5 The relational data model Notes 4, Book 2
5/2 Wed Deadline 1 SQL construction and queries Lab PM
6/2 Thu Lecture 6 Functional dependencies and normal forms (Jyrki?) Notes 5, Book 3
10/2 Mon Lecture 7 Relational algebra and query compilation

Notes 6, Book 2,5,16, Slides

12/2 Wed Exercise 2 ER modelling Questions Solutions
15/2 Sat Deadline 2 Database modelling Lab PM
19/2 Wed Exercise 3 Functional dependencies Questions
20/2 Thu Lecture 8 SQL constraints and triggers Notes 7, Book 7, Slides
24/2 Mon Lecture 9 Databases in software applications Notes 8, Book 9, Slides
26/2 Wed Exercise 4 Triggers and software applications Questions
27/2 Thu Lecture 10 Transactions, authorization, indexes Notes 7.7, 7.9, 8.7, 6.7; Book 6,8,10
29/2 Sat Deadline 3 Triggers Lab PM
2/3 Mon Lecture 11 Alternative data models, JSON (Matthías?) Notes 9, Book 11,12, Slides
4/3 Wed Exercise 5 Theory topics Questions Solutions
5/3 Thu Lecture 12 (?) Cassandra NoSQL (Johan Buratti, Spotify)
9/3 Mon Lecture 13 Recap and exam preparation exam-2018-3 answers quiz
11/3 Wed Exercise 6 JSON Questions Solutions
13/3 Fri Deadline 4 Application program (graded in lab sessions) Lab PM
20/3 Fri Exam Johanneberg 8:30-12:30 old exams


Course literature

Lecture notes (a book in construction): Jyrki Nummenmaa and Aarne Ranta, Databases in 144 pages, manuscript, available here.

Further reading (was the course book before):

  • Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeffrey D. Ullman, and Jennifer Widom, Database Systems: The Complete Book, 2/E, Pearson Education, 2008.
    Book web page 

Course design

The course has following components:

  • lectures
  • exercises
  • programming assignment ("lab")
  • supervised work in programming class ("labs")
  • course literature
  • discussion group
  • exam

Only the programming assignments and the exam are compulsory.

Changes made since the last occasion

No significant changes since last year.

Examination form

Written exam, individual

Programming assignment, in groups of two, four parts


Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • explain the semantic meaning of queries using relational algebra
  • describe the effects of transactions and indexes in a relational database

Competence and skills

  • construct an Entity-Relationship diagram for a given domain
  • translate an Entity-Relationship diagram into a relational database schema
  • apply design theory concepts for relational databases such as functional dependencies and normalization
  • retrieve and modify data using a database language for respective task
  • design a database interface using constraints, views, triggers and privileges
  • implement a relational database schema and related interface using a data definition language
  • communicate with a database, through a database interface, from a software application

Judgement and approach

  • evaluate and create different models for a database domain using EntityRelationship diagrams and relational schemas
  • contrast different data models, such as the relational and the semi-structured data models

Course plans

GU course plan.

Chalmers course plan.


Course summary:

Date Details