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Disclaimer: This is a resource page for my Spring 2010 I Web Databases course (COAP 3180) at Webster University, Geneva. This page does neither replace the official syllabus nor the information in the official learning management system (WorldClassroom/Blackboard). It allows students to navigate more efficiently through the materials in this wiki.

The program and materials are provisional and will be adjusted on a weekly basis.

Course level outcomes

At the completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Add a Webpage Database to an HTML page
  2. Manipulate data using SQL operations
  3. Publish both static and dynamic data on the Web
  4. Convert text files to XML databases
  5. Be able to query XML data using XQuery
  6. Be able to work with relational data as XML

These outcomes defined in the syllabus can be translated to more practical outcomes:

  1. Use simple Web 2.0 database services and integrate it into a webpage.
  2. Manipulate data using SQL operations and create simple SQL databases in a DBMS.
  3. Understand the architecture of a simple web application (HTML client / Web server / Script / Database).
  4. Be able use a LAMP/WAMP software bundle and to install and to configure web applications, e.g. a CMS. This can evolve into a term project.
  5. Generate a very simple web application that can connect to a database management system (DBMS) though an ODBC API.
  6. Understand/recall XML basics, like converting text files and database output to XML, editing an XML file using a schema and displaying XML data.
  7. Be able to query and update XML data files and XML Databases using XQuery dand XQuery Update.
  8. Understand the general architecture and purpose of LDAP address and authentication servers and light-weight solutions like OpenID.

Current weekly program

Week 8 - COAP 3180

Term project presentation




  • Final lecture, reminder of the most important subjects addressed etc.

Final exam

  • The exam will be a paper exam with MCQ's, open questions, code repair and completion, etc.
  • Open book (any resource you like including the Internet)

Main subjects:

(1) High level web application principles

  • Simple web application architectures (tiers)
  • Kinds of databases

(2) Practical know how

  • Using web services to create "mini-databases"
  • Using widgets
  • Creating simple HTML Web Forms
  • Using a WAMP server (Mowes)
  • CMS/CMF installation and configuration
  • Database administration with PHPMyAdmin
  • Simple reuse of PHP code, i.e. you may be asked to change "parameters"

(3) SQL:

    • Joins (select from two tables)
    • Data types: Integer, Float, VarChar, text
    • DEFAULT, NOT NULL, Auto increment
    • Keys
    • Primary keys
    • Foreign keys
  • INSERT (both forms)
  • DROP

(4) Relational database design:

  • Simple 2-3 table architectures
  • 1 to N and N to N relations between tables
  • Be able to read a diagram that summarizes table fields and shows relations (as in the Wordpress installation and configuration example).

(5) XML

  • Be able to edit/fix well-formed XML files
  • XSLT: Simple use of templates (definition and applying), html page generation
  • Simple use of XPath expressions (finding nodes and attributes, extracting text, identifying a position). XPath is used both by XSLT and XQuery.
  • XQuery: Simple FLOWR expressions, html page generation

(6) Identity and authentication (high-level principles)

Not included:

  • PHP programming, e.g. writing for loops and other algorithms
  • XSLT and XQuery functions and other more advanced programming constructs

List of all Coap 3180 pages

Weekly programs

Most important wiki pages

The COAP 3180 lecture notes page allows you to get the whole lot of wiki pages in a single PDF. Of course, some contents will not be tested in exams. In particular, there will be no PHP and no XML DTD/Schema questions. Mid-term will focus on SQL. The final exam will add XML, XSLT and Xquery plus some minor topics.

The following list may not be complete. Also, some subject require extra reading (see the weekly programs).

Other teaching resources

Most important software