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National University of Ireland, Galway

2012/2013

M.Sc. in Information Systems Management
Master of Business Studies (Electronic Commerce)
MS805: Database Systems

Assignment: Database Design and Development using MySQL

The submission deadline for Part 1 of this assignment is 4:00pm, Friday, October 26, 2012

The submission deadline for Part 2 of this assignment is 4:00pm, Friday, November 16, 2012

Part 1 – Database Design (25%):

Part 1 of this assignment is worth 25% of the overall marks for this course

Working in groups of not more than three, you are to take a database-driven e-commerce Web site of your own choice and attempt to “reverse engineer” the underlying relational database schema. You should do this by means of picking out various data attributes, organising those attributes into tables, and then normalising the tables.

Examples of database-driven Web sites that could possibly form the basis of this exercise are:

• Amazon Bookswww.amazon.com
• eBaywww.ebay.com
• Trip Advisorwww.tripadvisor.com
• Visit Scotlandwww.visitscotland.com
• Hostelworld.comwww.hostelworld.com
• Facebookwww.facebook.com
• Play.comwww.play.com

Many database-driven e-commerce systems are powered by very large and complex databases. It is adequate for the purposes of this assignment to focus your attention on constructing part of the overall schema rather than trying to build a complete picture. Choose a few inter-linked data-intensive pages and base your work just on those pages alone. You should try to identify a database that has at least three tables when refined to third normal form (3NF), but four or more tables would be better for the purposes of Part 2 of this assignment.

You should aim to challenge yourself ! Don’t simply pick an easy site; pick one that is difficult and see can you figure out what the back-end database schema might look like. Marks will be awarded for more ambitious efforts. You should probably try this exercise with a number of Web sites, then submit whichever solution you feel represents your most accomplished effort.

For this initial Part 1 of the assignment, you are required to submit the following:

• The assignment must have a completed Assignment Submission Form attached to its front. Each individual within the team should separately submit a confidential Individual Contribution and Peer Evaluation Form (these can be sent by email). These forms are on Blackboard.

• A list of all the database tables and their attributes. You should clearly show how you progressed from un-normalised form (0NF) through first (1NF), second (2NF), and third normal form (3NF), explaining what changes, if any, you made at each stage and what changes you made. If in moving from each stage to the next, no changes were made to a particular table, you must explain why no changes were necessary. Clearly state any assumptions that you make. If necessary, you may introduce attributes that are not visible on the print-outs but which are implied (e.g. primary or foreign keys), but again, you should make any such assumptions clear.

• For each table, specify a primary key. If appropriate, also specify the foreign key(s) and say what table(s) it/they link to.

• A print-out of the Web pages that you used to derive the table structures, with the various data attributes clearly marked using a highlighter pen or coloured ink. If necessary, you can include brief explanatory annotations on these pages (neat handwriting please!).

• A relational database scheme or physical entity-relationship diagram (ERD) showing your final data model.

You must submit Part 1 of this assignment not later than 4:00pm, Friday, October 26, 2012.

Please seal the submission in a plain envelope, addressed to Michael Lang, Business Information Systems Group, Cairnes School of Business & Economics (no plastic...
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