Module 1: Getting Started

CMPS 160: Databases


Databases are one of the fundamental pillars of information technology. Any data that has to be persisted is very likely to be stored in a database. Every time you access a website on the internet data is retrieved from and stored in a database. What makes databases such a good tool for storing data? How do databases store data? What is a data model? All these questions and many more will be answered in this course. In this module, we will take a bird’s eye view on databases and touch on all the important concepts.

Module Objectives

  • Identify the three main hardware components of a client/server systems.
  • Describe the way a client accesses the database on a server using application software, data access API (Application Programming Interface), DBMS (Database Management System), SQL (Structured Query Language) query and query results.
  • Describe the way a relational database is organized using tables, columns, rows, cells, primary keys, unique keys, and foreign keys.
  • Identify the three types of relationships that can exist between two tables.
  • Describe the way the columns in a table are defined using a data type, null value, and default value.
  • Learn about the difference between DML (data manipulation language) and DDL(Data Definition Language).

Learning Resources

  • Module 1 Readings: Chapter 1
  • Module 1 Slides: Chapter 1

Learning Activities

  • Module 1 Quiz: Chapter 1
  • Module 1 Assignment: Mirror page 11 of the textbook, Answer questions A – E under Assignment 1 in the module.
  • Set up your environment

For Further Study

It is highly recommended to work through the exercises at the end of the chapter, specifically:

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