|Assigned Date||Work||Due Date (11:59 PM)||FAQ||Sample Solution|
|Wed. April 9||OTC Exercises 1|
and Challenge Problems 1
|Tue. April 15||OTC FAQ1|
Challenge Problems FAQ1
|Wed. April 16||OTC Exercises 2 (SQL Labs)|
and Challenge Problems 2
|Tue. April 22||OTC FAQ2|
Challenge Problems FAQ2
|Fri. April 18||Project Part 0 (trivial)||Thu. April 24||Project FAQ0||No solution for projects|
|Wed. April 23||OTC Exercises 3 (in 3 parts)|
and Challenge Problems 3
|Tue. April 29 (OTC) and|
Wed. April 30 (challenge)
Challenge Problems FAQ3
|Fri. April 25||Project Part 1||Thu. May 1||Project FAQ1||No solution for projects|
|Mon. May 5||Project Part 2||Thu. May 15||Project FAQ2||No solution for projects|
|Wed. May 14||OTC Exercises 4 (in 3 parts)|
and Challenge Problems 4
|Tue. May 20||OTC FAQ4|
Challenge Problems FAQ4
|Fri. May 16||Project Part 3||Thu. May 29||Project FAQ3||No solution for projects|
|Wed. May 28||OTC Exercises 5|
and Challenge Problems 5
|Tue. June 3||OTC FAQ5|
Challenge Problems FAQ5
One of the best features of OTC is that you are permitted to test yourself on exercises for a particular topic as many times as you like. We strongly encourage you to continue testing on each topic until you complete the set of exercises with a 100% score at least once.
For each OTC exercise set, your score is the highest score
achieved as of 11:59 PM on the due date. There is no late policy for
There are typically 1-2 challenge problems accompanying each OTC
exercise set. We ask you to type up your solutions and submit them
electronically. (Details are provided with the assignments, and
students who strongly prefer to hand-write their solutions may scan
them for submission.) The late policy for
challenge problems is outlined below.
We will expect certain minimal functionality in each AuctionBase system - beyond that, the sky's the limit. Minimal functionality includes a variety of queries and browsing capabilities over the current items up for auction, the bids on those items, and the sellers and bidders. AuctionBase also must provide a means for entering bids, and for concluding auctions on individual items. Various integrity constraints must be monitored. Although AuctionBase uses the Oracle DBMS and therefore has transaction support, multi-user issues are not a focus of the project.
Web programming skills are not required for the AuctionBase project. We will provide skeleton Java servlets and HTML code for most aspects of the Web interface. Those students savvy in Web programming may rewrite or extend the interface as they please.
At the end of the course, there will be a "contest" in which we select a few of the best AuctionBase systems to be demonstrated in class and linked to the course home page. Winners also will be invited to enjoy lunch at the Stanford Faculty Club with Prof. Widom, the TA's, and the other contest winners.
The scope of the AuctionBase project is such that it can easily be completed by each student in the class individually - partners or teams will not be used.
To develop the project all students will use the Oracle relational database management system (Oracle 9.01 server, 8.1.7 clients) and the Unix operating system. You will try out Oracle's sqlplus interactive interface, its PL/SQL proprietary programming language, and several other features. For the Web front-end and interacting with Oracle, students are expected to use the Java programming language, Java Servlets, and JDBC. Help sessions will be provided.
There are many other ways to develop Web applications and interact with Oracle, e.g., using C++ and CGI, or using PHP. Students are welcome to use alternative languages and tools if they wish, and we have linked to support materials for some of them, however only Java and JDBC will be supported by the course staff, and the specifications for the project must be met regardless of the languages or tools used. The project also includes processing of XML files. We will provide XML parsers in Java and C++, but again students are welcome to use other tools or languages if they prefer. Important note: Students using alternative languages and tools must be able to submit all of their code using the standard submission procedure, and their code needs to be able to be run and checked by the TA's with no additional effort over those projects implemented using the supported languages and tools.
Oracle and Java are available on the Sun Solaris workstations on the second floor of Sweet Hall, e.g., the saga, elaine, and myth machines. To open an account on these machines, type open at the login: prompt and follow the instructions. SCPD students can access the Sun workstations remotely. If you have access to an equivalent Oracle system (version 8 or higher, including PL/SQL and JDBC), you may use it instead of the Stanford system. However, we do expect you to use Oracle and not some other DBMS - not because we love Oracle, but because we can support only one DBMS, and we will be exploring some specific capabilities of this system. If you choose to use your own workstation and/or your own Oracle system, please be aware that we cannot make any exceptions for problems incurred by using your own computing facilities rather than those provided by Stanford.
We will assume that students are proficient already with Unix and with the the Java programming language.
You will log into Oracle and run a few commands using sqlplus. This part is trivial - it simply ensures that your Oracle account is functional and you know how to perform basic operations with Oracle.
You will be given a large volume of data downloaded from the eBay Web site and stored in XML files. You will examine the data and design a good (we hope) relational schema for it. You will then write a program or scripts to transform the data from its XML form into Oracle's load file format, conforming to your relational schema. You will create your schema in your own Oracle database and load the data.
This part of the project will expose you to some additional aspects of Oracle, using the AuctionBase data. You will experiment with indexes and views, will write a small PL/SQL program, and will implement some constraint-checking features using Oracle CHECK constraints and triggers. You will also add a "current time" feature to your AuctionBase database.
As a baseline, you will design an appropriate set of queries and updates for your AuctionBase system and create a simple Web interface for them. Ambitious students may migrate the simple front-end into a user-friendly Web interface that looks like a "real" auction site, and may exploit triggers and other Oracle features for additional functionality. Use your creativity. Several projects will be selected to be demonstrated on the last day in class (for glory, not grades).
Under the Honor Code at Stanford, each of you is expected to solve OTC exercises independently, and to submit your own original work for challenge problems and the programming project. On many occasions when working on assignments (but never exams!) it is useful to ask others - the instructor, the TA's, or other students - for hints, or to talk generally about aspects of the assignment. Such activity is both acceptable and encouraged, but you must indicate on all submitted challenge problems and programming work any assistance (human or otherwise) that you received. Any assistance received that is not given proper citation will be considered a violation of the Honor Code. In any event, you are responsible for understanding, performing or writing up, and being able to explain on your own, all OTC exercises and other work that you submit. The course staff will pursue aggressively all suspected cases of Honor Code violations, and they will be handled through official University channels.
If you have any questions about this policy or about the degree to which we will pursue Honor Code violations, please discuss your concerns with the course staff immediately.