CIS 411 Database Processing

Blackboard Course: CIS411
Time and Place: 3:05 pm - 4:20 pm Tuesday/Thursday
Classroom: Technology Building 242
Office Hours: 10:45 - 11:30 AM Tu/Th
Instructor: James R. Gerland, Sr.
Email: (The best way to reach me)
US Mail Drop:
        Buffalo State College
        224 Technology Building
        Buffalo, NY 14222


The database field has grown exponentially over the last three decades, requiring a knowledgeable and trained workforce to design, create, and maintain Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMs) that have become critical to business organizations.

Database professionals must be able to identify and understand organizational business needs and provide timely database solutions. Effective database professionals must possess analytical , technical, business, and inter-personal skills, and be able to apply such skills to current and emerging database environments.

This course will expose the student to database theory, and the techniques of creating, maintaining, and securing databases. Skills gained in this class will be applicable to all Relational Database Systems the student may encounter throughout their career.


At the end of this course the student will:

  • understand the importance of Primary and Foreign keys in designing, creating, and maintaining a relational database.
  • understand the Database Administrator and Database Developer roles in creating logical data structures and improving the overall performance of the relational database through well-developed data relationships and maintaining secure databases.
  • apply Oracle SQL (Structured Query Language) programming solutions throughout the relational database management system.
  • appreciate the importance of timely, correct, and accessible data in running any modern business organization.

Lectures will consist of presentation of new material, demonstrations, reviews of assignments, and discussions of current readings and assignments. A substantial amount of outside work will be necessary to complete some of the assignments. Labs will consist of completing hands-on assignments.

The course will be conducted may a Hybrid format with an applied group-oriented undergraduate research approach. E-Mail, Blackboard Learn, and face-to-face in-class group meetings will be utilized as a means to address project based discussion.

Class Schedule

Note: All assignments and online tests are due by 11:59 PM of the day they are listed as being due!

Week Of Textbook Reading Chapter Assignments
Jan 27 Course Introduction, Administrivia   Brief Introduction
Create your Home Page
Jan 29 What is information processing?
Database concepts,
the universal set and data versus information.
How can data be quickly turned into information that is timely, accurate and actionable?
Brief Introduction Due
Feb 3 Introduction to Oracle SQL
Relational Database paradigm
Feb 5 The bscacad linux sever and SQLPlus
Data Retrieval Using the SQL SELECT Statement
The DESCRIBE and SELECT statements
2 Problem Set 1
Home Page Due
Feb 10 Restricting and Sorting Data 3 Problem Set 2
Feb 12 Restricting and Sorting Data 3 Problem Set 3
Problem Set 1 Due
Feb 17 President's Day - No Class
Feb 19 Single-Row Functions 4 Problem Set 4
Problem Sets 2 & 3 Due
Feb 24 Single-Row Functions 4 Problem Set 5

Problem Set 1 Due
Goals Paper Due
Feb 26 Using Conversion Functions and Conditional Expressions 5 Problem Set 6
Problem Set 5 Due
Mar 3 Using Conversion Functions and Conditional Expressions 5 Problem Set 7
Problem Set 6 Due
Mar 5 First Exam 1-5
Mar 10 Reporting Aggregated Data Using the Group Functions 6 Database Environment Paper
Problem Set 7 Due
Mar 12 Reporting Aggregated Data Using the Group Functions 6 Problem Set 8
Mar 17 Displaying Data from Multiple Tables 7 Problem Set 9 & 10
Problem Set 8 Due
Mar 19 Displaying Data from Multiple Tables Lab Only Problem Set 11
Problem Sets 9 & 10 Due
Mar 24 Spring Recess
Mar 26 Spring Recess
Mar 31 Using Sub-queries to Solve Problems 8 Problem Set 12
Problem Set 11 Due
Apr 2 Using Sub-queries to Solve Problems Lab Only Problem Set 13
Problem Set 12 Due
Apr 7 Using the Set Operators 9 Problem Set 14
Problem Set 13 Due
Apr 9 Second Exam 6 - 9
Apr 14 Manipulating Data 10 Problem Set 15
Problem Set 14 Due
Apr 16 Manipulating Data Lab Only
Apr 21 Using DDL Statements to Create and Manage Tables 11 Problem Set 16
Problem Set 15 Due
Apr 23 Using DDL Statements to Create and Manage Tables Lab Only Problem Set 17
Problem Set 16 Due
Apr 28 Creating Other Schema Objects 12 Problem Set 18
Teaching Effectiveness Survey
Problem Set 17 Due
Apr 30 Hierarchical Queries Lab Only Problem Set 19
Problem Set 18 Due
Database Environment Paper Due
May 5 SQL*Loader
Embedded SQL
12 Problem Sets 20, 21, 22
Problem Set 19 Due
May 7 Third Exam 10 - 12 Problem Sets 20, 21, & 22 Due

Assignments / Grading

  • Students will be graded on 22 problem sets worth 1 point each.
  • There will be three (3) Exams worth 20 points each.
  • There will be four (4) assignments worth a total of 25 points
  • Final grades will be based on total points (107 available).
  • The final letter grades be based on the following table:
    Grade Range   Grade Range
    A 100 - 95 C+ 79 - 77
    A- 94 - 90 C 76 - 74
    B+ 89 - 87 C- 73 - 70
    B 86 - 84 D 69 - 60
    B- 83 - 80 F 59 - 0


Book Cover Oracle Database 11g SQL Fundamentals I Exam Guide: Exam 1Z0-051
Authors: John Watson and Roopesh Ramklass
ISBN: 9780071597869
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Copyright: 2008
Textbook errata
Book is required.


Introduction | Home Page | Goals Paper | Database Environment Paper

Brief Introduction (1 Point)

For this assignment you will login to your Blackboard Learn account and post a brief (75-100 words) introduction about yourself to the Brief Introduction Discussion forum for this course. Use the Add New Thread button and make the Subject line your name. Also, include any relevant course(s) you've taken that might help you in this course. This will give me a better idea of where each of us are in our understanding and experience with electronic commerce concepts and design. Please include a photo of yourself so we can get to know each other.

Back to Assignments

Home Page (10 Points)

For this assignment you will login to your account and create your Home Page which will be used as the starting page for the rest of your Assignments for this course. You may modify an existing index.html file to meet the requirements below. Your web page should should be HTML5 and CSS3 compliant, should be well-designed, user friendly, easy to navigate and utilize the HTML5 tags and CSS3 styles. You will need to upload an image of yourself to your BSC Web Space. You web page should:

  • Use appropriate <!doctype html> tag indicating that this is an HTML5 web page.
  • Use appropriate <html>, <head>, and <title> tags to give your page a title that contains your name. Appropriate <meta> tags with content describing keywords for the author, text-editor used, and SEO information.
  • Use appropriate HTML5, CSS-styled tags that identify this as your web page including your name, an <img> tag with appropriate src and alt values, along with width, and height CSS Styles that insert a graphic image of yourself on your page and a brief paragraph about yourself.
  • Use appropriately identified and styled <div> tags for the various areas of your page layout.
  • Use a JavaScript function that uses an array of the 22 Problem Sets and other assignments for this course to display an ordered list of these Problem Sets and assignments. In future assignments you will be converting each of these entries to web links that will allow me to view and grade each problem set and assignment.

You *MUST* use the W3c Unicorn validator page to verify your HTML code and your CSS styles.

When you have this Assignment ready for me to view and grade you should post a note in the Home Page Discussion Folder with the URL of your web page so I can click on that link and open your Assignment in a new browser window (target="_blank").

Back to Assignments

Professional Goals Paper (7 Points)

For this assignment you will create a professionally written paper describing your Professional Goals. You will use Word (or another word processing application). This paper should be 500-700 words, spell-checked, and include citations or references to sources you may have used in developing your goals.

Rhonda Bowen, Contributing Editor at Bright Hub, provides these tips:

  1. Goals are most meaningful when they tie in with your overall vision for how you want life to be. Vision statements are not just for businesses. They are also for anyone who wishes to improve his or her situation.
  2. It's best to keep goals limited. If you have a long list of goals, it's the equivalent of a child writing a long, long letter to Santa Claus. It starts to look like you'll be happy with whatever you get, and it's hard to focus on what actions to take.
  3. Goals need to be SMART. Smart goals are: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific. By keeping your golas (sic) SMART, it will increase the likelihood of you meeting and exceeding those goals.
  4. Goals require a strategic plan of next actions for achievement. Every goal you set for yourself should be accompanied by a specific plan of how you will reach this goal.
  5. Goals should be written in present or past tense. Write your goals as if they are happening or as if they have already happened. This helps you to make them reality.

When you have this Assignment ready for me to view and grade you should upload your Word document to your BSC web space and add a link to your Home Page so I can download and grade your work. Then post a note in the Professional Goals Discussion Folder with the URL of your web page so I can click on that link and open your Assignment in a new browser window (target="_blank").

Back to Assignments

Describe Your Database Hardware/Software Environment Paper (7 Points)

For this assignment you will create a professionally written paper describing your database environment (hardware and software). You will use Word (or another word processing application). This paper should be 500-700 words, spell-checked and include tables, graphs, images, and citations or references to sources you may have used in describing your database environment. You may use the Buffalo State Oracle as your environment.

You may want to use your favorite search engine (Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc.) to research this topic to help you prepare your paper.

When you have this Assignment ready for me to view and grade you should upload your Word document to your BSC web space and add a link to your Home Page so I can download and grade your work. Then post a note in the Database Environment Discussion Folder with the URL of your web page so I can click on that link and open your Assignment in a new browser window (target="_blank").

Back to Assignments


This is a hybrid course which will have in-class meetings for discussions and also utilize Blackboard Learn for chapter-based discussions and tests. Students are expected to login at minimum multiple times each week for course announcements, assignments, quizzes, discussions,etc.

Faculty/Instructor: I can be reached by email with questions or for guidance that are concerned with this course. You should expect that I will reply to your message within 1-2 business days. Specific course-related questions (textbook, tests, discussions, etc.) should be posted in Blackboard Learn so everyone can benefit from the questions and answers.

Students: If you have multiple email accounts, please be sure that you access (or forward) your Buffalo State email. Your Buffalo State email is the account I will use to send course-related materials.


This course may utilize Blackboard Learn to facilitate online communication between course participants. Please keep in mind the following "Rules of Netiquette" when communicating online.

  • The rules of the classroom are the same regardless of location. Remember just because you're interacting online, doesn't mean you stop having respect for your professors, and fellow classmates. You're communicating with a real person, not a computer screen.
  • Remember your audience. When communicating online it's important to remember who you're communicating with. When sending a message to a professor, please refrain from using "text speak". For example, Shakespeare never intended for you to type "2B or not 2B". Also, stay away from typing in all capital letters; it will appear as if you're shouting.
  • Avoid strong language. Language can easily be misinterpreted in an online setting. Be sure to review your work before submitting, making sure the reader won't be able to misinterpret it as strong, or offensive. Sarcasm doesn't translate well online. Your audience can't see your facial expressions, or body language. Try to be as straight forward and professional as possible.
  • Read everything, twice. Be sure to thoroughly read all course materials before beginning to work on your assignments. If you have a question, or need clarification, re-read the materials. You may have glanced over an important detail the first time. If you're still having difficulties, then e-mail your professor.
  • Review all materials before submitting. When responding to discussion board posts, be sure to read all previous postings before you post your own. This way you won't duplicate someone else's comments. Also, it's a good idea to write, and save your work in Microsoft Word first. In case of a technical issue, you have a backup copy.

Policy Regarding Absences, Attendance, Assignments, Exams, etc.

  • Class Attendance and Absences
    As many online activities will be completed throughout the semester, participation in our Blackboard Learn Discussion Forums is expected. In the case of exceptional circumstances that result in you not being able to participate in a timely manner, you must contact me prior to the start of your absence (either by email or by leaving a telephone message). Please be aware that a prolonged absence from Blackboard Learn under these circumstances does not excuse you from any required assignments.
  • Late Assignments
    All assignments are due at the designated time and due date. Late assignments will not be accepted. If there are circumstances that will preclude you from turning in assignments on the due date, it is imperative that you discuss the situation with the instructor prior to the due date.
  • Exams and Final Exam
    See grading for information about quizzes and exams in this course.
  • Disability Policy
    If you have any disability which requires reasonable accommodations to enable you to participate in this course, please contact the Disability Services Office, 120 South Wing, (716) 878-4500, and also the instructor of this course during the first week of class. DSO will provide you with information and review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accommodations. target="_blank">Buffalo State Disability Services Office Web Site
  • Academic Integrity
    Reference: target="_blank">Academic Standards Web Site

    Students who are suspected of academic dishonesty will be dealt with severely in accordance with the Department and College Policy. This may include a grade of 0 for an assignment and/or failure in a course.

  • Academic Dishonesty: Actions that compromise academic integrity include, but are not limited to the following examples:

    • Previously submitted work: submitting academically required material that has been previously submitted - in whole or in substantial part - in another course, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.
    • Plagiarism. Copying or receiving material from any source and submitting that material as one's own, without acknowledging and citing the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or in any other manner representing the work of another as one's own.
    • Cheating. Soliciting and/or receiving information from, or providing information to, another student or any other unauthorized source (including electronic sources such as cellular phones and PDAs), with the intent to deceive while completing an examination or individual assignment.
    • Falsification of academic materials. Fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports, or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor's name or initials; resubmitting an examination or assignment for re-evaluation which has been altered without the instructor's authorization; or submitting a report, paper, materials, computer data, or examination (or any considerable part thereof) prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the assignment.
    • Misrepresentation of documents. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College or Official document, record, or instrument of identification.
    • Confidential academic materials. Procurement, distribution or acceptance of examinations or laboratory results without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.
    • Selling academic assignments. No person shall sell or offer for sale to any person enrolled at the Buffalo State any academic assignments, or any inappropriate assistance in the preparation, research, or writing of any assignment, which the sellers knows, or has reason to believe, is intended for submission in fulfilled of any course or academic program requirement.
    • Purchasing academic assignments. No person shall purchase an academic assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.