INFO321 Research Assignment

Research Assignment

The goal of the Term Project Proposal and the Term Project is for the student to work through key steps in the design of a very basic relational database. You are encouraged to keep the database topic narrow and “simple”. (Complex problems we find in the real-world can be broken into smaller steps – the objective here is to practice the basics!). We want to work through the design a simple database, we are not designing an application – keep the topic focused.

At this stage you need to determine the entities (tables) you expect to have in the term project (only 2 must be included, more tables add to the complexity), describe some of the fields that will be in each table, and the relationship between those tables. For the Term Project (due at the end of the course) you will complete the design (including using the normalization process to finalize the tables, fields, determine primary keys and relationships), by defining functional dependencies and working through normalization rules (process). A bonus exercise allows you to earn points by creating an Access DB that matches your design.

Here is an example, which you cannot use for your project!

Consider a DB that would record parts, and the suppliers of those parts. The topic itself suggests that the tables (entities) would be Parts and Suppliers. What attributes (columns, fields) would describe each of those entities? What might make a good primary key for each table? What about the relationship between the tables? Think about assumptions that would impact the association (relationship) between parts and the suppliers. Can each part be supplied by one supplier, or by many suppliers?

More examples describing entity relationships (multiplicity) at the user level can be found in the User Discussion of Table Relationships (Multiplicity) topic in the Terms and Concepts Forum.

The proposal feedback will include an – “approved” – (sometimes with conditions) or “not approved – statement concerning your topic – if rejected you will be given an opportunity to adapt it or chose a new topic. Your term project topic must be approved – if you submit a term project without approval, the Term Project grade will be materially impacted.

Use the outline below (you must include the outline as section labels in your submission). The submission for the Term Project Proposal (MS Word doc – 500 words minimum), must include the following:

1) (20%) Name of the project, content organization, spelling, grammar, clarity

2) (15%) Purpose of the project – what would you like to record, include at least one question you would like the DB to answer – the goal is to include 2 entities in the query, not simply list something in one table (as the result of a query)

3) (10%) Possible users and administrators

4) (10%) Explain how this information would be recorded and monitored without a database

5a) (15%) list each entity (table) along with its probable attributes / fields (include the data type)

(remember, you must have at least one relationship (either one-to-many or many-to-many) between 2 tables in the Term Project).

5b) (15%) identify “potential” primary keys for each table – explain why it would be a good choice for the primary key (this may change as you complete your term project).

(remember, you must have at least two tables – with different primary keys, and one relationship (either one-to-many or many-to-many) between 2 tables in the Term Project).

5c) (15%) Explain the relationship between 2 of the entities (tables).

For instance, in the above-mentioned Parts and Suppliers example, the relationship between the Parts and Suppliers entities could be such that each Part can be supplied by one (and only one) Supplier, on the other hand, one Supplier can provide many different Parts. This would be one-to-many relationship.

Or, if one part can be provided by many suppliers, and each supplier can provide many different parts (a many-to-many relationship).

6) Other points you deem important

Restrict your use of direct quotes (copy and paste) to less than 15% of the submission (the grade will be impacted if you exceed this limit).

Here is a sample of topics that will be rejected: projects that try to track statistics (these are more suited to a spreadsheet), keeping track of movies, recipes, students and classes, modifications to examples in our text, or examples in other textbooks (Premier Products, Henry Books, Marina Group, Orders and Parts, Customer and Orders, or Customers and Products), cars and owners, cars and rental locations, product / suppliers, doctors and hospitals, IT assets, books and authors, and video game based DB’s.

You can, however, take one of those themes and adapt it – clarify your adaptation if you select this path. If in doubt, contact me via a message.

Submit a Word compatible document. Name your document Last Name_ProjectProposal (i.e. Smith_ProjectProposal).

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