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The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has asked you to develop a database to help them with their administration. There is a big backlog of work and the development of administration systems has been neglected for some years now. The most important projects required are:

  Type Purpose
1. An Alumni registration or events system Information to allow ex-students to keep intouch with the HCT
2. A Registration system for Sports Day Information on who will play, what they will play, scores, locations, coaches, etc.
3. A Conference registration system Register and select which sessions you would want to attend
4. A Workplacement database system Database with company names, contacts and students who worked there and when
5. A Study choice database system Students to register and enter their choice of study direction
6. A Student Feedback system Students to provide feedback to the college about their study
7. An Industry contacts database for e-business faculty Lists companies for on site visits, resources for workplacement)
Alternatively you plan and make your own guestbook!
8. Miscellaneous database Any other urgent database system requirements in your college. Just ask student services, student council, faculty etc...

The HCT is looking forward to using the final product. For your information, the HCT currently has a policy of using Access, SQL or Oracle as databases. They also has a preference to deployment on the internet or intranet for all database applications. You are free to talk to the people involved and make your own conclusions.


You need to create a database application with a web-based front end and an administrative back end. Permission and security system will be implemented.


If this a team effort all particpants need to demonstrate understanding, an oral defence will be required to differentiate performance.

Outcome 1:
You (or your team) ) will produce a Documentation (Report or FAQ) that describes the functionality of the database application you have developed and provides an introduction to database models and technology:
1. You will research the latest techniques required to analyse data and develop a database.
2. Provide evidence to support an understanding of different data models. compare and contrast different data model structures and examine their contribution to database development.
3. Examine some case material that focuses on developments such as data mining and data warehousing
Outcome 2:
You (or your team) will design implement and test a relational database web application and provide a 10 - 15 minute presentation to provide evidence of the following:
1. Apply data analysis and design techniques to develop a fully relational database with minimum of six tables
2. Verify that a design meets user requirements and provide justification of the database design
3. Use a range of database tools and techniques to demonstrate a more advanced level of understanding and application
4. Incorporate a query language/languages into the database design
5. Use a range of visual tools to enhance the database design
6. Demonstrate the extraction of meaningful data through the use of query tools
7. Provide documentation to support the database implementation
8. Demonstrate ways in which the database has considered the areas of verification and validation
9. Evaluate a range of testing techniques and apply one to your own database design

Time Frame

This project WILL be spread over a period of time which run parallel to other projects. Your instructors will advise you on the exact duration and date you must complete this project by.


Hint: Before you start buidling a database you have to have a plan. Make sure you know what you want to do before you make it. Changes afterwards are always a lot more work.

You will need to figure out the following:

The Library has some excellent books and tutorials on how to built databases. You can also download a local development platform called XAMPP here. This will setup a an apache, mysql, and php environment on your laptop. You will be able to develop a full web database application without the need to connect to the internet. You will be able to transfer the application to the web when you are ready.

BTEC Key Content Areas

Data models and database technology

Models: identify a range of data models and explain their structure and contribution to past, current and future database
developments. Examine why certain models have become obsolete and been superseded by newer models
Types: hierarchical, network (CODASYL), relational
Technology: look at ‘File Based Approach’ systems and DBMS (database management systems) and the contribution they have made to database technology
New developments: look at how databases have evolved to allow for more dynamic storage and search facilities eg data mining and data warehousing
Approaches: top-down — entity analysis techniques, entities, attributes, key identifiers, relationship types and enterprise rules, entity relationship diagrams (ERDs), degrees of relationships. Bottom-up — introduction to problems of redundancy, update anomalies, purpose of normalisation, functional dependency, determinacy diagrams and identification of un-normalised data structures, development of first, second and third normal forms

Design a relational database

Designs: select suitable data types, entity and referential constraints, convert logical database design to physical implementation using appropriate visual tools and structured query languages
Relational requirements: database must be fully relational with evidence of linked tables that are accurate and appropriate to the context of data within the design
Application links: database applications, identification and use of data sources and access via 4GL programs

Manipulation and query tools and techniques

Data manipulation: use of query languages and visual tools for database maintenance, inserts, updates and amendments of
Query and reporting: query languages and query by example (QBE) to extract meaningful data, including formatting and use of
functions/formulae, report writing tools, links to stored queries, design and format of reports, including graphical output

Implement and test

Data analysis: identification of data requirements from different user perspectives, comparison of top-down and bottom-up approaches to data analysis, their strengths and weaknesses
Data definition: documenting results from data analysis, data models/notations, data dictionaries, use of supportive software