CS 317: Assignment #1

"Let's get started"

Syllabus
General Info
Assignments

Out: Thursday, April 4th, 2002

Due: Thursday, April 11th, 2002

Changed: 4/04/2002

This is our first assignment. In this assignment you will be getting started on thinking about what is going on behind the scenes on database-driven software. We will use amazon.com as our model for this assignment.

Assignment History

Assignment Checklist

Part 1: Play around on the website

Point your browser at amazon.com, look at the CDs section, and think about what sort of information needs to be stored in amazon's databases in order to drive the web site.

Part 2: Find and describe three relations

Choose three distinct pieces of functionality and hypothesize what must be going on behind the scenes to make each one work. For each:

  1. Describe how it's used. Your description should be a two or three sentence narrative of the form: "I did this, and this, and then got that as a response."
  2. Describe (in English) what sort of relation would be needed to support getting from "I did this and this" to "and got that". What pieces of information need to be stored?
  3. Show a table that captures that relation. The table should be given a meaningful name, should have some attributes (also with meaningful names), and should have 2 or 3 example tuples filled in. Use the table from Example 1.1 (page 4) as a model for what the table should look like.

If you are having trouble distinguishing pieces of functionality, try doing a search for an album by artist. Amazon should returns results of at least four different types. (Most of the orange captions correspond to a different type of information.)

This assignment is intentionally open-ended. The goal of the assignment is to get you thinking about what's going on inside database-driven software. Don't worry about using database lingo--just think about what information is necessary for Amazon to do what it does.