Introduction to Database Systems

York University
Winter 2011
Test #1 Preparation

Basically chapters 1-3 & 19 from the textbook. We have covered the first part of the course, I. Design.

Only topics covered both in the reading and in class are fair game.

  1. Basics and Overview (Ch.1)
    1. the relational model, basics
    2. data independence
    3. what functions database systems provide
  2. Entity-Relationship Diagrams (Ch.2)
    1. elements
      1. entities, weak entites
      2. relationships
      3. attributes
      4. hierarchies
      5. aggregation
    2. constraints
      1. key constraints
      2. participation constraints
    3. conceptual design and guidelines (2.5)
    4. not covered
      • UML (2.7)
  3. The Relational Model (Ch.3)
    1. SQL for schema creation and modification (DDL: data description language) (3.1, 3.7)
    2. integrity constraints (3.2, 3.3)
      1. key constraints (primary and unique)
      2. foreign keys
      3. general
    3. very basic SQL for queries (3.4)
    4. logical design: E-R to Relational (3.5)
  4. Normalization: Schema Refinement & the Normal Forms (Ch.19)
    1. problems with redundancy, general (19.1)
    2. functional dependencies, and reasoning with (19.2, 19.3)
      1. Armstrong's axioms
      2. the closure set and attribute closure
      3. deriving the candidate keys
    3. the normal forms: 1NF, 2NF, 3NF, & BCNF (19.4)
      1. the formal definitions
      2. how to detect when a relational schema is in a normal form
      3. what types of redundancy each normal form addresses


Go through the reading and the examples in the textbook. Consider the problems at the end of each chapter and work some of them. (Answers to the odd numbered excercises are available at the textbook's web-site.) Go through the exercises I have provided.


The test will be closed-note, closed-book. You may bring a calculator, but I cannot imagine that you would need one.

There will be space on the text packet for writing answers. I will bring extra paper, in case anyone needs it, to attach.

The test will be for the class lecture time, so 75 minutes.