Databases are incredibly prevalent -- they underlie technology used by most people every day if not every hour. Databases reside behind a huge fraction of websites; they're a crucial component of telecommunications systems, banking systems, video games, and just about any other software system or electronic device that maintains some amount of persistent information. In addition to persistence, database systems provide a number of other properties that make them exceptionally useful and convenient: reliability, efficiency, scalability, concurrency control, data abstractions, and high-level query languages. Databases are so ubiquitous and important that computer science graduates frequently cite their database class as the one most useful to them in their industry or graduate-school careers. This course covers database design and the use of database management systems for applications. It includes extensive coverage of the relational model, relational algebra, and SQL. It also covers XML data including DTDs and XML Schema for validation, and the query and transformation languages XPath, XQuery, and XSLT. The course includes database design in UML, and relational design principles based on dependencies and normal forms. Many additional key database topics from the design and application-building perspective are also covered: indexes, views, transactions, authorization, integrity constraints, triggers, on-line analytical processing (OLAP), and emerging "NoSQL" systems.
Prof Windom provides an excellent dose of RDB theory and programming using free, open source tools like mysql and postgres. This course became relatively challenging (for me) during classes covering XSLT. I appreciated the challenge. As a result of this class, I was able to go out and develop a relatively sophisticated DB in mysql. Unfortunately the course did not cover interfacing with the DB to create reports in a format useable to most businesses, but that was a lesson I had to pursue on my own.
Everything you need to know to get started and keep working with databases. Quizzes are challenging, and there are two exams. But the good part is that you could test the answers unlimited time until you get it right.
This was the first online course I took and it was very well done. Professor Widom explained things very well. This course is relevant to my everyday work as well as I'm a DBA Developer. Would recommend this class to anyone!
Have to agree that if you're aiming for certificate, get ready to work hard. The course is designed in such way that you can master each component (either XML or SQL) separately. if you're interested only in database material (as I was) you can take your time and do all SQL-related work only. For certificate, deadlines and % of the correct answers matter though.
The perfect introduction to databases, this course gave me an incredible grounding from which to start using databases at work. I started out knowing nothing about databases and by the end of the course I was more than ready to use them in a professional capacity. I have since implemented a lot of what I learned form this course at work. Brilliant lectures, great exercises, broad coverage of the topic, thanks prof Widom!!!
Agree with all previous reviews. Very useful course. It's open for self-study on coursera and I was coming back to look up a solution for the queries I had to write at work. In addition to relation databases, it also has pretty deep XML portion. The course is intense, I was spending all weekends doing homework, but once done, it will stay with you forever and you will be using it in everyday life. Highly recommend!