IMS2906 Business Applications Programming , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Peter O'Donnell
Caulfield : Peter O'Donnell
Outline This unit is intended to provide students with experience in the translation of an informal problem specification into a program design and the implementation of that design in a modern object-oriented programming language. Tutorial exercises are oriented towards understanding and solving common business problems. There is emphasis on object oriented programming, data structures and databases, and web development.

The unit aims to give a more thorough understanding of general programming, software engineering, database programming, object oriented development, and web development as they relate to business applications. Students should have a sufficient understanding to be able to contribute in most common industrial projects or corporate environments with little further training.

Topics include:
• Multi-tier programming (eg. Presentation, business and data tiers)
• Higher-level object oriented programming
• Data structures and collections
• Database applications and SQL
• Implementation of a Database from a Model
• Database updates
• Web forms, web database, and web services
• Debugging, error handling, and exception handling
• Testing, in particular GUI application testing
• Effective reuse of code and creating and using program libraries
Objectives Knowledge and Understanding (Cognitive Domain Objectives)
  • Understand the meaning and purpose of a range of programming statements and control structures.
  • Understand the implications of several techniques for developing programming solutions and select the most appropriate solution.
  • Interpret a user specification and apply sound interface design principles.
  • Understand and apply thorough testing and documentation techniques.
  • Use library (including programming library) and on-line resources where relevant.
  • Understand and apply problem-solving techniques for the purpose of producing programmed solutions for business problems.
  • Appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of the OO philosophy/technique in developing applications.
  • Understand some of the wider implications of the .Net initiative and its application in organisations.
Attitudes, Values and Beliefs (Affective Domain Objectives)
  • Have the ability to participate in discussions about development and programming.
  • Have the confidence necessary to develop a complex application in an object oriented programming language without assistance.
  • Appreciate the potential and limitations of programming languages, in particular VB.Net, in helping address to a range of business problems.
  • Understand the philosophy of an object-oriented development environment and its application.
  • Understand the philosophy of an web development environment and its application.
Practical Skills (Psychomotor Domain Objectives)
  • Follow instructions to write syntactically correct program instructions. Correctly enter sample programs (as supplied in tutorials) and run them. Follow instructions to build a program design.
  • Develop a program design using algorithms and pseudo code and other relevant techniques.
  • Understand and use an IDE to produce working applications efficiently.

Prerequisites Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed IMS1906, IMS1907, or equivalent.

Unit relationships This new unit is a core second year unit in the revised structure for the Bachelor of Information Systems, and is the final unit in a series of three new subjects that provides a basis for programming in a modern language. Feedback from students (past and present) and employers indicate a need for more programming in the BIS course. It fosters the skills necessary to produce an application based on a case study in studios. Most importantly, it builds some of the more advanced programming skills required to build the programming confidence that has typically been lacking in the students of the BIS course.

You may not study this unit and BUS2011, CFR2128, CSE1301, CSE2207, CSE3007, RDT1301, SFT1122 or MMS3805 in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Bradley, J.C. and A.C. Millspaugh (2004) Advanced programming using Visual Basic .Net 2nd Edition Boston: McGraw Hill/Irwin, ISBN 0-07-251239-3.


Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

The unit will make extensive use of Microsoft Visual Studio .Net and the language Visual Basic. The software is available for overnight loan from the Information Technology desk on level 6 of H block on the Caulfield campus.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 9 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

There are many good texts that deal with advanced programming topics in Visual Basic .Net. Students may find purchasing or borrowing texts other than the prescribed text is helpful. A number of additional readings will be posted on the unit web site.

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for IMS2906 are:

This unit information outlining the administrative information for the unit.
The unit has a web site where lecture slides, lecture recordings, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted. To access the unit webpage, select:

Structure and organisation



Study Guide


Key Dates

1 Introduction to unit Chapter 1
2 Object oriented programming in VB.Net
3 VB.Net and databases I Chapter 3
4 VB.Net and databases II Chapter 4
5 VB.Net and databases III Chapter 5 Assignment 1
6 ASP.Net and Web forms Chapter 6
7 Web forms and databases I Chapter 7 Assignment 2
8 Web forms and databases II Chapter 8
9 Web services Chapter 9
10 Reporting with Crystal Reports Chapter 10
11 Using collections Chapter 11 Assignment 3
12 User controls, help files and localization Chapter 12
13 Unit review Review material Assignment 4 next week

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of 4 assignments with a weighting of 60% and an examination with a weighting of 40%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • Gain at least 40% of the examination component: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole
  • Gain at least 40% of the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other other assessment tasks (such as Gain at least 50% of the total marks for the unit

Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N’.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

total assignment mark (out of 60) = assignment 1 mark + assignment 2 mark + assignment 3 mark + assignment 4 mark

if total assignment mark > 40% and exam mark is > 40% then
final mark = exam mark (out of 40) + total assignment mark (out of 60)

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Building a multi-tier Windows application End of week 5 10 %
Building a Windows application that accesses a database End of week 7 20 %
Building a Web application that accesses a database End of week 11 20 %
Using Crystal Reports in a .Net application End of week 14 10 %
Examination 3 hour(s), closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 40 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the IMS2906 unit web site assignment page. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission via the unit web site assignment page. Do not email submissions. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of [describe penalty for late submission, describe the deadline for late assignment acceptance or any conditions that are placed on late assignments, e g, "Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted."]

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Outside the scheduled class contact hours, you can contact teaching staff by email, phone, during their consultation hours (available on unit webpage or at the reception desk, level 6, building H) or by making an appointment. If you need a staff member urgently and are unable to contact them, please contact:Reception, Building H, Level 6, Ph: 9903 2208.

A discussion forum is available on the unit web site.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the home page of the the unit website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times


If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr Peter O'Donnell
Phone +61 3 990 32502

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006