[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Monash University

FIT5168 Object and semi-structured database - Semester 1, 2012

Management of semi-structured data. The unit looks at the limitation of current relational based DBMS in handling XML. Explore the concept of modelling XML using XML Schema and retrieving it using XSLT. Design issues in creating native XML database. Exploring the approaches taken by current relational DBMS in storing and retrieving XML-based data.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Evening)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


Workload commitments for this unit:

  • two-hour lecture
  • two-hour tutorial
  • a minimum 6-8 hours of personal study including meeting time to complete group assignments.

Unit Relationships


Recommended knowledge: Knowledge of relational database.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Mark Carman

Consultation hours: Wednesday 4pm-5pm or or email to make an appointment

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will:
  • have the knowledge of managing data that may not be appropriately modelled and implemented as relational model;
  • be able to design data repository for XML documents;
  • be able to apply appropriate technology to manage XML data;
  • be able to use current DBMS to store and retrieve non-relational data such as XML and multimedia;
  • appreciate the strength and weaknesses of several approaches such as object relational, native XML and object oriented DBMS in handling the XML and multimedia database.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination: 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Designing XML database. 30% Friday 13 April 2012
Designing data storage and retrieving XML from a Relational DB 20% Friday 25 May 2012
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

  • Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    The teaching of this unit will consist of lectures, tutorials, self-study and group work. The main concepts of the unit will be delivered during lectures. Practical exercises on the concepts will be carried out during tutorials. It is expected that students will attempt the tutorial exercises prior to attending the tutorial classes. The tutorial classes will be used to discuss problems encountered while completing the exercises or to discuss important issues that students may need to be aware of in completing the exercises.

    Although tutorials are not compulsory, it is the student's responsibility to attend and participate in tutorial discussion as tutorials are the preferred venue for clarification and queries on the topics. Unless students have good reasons to miss tutorial classes, no consultation outside tutorial classes will be provided in regards to the tutorial exercises and discussion.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introducing semi-structured data and XML  
2 Data Modeling and Defining XML Datatypes in XML Schema  
3 Advanced XML Schema  
4 Document Engineering and XML Namespaces  
5 XML Path Expressions using XPath  
6 Transforming XML with XSLT  
7 Advanced XSLT  
8 Storing XML in a Database Assignment 1: Designing XML database due Friday 13 April 2012
9 Querying XML in a Relational Database  
10 Querying XML with XQuery  
11 Web Service standards  
12 Guest lecture and revision Assignment 2: Designing data storage and retrieving XML from a Relational DB due Friday 25 May 2012
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Designing XML database.
    This assessment aims to evaluate students' ability to design an XML repository, consisting of XML documents and their associated XML schemas.
    This is a group assigment. The group will consist of 2 students.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Explanation of the design process that the student followed in producing the repository and the reasoning behind any design decisions made.

    The correctness and robustness of the design (XML Schema) produced.

    The correctness of the XML document instances according to the schema.

    The tutor will monitor individual contributions to the group when allocating marks to members of the group

    Due date:
    Friday 13 April 2012
  • Assessment task 2
    Designing data storage and retrieving XML from a Relational DB
    This assessment aims to evaluate students' ability to use tranformation and/or query languages to access and manipulate data from an XML repository. The assessment will include the design of several queries/transformations to demonstrate the students' ability to use XSLT and/or XQuery.

    This is a group assignment. A group consists of 2 students.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The creation of declarative scripts that enable the appropriate data to be
    retrieved in the correct format from an XML repository.

    The correct use of XSLT and/or XQuery constructs.

    The tutor will monitor individual contributions to the group when allocating marks to members of the group.

    Due date:
    Friday 25 May 2012


  • Examination 1
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Quick reference guide on XML Schema and XSLT will be provided as part of the exam booklet.

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway


The recommended readings of this unit will be provided weekly through MUSO

[an error occurred while processing this directive]