Go back to the home page
Information about CITE
Information about Web-based Training
CITE's course offerings
Register for a CITE course
CITE's Partner program
Contact CITE



Fundamentals of Database Management Systems - Instructor-led, Web-based ("Blended") Version


Brian Smith
University of Virginia
[email protected]



Database management systems play an essential role in most modern transportation management, administrative, and control systems. Therefore, transportation professionals are often responsible for making design, development, operations, and maintenance decisions concerning database management systems. In addition, many transportation professionals are users of database management systems to support their responsibilities. Clearly, in order to effectively accomplish their mission, transportation professionals do not need to be database experts. However, a basic understanding of database management systems has become important.

This course emphasizes the importance of database design, use, and management to ITS. The module begins with a general description of databases and database management systems, including the relationships that exist among a database, a DBMS, and an application. Relational database tables, Entity-Relationship Models, and the role of metadata are discussed in detail. Finally, the module describes SQL, and explores the role of databases in data warehousing and Geographic Information Systems.


What is an Instructor-led, Web-based course?

A “blended” course combines the best features of both instructor-led and web-based instruction. These features include:

  • Live discussions with the instructor through the use of conference calls,
  • Convenient, flexible web-based learning,
  • A specific time schedule in which to complete the course, and
  • Interaction with other students through the use of class problems posted on a discussion board.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how databases work
  • Describe how databases are designed
  • Recall how to work with databases to support decision making
  • Relate how databases are used for advanced applications, namely data warehousing and geographic information systems (GIS)



Transportation professionals who are ultimately responsible for the design, procurement, and operations of transportation systems that rely heavily on database management systems. The course is not intended for individuals with extensive database backgrounds, nor is it intended for individuals seeking to learn the "mechanics" of using a particular database package.



8 hours.


Course Outline

  1. Lesson 1. Databases and DBMSs

    a. Data Management
    b. The Database
    c. The Database Management System (DBMS)
    d. Relationships
    e. Role of DBMSs in ITS

  2. Lesson 2. How Databases Work

    a. Why Use a Database?
    b. Benefits of Relational Databases
    c. Relational Database Structure
    d. Relational Database Tables
    e. Relating Tables with Keys
    f. Knowledge Check: Relational DB Terms
    g. Normalizing Databases
    h. Relational Database Tutorial

  3. Lesson 3. Database Design

    a. Why Is Database Design Important?
    b. Entity-Relationship Models
    c. E-R Models: Terms
    d. Entities
    e. Entity Attributes
    f. Sample E-R Diagram
    g. E-R Models Exercise
    i. Knowledge Check: E-R Model Terms
    j. Relationships
    k. Relationships: Diagramming
    l. Relationship Examples
    m. Designing a Database with E-R Diagrams
    n. Knowledge Check: Relationships
    o. Exercise
    p. Database Documentation/Metadata

  4. Lesson 4. Working with Databases

    a. Structured Query Language (SQL)
    b. SQL Example
    c. SQL Functions
    d. More About SQL

  5. Lesson 5. Data Warehouse

    a. Introduction
    b. ITS Data Warehouse
    c. Data Warehouse: Other Features
    d. Key Issues Related to ITS Data Warehousing
    e. Strengths of Data Warehousing in ITS
    f. Strengths of Data Warehousing in ITS (cont'd)
    g. Strengths of Data Warehousing in ITS (cont'd)
    h. Strengths of Data Warehousing in ITS (cont'd)
    i. Weaknesses of Data Warehousing

  6. Lesson 6. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

    a. What Is GIS?
    b. Representing Spatial Location in a Database
    c. Spatial Coordinate Systems

  7. DBMS Vocabulary Review
  8. Course Summary


Course Syllabus


> See Course Syllabus








Click to send mail to CITE