University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Client-Server Computing using Interoperable Techniques

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Information Systems

DESCRIPTION The study-unit deals with Object Oriented programming techniques used with current technologies supporting distributed N-tier architecture systems. The study-unit presents principles and concepts of up-to-date technologies as well as design and development of Client and Server applications.

Java and .NET frameworks will be used for the development of model applications. The development tools will include NetBeans 7.2 8.1 and higher, MS Visual Studio 2010 2013 and higher as well as classical text editors and compilers.

The computer languages for the development will be Java, C# (as representative of .NET platform) for compiled applications and PHP with JavaScript for interpreted applications.

The technologies for N-tier distributed systems covered will be:
- Java RMI;
- Java Servlets and JSPs (Java Server Pages);
- Java Enterprise Applications (Java Enterprise Beans with JSP’s and Servlets);
- CORBA (general concept and design, no development);
- Java JSP’s (Java Server Pages), JSF’s (Java Server Faces);
- .NET ASP’s (Active Server Pages);
- Web Services through Java (JAX-WS) and C# (SOAP-XML), transmission of objects (XML and JSON), Interoperability of .NET and Java Web Services;
- WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) Service technology and its use for SOAP-XML and RESTfull Web services;
- Object Oriented PHP;
- OData Technology;
- The Server software will be deployed on available industrial servers such as GlassFish, Apache, and Microsoft IIS. Discussion about configuration and deployment of the servers will also be included;
- The Client software will include various types (Window GUI applications, JSFs, .NET ASPs applications and JavaScript Web Clients);
- Applied Data base connectivity, accessing databases from the business logic tier.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to expose students to current object based technologies used for distributed (Client/Server) computing while considering interoperability issues between the different technologies. The essential technologies will be used to create, implement and test various case study computer programs. At the end the students should be able to compare and evaluate the technologies discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain Client/Server model architecture and its N-tier variants;
- Understand which technology is convenient for a particular problem solution;
- Understand issues of Interoperability dependent on technologies, computer platforms and computer languages used for the development of Client/Server applications;
- Understand the issues od deployment of developed and tested application.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Design and implement Client/Server software using essential technologies;
- Deploy the tested software on Server host machines.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- B W Perry: Java Servlet & JSP Cookbook, O'Reilly Media, ISBN:978-0-596-00572-6.
- A Goncalves Beginning Java EE 6 Platform with GlassFish 3, Apress, ISBN 978-1-4302-1954-5.
- L Richardson and S Ruby: RESTful Web Services, O'Reilly Media, ISBN 978-0596529260.
- R Orfali and D Harkey Client/Server Programming with Java and CORBA, Wiley, ISBN: 047124578X.
- D Sklar, A Trachtenberg: PHP Cookbook, O'Reilly Media, ISBN: 978-1-56592-681-3.
- IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering.
- IEEE Transactions on Services Computing.
- A number of academic and most cited papers are to be followed by students.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Knowledge required: Any procedural paradigm, Java and/or C# Object Oriented Programming

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study and Practical

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 25%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 75%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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