Database Internals and Tuning





Offered by

ICT Engineering




Main purpose

The course is intended to give the student an understanding of selected implementation details of a major DBMS and practical insights into tuning a database. The course will be based on the Oracle DBMS.





  • DBMS software, memory and disk architecture.
  • Algorithms for index maintenance and index use.
  • Optimization of physical data structures and related search algorithms.
  • Understanding different concurrency protocol implementation, related algorithms and their ramifications for practical application tuning. 
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting database activity.
  • The Oracle Wait Interface, TKPROF. 
  • Understanding and using the optimizer, statistics and histograms.
  • Systems and server tuning.

  • Internal and performance consequences of different data access strategies and JDBC techniques

Teaching methods and study activities

Estimated workload for students is 135 hours.

There are two required hand-ins, both due towards the end of the course (specific date to be announced):

  1. A report documenting your work on the assignments that we work on in class. This should contain both your code, your output and descriptions of your considerations on design and implementation and, in particular, discussion of how you interpret the results and what you may learn from them.

    You are welcome (in fact encouraged) to make this report in groups of no more than four members. You may thus also hand it in as a group product.

  2. A portfolio demonstrating your learning from the assigned readings on theory.

    This is an individual product, and must be handed in as such.

    You can find a document describing the expected contents of, guidelines for, and rationale behind the portfolio on the course website.


Connolly and Begg: Database Systems

Ault: Oracle Administration and Management

Mullins: Database Administration

Andert: Oracle Wait Event Tuning

Cormen: Introduction to Algorithms


Internal examination.

The evaluation of the course is based on mandatory course work (50%) and the oral exam (50%) at the end of the course.



The examination is held as a 20 minutes
examination all inclusive. The student will be examined in a randomly picked
topic from the course syllabus as well as one or more course assignments. 

Grading criteria

Grading is according to the 7-point grading scale.
Mark 12:
Awarded to students who have shown excellent comprehension of the above-mentioned competences. A few minor errors and shortfalls are acceptable.
Mark 02:
Awarded to students for the just acceptable level of comprehension of the required competences.


Additional information


Ole Ildsgaard Hougaard

Valid from

8/1/2016 12:00:00 AM

Course type

Compulsory Course for all ICT Engineering
4. semester
7. semester
Business Information Systems


Database technology, optimization, monitoring, efficient programming