IS 651 Distributed Systems

Course Description

This course covers distributed computing architectures (emphasizing service-oriented architectures) and web services. You are assumed to have taken IS650 or equivalent, have an elementary knowledge of web technology, and have taken elementary object-oriented programming. A major focus of the course is on doing technical, hands-on exercises. We learn XML basics and XML Web Services in this course. We also take a technical look at server-side frameworks for web services. The first half of the course concentrates on architectures and the second half on implementation details.

The schedule shows all the book chapter, slide, exercise and homework. Each slides link consists of the lecture slides for that chapter/week. The exercise and homework links show a page with exercise, homework and references. The exercises are usually related to the homework. The main difference between exercise and homework is that you can ask help for exercise but homework should be done by yourself. You should read the corresponding chapter before coming to class. Exercises and homework are subject to change prior to the class, so if you save files, recheck the web each week. We will standardize on the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

No cell phone use is allowed in class. You may not check your phone or even have it visible. It must be put away and off or on vibrate during class. No eating in class. Please be on time for class. Finally, never use a computer for non-classroom tasks during class lecture.

Contact Information


Academic Integrity

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. See more at Academic Policies/Student Rights and Responsibilities at UMBC Gradudate School.


Grades are curved with the average total points being middle B, but the curve never exceeds a standard grading scale. This means, for example, that one always gets an A(-) for >=90%, B(+/-) for >=80%, etc. Plus/minus grading is used. Exams are all 75 minutes only.


Note: Unless otherwise stated, homework is due on following Wednesday. Homework will be graded the next morning.

WeekClass DateTopicBook ChaptersSlidesExercise and NotesHomework
108/31IntroductionChapter1Chapter1Chapter1nothing due
209/07Evolution of IT ArchitecturesChapter2Chapter2Chapter2HW1
309/14Web TechnologiesChapter3Chapter3Chapter3nothing due
409/21Exam1Joynothing due
710/12WS-* and REST Web ServicesChapter6, 7Chapter6,7HW4
810/19Distributed System BasicsChapter8Chapter8nothing due
910/26Exam2Joynothing due
1011/02Web FrameworksChapter9Chapter9HW5
1211/09SOAP revisitedChapter10Chapter10HW6
1311/16REST revisitedChapter11Chapter11HW7
X11/23XNo ClassThanksgivingnothing due
1411/30Semantic Web and Cloud ComputingChapter12, 13Chapter12nothing due
1512/07Exam3Joynothing due