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.

There are 3 non-comprehensive exams, 10 exercises, and 10 end-of-chapter homework.

Contact Information


Academic Integrity


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. The hw0 is non-graded but must be completed to do the other homework. Exams are all 75 minutes only.


Note: Unless otherwise stated, exercises are due on following Friday and homework is due on following Monday. Grader will grade them the next morning.

WeekClass DateTopicBook ChaptersSlidesExercise, Homework and Notes
101/26No ClassSnow Day Cancellationnothing due
202/02IntroductionChapter1Chapter1ex0 and hw0 (nothing due)
309Evolution of IT ArchitecturesChapter2Chapter2ex1 and hw1
416Web TechnologiesChapter3Chapter3ex2 and hw2
523Exam1Joynothing due
603/01SOAPChapter4Chapter4ex3 and hw3
708WSDL and WS-* Chapter5, 6Chapter5, 6ex4 and hw4
X15No ClassSpring Breaknothing due
822REST Web ServicesChapter7Chapter7ex5 and hw5
929Distributed System BasicsChapter8Chapter8ex6 and hw6
1004/05Web FrameworksChapter9Chapter9ex7 and hw7
1112Exam2Joynothing due
1219SOAP revisitedChapter10Chapter10ex8 and hw8
1326REST revisitedChapter11Chapter11ex9 and hw9
1405/03Semantic Web and Cloud ComputingChapter12, 13Chapter12, 13ex10 and hw10
1510Exam3Joynothing due