One of the areas where demand has remained strong for MIS students is in the area of database management. Since the early days, this topic has been a mainstay in the MIS curriculum. Students of database management today typically learn about relational databases, SQL, normalization, and how to design and implement various kinds of database applications. Choosing the best database package on which to base the hands-on activities for the class is one of the biggest difficulties of teaching it. Many schools end up using the lowest common denominator which is often a PC-based package such as MS Access. While this package is certainly adequate, basing the whole course on using this one package may be a disservice to the students. This is because in the real business world, the market is dominated by the larger, enterprise-level DBMSs such as Oracle, IBM DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server. However, getting the students access to one of these packages poses a whole series of other problems involving getting academic alliances and maintaining it on a server. This article describes a novel use of a server virtualization tool that is commonly used in the business world to allow students to gain experience in using several of the most popular enterprise-level DBMSs. Students benefit because they get more real-world experience out of the class and gain confidence that their skills will more readily transfer to jobs. Faculty also benefit by having more flexibility in how they can present the material.
Wagner, William P. and Pant, Vik
"Using Virtual Servers to Teach the Implementation of Enterprise-level DBMSs: A Teaching Note,"
Journal of Information Systems Education: Vol. 21
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jise/vol21/iss4/1