Skip To Content


Computer Science (COMP) 489

Distributed Computing (Revision 2)

COMP 489 Course Web site

Revision 2 closed, replaced by current version.

View previous version

Delivery Mode:Individualized study online.


Area of Study:Science

Prerequisite:(COMP 347 or COMP 348) and (COMP 272 or COMP 308).
Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering.

Students in this course are required to contact their tutor using email or the course (Moodle) forums. Please see the Tutor and Coordinator Support page for more information.

Centre:School of Computing and Information Systems

SCIS Orientation

COMP 489 is not available for challenge.

COMP 489 sample

Course website

check availability


COMP 489 is designed to teach students the principles and practice of network, internetwork, and distributed systems programming in Java.


Unit 0: Setting up your Development Environment

Unit 1: Introduction to Distributed Systems

Unit 2: Developing Distributed Applications in Java

Unit 3: Kernels, Process, and Threads

Unit 4: Interprocess communication (IPC)

Unit 5: Networking in Java

Unit 6: Concurrency Control

Unit 7: Distributed Objects and Object-based Systems

Unit 8: Web Services

Unit 9: Distributed Security and Java Security

Unit 10: Distributed File Systems

Unit 11: Distributed Databases and the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API

Unit 12: Transaction Management

Unit 13: Message-passing Systems


To receive credit for COMP 489, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent), including an average grade of 50 percent on all coursework, and at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assign 1 Assign 2 Assign 3 Quiz Final Exam Total
15% 20% 20% 5% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Galli, Doreen L. 2000. Distributed Operating Systems: Concepts and Practice. 1st ed.

Farley, J. 1998. Java Distributed Computing.

Developing Java Web Services, J. Wiley, 1/E 2002.

Other materials

The remainder of the course materials for COMP 489 are in electronic format. At this time, those materials include:

  • Computer Science 489 study guide
  • Tutor-marked Exercises
  • a course evaluation form
  • links to a variety of resources to the World Wide Web

Available from other Web sites:

  • Current Java Development Kit (JDK)
  • Software for the text Java Distributed Systems
  • Software for the testJava Network Programming

Additional supporting materials of interest to students of COMP 489 may occasionally be made electronically.

Special Course Features

COMP 489 is offered by computer mediated communications (CMC), and can be completed at the student's workplace or home.

This course will be a prerequisite to the COMP 495/COMP 496 CIS projects course and will provide the student with some guided individual work prior to a more independent projects course.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, Nov 2005.

View previous syllabus

Last updated by SAS  05/19/2015 14:13:17