Computer Science (COMP) 466

Advanced Technologies for Web-Based Systems (Revision 5)

COMP 466 Course Web site

Revision 5 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: COMP 306, or COMP 308 or equivalent

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

COMP 466 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Note: Students must have excellent skills in Java or C++, C#, or Visual Basic programming, and good knowledge of database management and system analysis and design. They are expected to have completed at least six senior COMP courses including COMP 347, COMP 361, and COMP 378.

**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


This new revision of COMP 466 is designed to teach students some of the advanced technologies (such as HTML5, CSS 3, XML, Ajax, and web services such as PHP, ASP.NET in C#, ASP.NET in Visual Basic, and JavaServer Faces) that are widely used by IT professionals to develop web-based information systems. It extends the student's knowledge and skills in computing, network programming, web design, and system development.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to

  • analyze and design web-based information systems to meet certain business needs;
  • implement websites using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript;
  • implement Ajax-enabled web-based systems using HTML5, CSS, and JSON;
  • implement web-based information systems using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, XML, MySQL, and PHP;
  • implement web-based information systems using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, XML, SQL, LINQ, and ASP.NET in C#; or
  • implement web-based information systems using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, XML, SQL, LINQ, and ASP.NET in Visual Basic; or
  • implement web-based information systems using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, XML, Java DB, and JSF.


COMP 466 consists of the following eight units:

Unit 1: Introduction 1 – the Web, HTML5, and CSS
In this unit, students will review or learn essential concepts and technologies related to the Web, HTML5, and, cascading style sheets (CSS). Students will also learn about web servers and how to install and run web servers on their computers.

Unit 2: Introduction 2 – Client-side Scripting in JavaScript
In this unit, students will review or study how to program in JavaScript and how to write scripts in JavaScript for web applications. Students are expected to spend minimal time on fundamental programming techniques, and focus on techniques to develop dynamic web pages by manipulating web objects based on JavaScript's document object model.

Unit 3: XML and Ajax
XML is a standard for writing good markup language, while Ajax is a collection of web technologies for making rich Internet applications. In this unit, students will learn how to devise their own markup and to use it to mark up data; they will learn how to develop Ajax-enabled Internet applications with XML and JSON.

Unit 4: Databases for the Web
One of the important features of web-based information systems is the use of databases from which relevant data is retrieved automatically and used to dynamically generate web pages. Using databases is essential for building e-commerce websites. In this unit, students will study how to use databases in developing web-based systems.

Unit 5: Web-based System Development with PHP
PHP is a lightweight, yet powerful, server-side scripting language for web-based information systems development. In this unit, students will learn how to write server-side scripts in PHP and how to develop web-based applications using PHP.

Unit 6: Web-based System Development with ASP.NET in C#
Over the last decade, ASP.NET has become an important technology and application framework for the Web community. Combined with the programming power of languages such as VB and C#, ASP.NET is now a preferred development framework for many web professionals. In this unit students will work on using ASP.NET and C# to develop web-based systems, Ajax-enabled web applications, and web services.

Unit 7: Web-based System Development with ASP.NET in Visual Basic
In Unit 6, students are given the opportunity to explore the power of ASP.NET with C#. For various reasons, students may prefer Visual Basic as their programming language. In this unit, students will have the opportunity to learn how to use ASP.NET and Visual Basic to develop web-based systems.

Unit 8: Web-based System Development with JavaServer Faces
Another popular technology for web-based system development is JavaServer Faces (JSF), which has servlets and JSP as predecessors. This web technology not only takes advantage of Java, but also solves the problem of scale found in CGI and ASP. In this unit, students will learn how to build Java server pages that simplify the deployment of Java servlets using the JSF web application framework.

Although the course has eight units, a student will need to study only six units to pass the course: Unit 1–Unit 5 and either Unit 6, Unit 7, or Unit 8. Students will need to make their choice clear when doing the third assignment.

This revision has adopted Deitel's (2012) Internet and World Wide Web: How to Program (5th ed.) as its textbook; however, students will be frequently asked to read documents on the World Wide Web. This 400-level course is loaded with useful web technologies for web-based systems development. Students must be self-motivated and work hard in order to succeed in the course, as in their future careers.


To receive credit for COMP 466, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least "D" (50 percent), including a grade of 50 percent on each assignment, and at least 50 percent on the final invigilated examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3A/3B/3C Final Exam Total
20% 20% 30% 30% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Deitel, P. Dietel, H., & Deitel, A. (2012). Internet and World Wide Web: How to Program. (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

  • units of the Computer Science 466 Study Guide
  • assignments
  • links to other web-based course resources:
    • current Java Development Kit (JDK) and other Java packages (servlets, JSP, etc.),
    • Apache web server, Tomcat suites
    • program examples from the textbook publisher
  • course evaluation form

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

Special Instructional Features

COMP 466 is offered online and can be completed at the student's workplace or home. COMP 466 is an elective in all undergraduate programs offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the COMP 466 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "D" (50 per cent) on the examination and "D" (50 per cent) on the project. Each of these has equal weight in the challenge evaluation.

Project Exam Total
50% 50% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 5, November 8, 2013.

View previous syllabus