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CSC8104 : Enterprise Middleware

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ellis Solaiman
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The module introduces students to modern enterprise middleware technologies and their application to building multi-tier distributed applications on cloud and other platforms. Developers of distributed applications require convenient abstractions to help manage the complexity of development and deployment. To be useful, such abstractions must be appropriate to the target execution environment (e.g. within the enterprise, between enterprises and at large scale). There is therefore a need to trade-off system properties in order to provide suitable abstractions (e.g. relaxing consistency guarantees to increase service availability in the cloud). The module uses technologies such as Java Enterprise Edition, messaging middleware and Amazon cloud infrastructure services to explore such design choices. There is a focus on systems and services to provide reliability and consistency guarantees at appropriate levels of abstraction.

Outline Of Syllabus

- Introduction to concepts of distributed computing
- Distribution transparency, local procedure calls, remote procedure calls
- Object-oriented middleware, synchronous and asynchronous invocation
- Messaging middleware, loosely-coupled interaction, interoperability, delivery guarantees in different execution contexts
- Component middleware and separation of concerns
- Consistency guarantees, ACID transactions, extended transactions, eventual consistency
- Introduction to Web services and the REST architectural style

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Lectures (4x1 hour Lectures (PiP))
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials121:0012:00Recorded videos of learning materials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical82:0016:00Practicals (8x2hour practical sessions in the lab (PiP))
Guided Independent StudySkills practice12:002:00Formative Assessment [Quiz]
Guided Independent StudyProject work401:0040:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study221:0022:00Background reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time22:004:00Online synchronous discussions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, recorded videos and online synchronous sessions will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M100Programming exercise (40 hours)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MFormative assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Nature of coursework: programming project for building an online web service using enterprise middleware.

The formative assessment is a none marked quiz to go over important theoretical concepts.

Reading Lists