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The University Student Registration System: A Case Study in Building a High-Availability Distributed Application Using General Purpose Components

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark Little, Dr Stuart Wheater, David Ingham, Dr Charles Snow, Emeritus Professor Harry Whitfield, Emeritus Professor Santosh Shrivastava


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Prior to 1994, student registration at Newcastle University involved students being registered in a single place, where they would present a form which had previously been filled in by the student and their department. After registration this information was then transferred to a computerised format. The University decided that the entire registration process was to be computerised for the Autumn of 1994, with the admission and registration being carried out at the departments of the students. Such a system has a very high availability requirement: admissions tutors and secretaries must be able to access and create student records (particularly at the start of a new academic year when new students arrive). The Arjuna distributed system has been under development in the Department of Computing Science for many years. Arjuna’s design aims are to provide tools to assist in the construction of fault-tolerant, highly available distributed applications using atomic actions (atomic transactions) and replication. Arjuna offers the right set of facilities for this application, and its deployment would enable the University to exploit the existing campus network and workstation clusters, thereby obviating the need for any specialised fault tolerant hardware.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Little MC, Wheater SM, Ingham DB, Snow CR, Whitfield H, Shrivastava SK

Editor(s): Krakowiak, S. and Shrivastava, S.K.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Advances in Distributed Systems

Year: 1999

Volume: 1752

Pages: 453-471

Series Title: Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 354067196X