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In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By torresj22
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The University Student Registration System: a Case Study in Building a High-Availability Distributed Application Using General Purpose Components
M. C. Little, S. M. Wheater, D. B. Ingham, C. R. Snow, H. Whitfield and S. K. Shrivastava
Department of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, England.


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.

Key words: available systems, distributed system, fault-tolerance, atomic transactions, replication.



In most British Universities, the process of registering all students as members of the institution is largely concentrated into a very short period of...

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