Site Info

ActiveSQL is an experiment into supporting students learning SQL. It offers a number of features to students, allowing them to learn SQL with less direct support from a lab tutor.

Basically, activeSQL offers the following:

There are currently 4 assessments in the system. If you have completed 75% of the tutorial which shares the same name as the assessment then the assessment will be opened for that user. The student can then do that assessment in their own time, and when they are happy they can close the assessment. Closing an assessment gives the student the results of their assessment immediately, although it should be noted that a closed assessment cannot be altered subsequently.


The system works best if you register. Without registering:

After registering:

Note that registering is a requirement if you are using this system as part of a taught module on databases. It allows me to track your assessment work and therefore give you a coursework mark for the module.

If you do some work unregistered and then register, all the work you have done that the system can find is saved as part of that registration. If you forget to log in and do some work before logging in, the system will try to merge your saved work and the work you did while not logged in without your registered account (note if you do a question both when logged in and when not logged in, the SQL when logged in takes priority).


Cookies are used to track users and support logins. If you allow the system to use cookies you will have the best user experience.

There is a backup mechanism for users who do not have cookies switched on using IP numbers, but this is not perfect and has a 15 minute timeout. This means that after 15 minutes of not executing any SQL you will not be able to recall any SQL from previous questions. This is highly experimental too. Bottom line: switch cookies on! (Note, this backup mechanism is not yet working)


  • Translating the notes and the interface into other languages using online resources
  • Supporting MySQL as well as Oracle
  • Still to make a "fixup" pass through the notes to repair MSWord formatting
  • Convert diagrams to svg
  • Language translation of diagrams
  • Hold the source for the notes in Oracle
  • Implement some sort of versioning for the notes
  • Put my whole exam question bank in the quiz (about 200 questions)
  • Revise the notes for V3.0
  • Split the tutorial questions into groups
  • Handle VIEWS better so that they are available for multiple questions
  • Implement a way of running tutorials for Oracle's Object Relational features
  • Implement a way of running tutorials for schema changes
  • Write some tutorials on recursive structure querying
  • Make the auto marking process case insensitive
  • Put the quiz questions and exam bank in Oracle.