PULLMAN, Wash. — A unique alliance between academia and a software powerhouse promises to boost learning opportunities for thousands of information systems students worldwide starting immediately.
Just arriving in campus bookstores this month for use with fall classes are two new editions of successful database management and systems analysis textbooks — and right next to them, as companion pieces, are sets of three CD ROMs that contain full, commercial copies of Oracle Lite, Oracle Designer and Oracle Developer, including documentation files. These products are typically used by corporations and institutions to develop database systems that can store and analyze information to manage large-scale projects, including monitoring customer records, managing inventory and pricing statistics, and developing cost projections.
This powerful database and systems development software will be available with 120-day, semester-long licenses to students at a cost of about $8. This marks the first time that Oracle Corporation has made this database and software bundle available to individuals, and the partnership with college textbooks is believed to be a first in the information systems arena.
Masterminding the venture has been Joe Valacich, Hubman Distinguished Professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) at Washington State University in Pullman. “For more than a year, the WSU MIS group has worked with Oracle software as a member of its elite Oracle Academic Initiative and Oracle Academic Alliance Program network of baccalaureate institutions. As I wrote updates for the “Second Edition of Modern Systems Analysis and Design,” it was clear to me and other MIS professors that the Oracle software needed to be an integral part of the text,” says Valacich.
“Oracle was receptive to the idea of making its products available to students who, during any semester, want to access the material outside the classroom. By purchasing the CD set along with the textbooks, students can learn and apply the sophisticated database and systems analysis material at home, on their laptops, on the road — anywhere. That clearly meets the needs of the students of the ’90s.
“Partnering the texts with the Oracle software is a great opportunity for students to become academically intimate with what I feel is arguably the most powerful database management systems development software in the world,” he said.
Valacich, recently cited as one of the 10 most productive MIS researchers in the world, co-authored the systems analysis text with Jeffrey A. Hoffer (University of Dayton) and Joey F. George (Louisiana State University). The sister textbook that is also sold with the companion Oracle CD set is the “Fifth Edition of Modern Database Management,” by Fred R. McFadden (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), Hoffer, and Mary B. Prescott (University of Southern Florida).
Both are published by Addison Wesley Longman, which predicts that by year-end, tens of thousands of copies of the text and CD bundle will be used by students worldwide. Senior Marketing Manager Tom Ziolkowski states, “We are very proud to work with our authors and Oracle to provide this outstanding learning package to college students around the globe. Between our market-leading textbooks and the CD-ROMs, students will master concepts and get to apply their skills with the state-of-the-art Oracle software. Sales are skyrocketing.”
Oracle Corp., with annual revenues of $7.1 billion, is the world’s largest supplier of software for information management, and the world’s second largest software company. It is headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif. The Oracle Academic Initiative and the Oracle Academic Alliance Program allow universities to work with Oracle to teach database materials to undergraduate and graduate students.
“Oracle is proud to be working with Washington State University in forging powerful alliances with the academic community to dramatically enhance the education of future information technology professionals,” says Randy Baker, senior vice president, Oracle Support Services. “This is truly a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”
WSU President Samuel H. Smith shares Baker’s enthusiasm. “We are excited to be working with Oracle, as they are asking the right question — namely, how do we help students learn more effectively. This combination of textbook and database CDs is directly responsive to how students answered. Oracle’s partnership on this project will help us meet the increasing demand for MIS professionals.”
Addison Wesley Longman is a global educational publisher, selling books, multimedia and learning programs in all major academic disciplines to the primary, secondary, higher education, professional and English language teaching markets throughout the world under the major imprints of Addison-Wesley, Longman, Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley, Benjamin/Cummings, and Peachpit.
MIS at WSU is part of the College of Business and Economics. Over the past two years, the number of undergraduate MIS majors has increased 400 percent — from 80 to more than 330. This fall, a new Master of Technology Management (MTM) degree is available for business graduate students.
The WSU CBE is one of 122 colleges of business worldwide to have all its business and accounting courses accredited by the AACSB — the International Association for Management Education. Business and economics courses are available at the WSU Pullman main campus and at WSU branch campuses in Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Spokane.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation.

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