In this paper we present data management issues faced during the design and
development of an Open Distance Learning system for the University of Patras,
Greece. In order to handle data efficiently, as required in a Web Tele-training
Application, for each type of information maintained different strategies must be
deployed according to their behaviourand structure.
The diversity and complexity of data, the network aspect of the application and web
deficiencies impose an architecture design incorporating a plethora of technologies
and tools that must be integrated in such a fashion that they efficiently organise these
data preserving their relationships. This presents a software engineering challenge
requiring coherence of solutions at all levels: structures, consistency, security, models,
The paper presents the data components of a open and distance learning system that
access the information stored in a database and the file system, their underlying
technology, their interaction with the network services, and features regarding the
ways they address issues faced in a open vendor-independent distance learning
environment and outlines the system’s overall architecture.