The beauty of this is that you can do it at your own pace. Time is unlimited. Depending on what you actually decide to implement and how much time you are willing to spend learning/designing/coding/perfecting/testing/blah blah the execution time varies significantly. For example, I was very light on Swing so I spent time learning it and I went as far as making animated flash screens just for the fun of it. From what I understand,on average this project takes 2-3 months to complete part-time. But if you clearly undertand the requirements, know all technologies required for FBN and want to make it bare-bones-passing-grade you could do this in 2 weekends tops. To prepare I would recommend: The design patternsJava companion (for design patterns) Sun's RMI tutorial ( you dont need anything more than that) Sun's Look and Feel design guidlines (for gui) Any beginner book on Swing, this project is trivial enough Any beginner book on OOP, this is simple The best source of information has been this forum, hands down. It's full of ideas even though it is becoming polluted with ads , meaningless code fragmnets and URGENT!!! cries for help. This project is exreamly simple so don't over do it. The only more or less non-trivial part of it is record locking, I used ReadWriteLock pattern for that.