IcoBlog: New Data Layer for BitsDuJour

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Data Layer for BitsDuJour

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New Data Layer for BitsDuJour
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Unknown said...
Hi there, Christian Jungers here from CM3 Consulting. We've been very excited working with Nico to integrate the aplha-release of DPL into his production websites (we've been using it for some of our clients over the past several months). We're also thrilled with how positive his experience has been with the DPL (as it has been for us).

What we've really tried to create with the DPL, much in the spirit of the Enterprise Library from the Patterns and Practices group at MS, is an encapsulation of industry best practices for mundane tasks that developers all deal with. In other words, we saw ourselves solving the data access problem in exactly the same way over and over again with simple, tedious changes between each class and its specific fields.

The DPL combines one-time uses of reflection (which is slow) with some pretty advanced mechanisms to cache all reflected work allowing our single data layer to function reflectively on any class you make with native performance in terms of speed! That may sound shocking or even unbelievable and we were shocked to find that it was possible in our early proofs of concept.

After we realized that this idea worked, we began to implement some more advanced features into the DPL such as caching coherency (allowing multiple instances / applications to share the same data store and keep in sync with each other), collision detection (so that near-simultaneous writes to the same record can't happen and the DPL will notify the loser(s)), automatic version tracking (so that changes to an object are versioned and a complete history of those changes is available)... etc...

All of these features have been implemented to support specific needs of our various enterprise and web application clients. In other words, the DPL is meant to standardize and simplify even a large scale enterprise application's data access. It can allow a developer (like Nico) to focus on the real meat of what they want to accomplish and not get bogged down in the extremely tedious details of data access. If also allows developers to explore new ideas far more easily because you never have to do anything but play with your code / classes. Once you have them written you already have ALL of your data access layer written for you! That alone has proven an interesting side benefit. We can now provide dynamic capabilities for web sites MUCH faster / cheaper than we could have in the past without any sacrifice of capabilities in the data layer.

Anyhow, clearly we are just as proud of the DPL as Nico is happy with it! And we'd love to chat more if you have any questions or comments about it. We are looking to continue working with it as an Alpha for a bit longer this year... with hopes of a public release perhaps this fall.

Thanks for listening! And Nico, thanks again for seeing the power of the DPL and taking it for a spin. :-)

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