June 2, 2008

Object-Relational Mapping

For those of you who haven't noticed these past three months, I tend to blog about the FSDNUG meetings relatively shortly after. Since the meetings happen on the first Monday of every month, guess what time it is?

Since the dawn of time (ok, for as long as there have been databases and programmers that could connect to them), man has searched for ways to get database ... data ... into a usable form that programs could use. One of the solutions to this problem, in the land of object-oriented programming, is to use an ORM (see title) tool to help. There are a variety of these available, probably as many as there are motivated, capable people who have different ideas of how to do things. Of the many, the .NET world includes NHibernate (a port of Hibernate Core for Java), the ADO.NET Entity Framework (which hasn't quite been released yet, I believe), and SubSonic.

Tonight, Michael Paladino gave a presentation on ORMs and, in particular, SubSonic. SubSonic is an open-source (free as in speech and free as in beer) ORM tool designed for use with ASP.NET websites. From the demos offered, it looks like an incredibly useful tool if you set you database up properly (it's definitely possible to use configurations to get some functionality out of it, but at its base it relies on certain conventions being followed). They even include some fairly handy web forms controls, even if some of them are only really useful to accelerate your RAD processes at the earlier stages.

It really sucks, IMNSHO (that's right, look it up), that I'll probably never see use out of any tools like this at my current office. First, we'd have to find something that supported DB2 (I jokingly asked during the meeting, "So we won't be getting LINQ to Mainframe?"). Then we'd have to convince the DBAs and the cpu-efficiency folks that it was a good idea.

By the way, Paladino, you should at least update your blog to mention/discuss the presentation. For those interested in the PPT or the sample project, click the Fort Smith .NET User Group link to the right and then go to "Previous Meetings". Until next month, it should be the first meeting at the top of the page (for future reference, it's the June 2, 2008 meeting).


Anonymous said...

FWIW, I actually got NHibernate working with mainframe DB2 before I left. (What else was I going to work on a week before I left? ;-P) I gave the code to Mohundro, if you're interested in seeing it. The only problem is that you have to actually get the password from D2ConnectUtils at runtime to configure the session factory. I think it would be possible to wrap that part up so that developers (irresponsible little children that we are) wouldn't need to get the password string. But then you've got the problem of the performance Nazis, so who knows. Just FYI!

Michael Paladino said...

Finally got my blog updated: Easy Database Access with SubSonic (Slides and Demo)