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DAL Obsession

I have not been very good at communicating lately... this seems to happen every time I get consumed by a large scale development project. I tend to obsess and ultimately end up spending every waking moment focused on completing the deliverable.

If you are a hard core developer, you know the feeling. Your desk is littered with dirty dishes containing crusty food particles from past meals. Coffee cups with assortments of brown caffeine stains stare back at you like tombstones. You haven't shaved for days and when you look down you realize you have been wearing the exact same clothes for a week. Your hygiene is at a level where you can barely stand the smell of your own body odour. Coke cans and hardcopies containing source and other gibberish are overflowing from the garbage can. Each time you hear a telephone or the notification sound of a new email or instant message you cringe because you are worried about losing precious development time. Your breath could melt concrete and the reversed baseball cap which substitutes for a good hairbrush is starting to scar your forehead. Your wife asks if you remembered to feed the kids dinner and you stare at her blankly thinking of the benefits of abstract classes over interfaces. Yes, I am a geek... but at the end of the day I get so much satisfaction out of architecting a good solution that it all seems worth it.

I made great progress this week. I now have the complete implementations for SQL Server and MS Access up and running. The MS Access implementation turned out to be quite challenging based on the limitations of JET SQL. I had to move all business logic to the business logic layer ( BLL ). This involved breaking down and rewriting many of the SQL Server stored procedures. The data access layer ( DAL ) now only contains simple data access methods ( single SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT - no local variables or conditional branches ). I had to create nearly 200 JET SQL stored procedures for the MS Access version. As time went on, I became almost evangelical in some of my modifications - removing the Optional method parameters to support better object oriented principles, removing redundant methods where necessary to promote better code re-use, strict adherence to standards and syntax, and Option Explicit. Basically the entire back end of the application has been rewritten which means that an extensive regression test will be necessary.


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