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Customizable column order and guid data type

Last post 04-03-2009 11:11 by Martin Dvorak. 4 replies.
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  • 04-01-2009 13:33

    Customizable column order and guid data type

    Hi all, This is my first post to this forum. I found about ORM a few weeks ago and still have much to learn. Nevertheless, I'm already pretty sure I found my modeling platform, especially if NORMA continues to be such a great and powerfull companion to the methodology. I'm really looking forward to customizable column order and guid data type support in NORMA (as mentioned by Matthew Curland in an older post in this forum). Are these features short-term or long-term goal? Is there a roadmap somewhere listing what's in plan for NORMA? Thanks for all the great work, M.
  • 04-01-2009 16:35 In reply to

    Re: Customizable column order and guid data type

    Hi Maphix,

    Welcome to the ORM Foundation forum. We are keen to help you to make the most of ORM.
    I'm sure that Matt will get back to you in the near future.

    In the meantime, I'm curious to hear how you found out about ORM, what you plan to use it for.

    It would also make the forum more interesting to other readers if you updated your personal profile to show a location (City, Country).
    Just click on the "Edit Profile" link, update your profile and save the changes. 

    Thanks

    Ken     

  • 04-02-2009 10:07 In reply to

    Re: Customizable column order and guid data type

    Hi Ken,

    I've found out about ORM while looking for alternatives to UML, E/R, etc. modeling. It was a documentation for an O/R mapping tool where I saw the NIAM/ORM diagrams for the first time and I really liked their attribute-free approach. I went to Wikipedia to read more about ORM and all related methods and technologies and from there it was only matter of time before I found this site and NORMA tool. I was surprised I haven't heard about ORM before - neither in college, nor later in practice, because it seems to me much more suitable for many projects than UML, E/R or others. It's been quite some time since I left the school but even today they still does not seem to have any lectures about ORM at my alma mater (Charles University). I understood some ORM dialects are being taught in universities in Netherlands and a few other countries - hopefully it will get more widespread in the future.

    I still have a lot to learn about ORM/NORMA, but since I know of no better way to test and learn new technologies than to use them for real, I already started to use it for the first real-world project. It's a prototype of simple in-house project management system. I already have initial model and now I'm trying to use NORMA to generate SQL DDL and data access layer (LinqToSql). SQL DDL is almost perfect - I only miss those two features I asked for in this thread. As for the DBML (LinqToSql), I had to modify the XSL transform specifically for my model, because the XSL transform which comes with NORMA produces DBML with name collisions on associations that cannot be generally resolved - the DCIL file which is the source of the transform simply dost not contain all necessary information.

    I really like NORMA's concept of custom properties. They could be used to customize transforms and solve problems like the one with DBML. Unfortunately they seem to be available only on ORM model level and they are not propagated further in the generation chain, which is a problem especially in case of XSL-based generators, because there is no easy way to track an element created by a XSL transform back to ORM object(s) to read its custom properties.

    Propagation of custom properties together with an easy way to create and chain custom project-specific generators/templates would make it possible to generate majority of the code in a completely customizable manner. That is why I asked about roadmap, because if something similar was planned for NORMA, it would become very powerful MDA tool and undoubtedly the tool of choice for me.

    Martin

    PS: Is there some trick I haven't figured out to start a new line or the only way is use HTML <br/> tags?
  • 04-03-2009 7:51 In reply to

    Re: Customizable column order and guid data type

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for updating your profile. It's good to know that we now have a "Man in Prague" Cool

    Matt Curland is the expert on the innards of NORMA. He is extremely busy but I hope that he can find time to comment on your very interesting post.

    Martin Dvorak:
    it seems to me much more suitable for many projects than UML, E/R or others
     
    Yes - I fully agree. I spent most of 2008 working on my MSc dissertation to explore the relationship between UML, ER and ORM. 
    As part of my project, I designed and conducted an experiment that compared the effectiveness of ER, UML and ORM on the task of creating a UML class model.

    The results of my experiment showed that UML and ER take twice as long and create many more "mistakes" in the resulting model.  (more info on the Research page of this site).

    Regarding University teaching,  I have found the same problem. As a general comment, ER folks (academics and pratictioners alike) look at me with disbelief when I explain about automatic normalization. Their disbelief seems to persist even after I have demonstrated NORMA or VEA actually doing it. It's a real puzzle to me as to why many people continue to believe in methods that are wasteful and ineffective when compared with ORM. Any ideas?

    Martin Dvorak:
    PS: Is there some trick I haven't figured out to start a new line or the only way is use HTML <br/> tags?

    I'm assuming that you are talking about the text editor in this forum.
    One way to post nicely formatted text is to use Word. If you prepare your post in Word, you can retain the Word formatting if you use the little icon with the "W" to paste your text into the post window. You can also use "Shift-Enter" to get a single line break.

    Ken  

      

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  • 04-03-2009 11:11 In reply to

    Re: Customizable column order and guid data type

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for reply. It's interesting to know how ORM compares in effectiveness with other methodologies. I guess big contributing factors to ORM's efficiency are its intuitiveness and expressiveness. From my (still minimal) experience I can say ORM models seem to model the UoD much more naturaly then UML, E/R etc., and ORM diagrams are much easier to read and understand. I even successfully used ORM diagrams in a concept validation and verification meeting with future users of the project management system I'm working on. The ORM diagrams showed to be sufficiently readable even by non-technical users, and it helped the meeting efficiency a lot. My point is: if something is easier to understand then it is easier to work with and that makes everything much faster and less error prone. I really like Albert Einstein's statement "Everything should be made as simple as possible but not one bit simpler" and I think ORM fits it very well. I don't want to say it is simple, it is not, but it does a very good job in expressing simple things in a simple way.

    Or maybe it just fits may way of thinking, who knows. I never liked UML anyway :-)

    Martin
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