I recently received a questions regarding the best practices for doing data access. My company has our own internal data access architecture and code generator that works great. However, if you are starting a new project and don’t have an established architecture, I would take a serious look at Microsoft’s Enterprise Library as a starting point. It contains many best practices regarding data access, logging, exception handling and more. What’s better is you get the source code so you can tweak it as needed.
There is also some great and affordable training on Enterprise Library available from Innerworkings. I’ve blogged about Innerworkings before (here). They have mastered e-learning. Just go to the catalog on their site and you can find the Enterprise Library training in either VB.Net or C#. I think the two part series will run you about $60. Not a bad way to get a quick start in this stuff.
I also installed the ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions yesterday. I figured I might as well take the plunge on all this stuff. I’m hoping to install and play with the ADO.Net Sync Framework sometime soon as well. Anyway, the CTP for ASP.Net Extensions is an easy install.
The best source for information on this is Scott Guthrie’s blog. If you don’t subscribe to his blog you should. He post great stuff for developers of all skill levels. Below are a couple of cool posts he’s done lately related to the Extensions CTP.
Last night at the Installfest in Denver we got a quick look at the ADO.Net Entity Framework. It looked interesting to me so I researched it a bit more today. The overview here is a pretty good place to start. I’d read through that first to get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. Then make sure you have Visual Studio 2008 installed and follow these steps to install the add-ons that allow you to start playing with the Entity Framework:
- Make sure you uninstall any previous versions of the ADO.Net Entity Framework.
- Install this hot fix for Visual studio 2008. Honestly, I could not find much documentation on why this is needed. For what it’s worth, I installed it and it didn’t break anything that I can see.
- Install the ADO.Net Entity Framework Beta 3.
- Install the ADO.Net Entity Framework Tools.
- Install the ADO.Net Entity Framework Samples.
- Check out this additional documentation.
If you were using the old version of the framework you might want ot check out this post about the breaking changes between Beta 2 and 3.
Other than that happy coding! Please let me know how it goes and any cool things you find with this stuff.
Last night we had a great event in Denver. It was called an ‘Installfest’ and included a free version of VS 2008, free drinks, great food, networking and great demos of the new features in VS 2008.
If you’d like to take a look at some of the stuff we discussed here is a link to Rob Bagby’s post with the info.
We also talked about many things that are not in these demos. We spent some serious time on LINQ. If you want to learn more about link you can get started by downloading my presentation and demos here. Scott Guthrie’s blog also has a whole series on LINQ.
Finally, we touched on a couple of new things that look really cool. The Entity Framework and the Sync Framework. I did a bit more research on these two topics today. I also installed all the extensions and add-ons to get these things working. I will put the installation steps in a different post shortly so those folks looking just for the steps can find them.
Overall, it was a great event and I recommend going to an Installfest in your area.