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The Life and Times of a Dev Yes, we're really that weird

Well, we've gone and done it.  We're no longer using Nettiers.  It was good while we were, but the overhead of it eventually became way too much, and since we were doing mostly generic CRUD operations, it no longer made sense.  Instead, we're going to write a custom DAL.  Here's why:

  1. We're working with a LARGE database with some pretty complex data structures, which required quite a bit of customization of Nettiers to make it understand the structures.
  2. The knowntypes enumeration in WCF was killing us.  Server start up times were to the tune of 30 seconds!
  3. Compile time of the project was approaching 3 to 4 minutes on FAST machines, simply because of the number of entities that were generated by Nettiers.
  4. Stored procedure creation time took over 2 minutes alone from the procedure file generated by nettiers.
  5. There were many defects that we couldn't easily get around.
  6. Developers were avoiding doing things the "Nettiers" way because the generation process was so painful.   Simple database changes were taking over an hour to make and submit.

Does that mean I'm completely against Nettiers?  No, it just doesn't fit for this project.  Do I think Nettiers is well thought out and well coded?  No, not really.  I've been deep into the heart of Nettiers and it has many issues.  Code cleanliness isn't one of it's strengths, and the development environment (CodeSmith) leaves much to be desired.

If I were to use Nettiers again, the project would have to fit the following:

  1. Small scope project.
  2. Database already designed or could easily be design.
  3. Limited database schema changes to limit the generations.
  4. Absolutely no modification of the templates required.

I'd then probably create the code, and compile the assemblies and then just reference the assemblies into the project.

With all that said, will EntityFramework suffer from the same problems?  We've used it on a small project and have found that it suffers from many of the same problems as Nettiers.

Our new DAL is awesome and performs substantially better than Nettiers did.  More detail than that I cannot give. :)

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Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:26 PM | Back to top


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