Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: Should the name of a department be encoded in a namespace?

    One thread of discussion going through our internal community is this: should the .Net namespace include the name of the IT team that created it? There are two camps: Camp 1: Declare the Owners of the Code We have a structure with about ten different IT teams, each assigned to different areas...
  • Blog Post: Should our next generation of languages require us to declare the applications' architecture?

    As languages 'improve' over time, we see a first principle emerge: Move responsibility for many of the 'good practices' into the language itself, allowing the language (and therefore the people who use it) to make better and more consistent use of those practices. With assembler, we realized that...
  • Blog Post: Just how to best describe an interface

    We have a pretty good solution for portal code interface in our team. We've been using a home-grown portal for about a half-dozen years and it has grown to be fairly sophisticated. We have role-based-security, page auth, object auth, data item auth, row level auth, and user attributes. It's pretty sophisticated...
  • Blog Post: Interesting tool for schema-first design

    I guess it goes without saying that you cannot communicate in a language unless at least two people are using it. That was always the problem with Esperanto... interesting to learn, hard to find someone to converse with. WSDL is kinda like that. One of the four tenants of SOA is that we share contract...
  • Blog Post: Killing the Helper class, part two

    Earlier this week, I blogged on the evils of helper classes . I got a few very thoughful responses, and I wanted to try to address one of them. It is far easier to do that with a new entry that trying to respond in the messages. If you didn't read the original post, I evaluated the concept of the...
  • Blog Post: Are Helper Classes Evil?

    First off, a definition: A helper class is a class filled with static methods. It is usually used to isolate a "useful" algorithm. I've seen them in nearly every bit of code I've reviewed. For the record, I consider the use of helper classes to be an antipattern. In other words, an extraordinarily bad...
  • Blog Post: Whose name is in the namespace?

    There's more than one way to group your code. Namespaces provide a mechanism for grouping code in a heirarchical tree, but there is precious little discussion about the taxonomy that designers and architects should use when creating namespaces. This post is my attempt to describe a good starting place...
  • Blog Post: A Case For and Against the Enterprise Library

    I've been an architect for a while now, but, as far as being an architect within the walls of Microsoft, today was day one. Already, I've run into an interesting issue: when it is better to forgo the code of the Enterprise Library and roll your own, vs. using existing code. Roll your own what?...
  • Blog Post: Atlas = Ajax = asp.net 2.0 script callbacks and more

    The marketplace of ideas is an amazing place. When Microsoft came up with the notion of Remote Scripting (many years ago), the Netscape folks scoffed. At the time, folks looked at MS and said, "This is a war, and I won't use a feature from the big bad wolf!" The notion of asynchronously updating part...
  • Blog Post: Having a High Bus Factor

    A friend of mine pointed out an interesting post by Scott Hanselman that used a clever phrase: "having a High Bus Factor" which is to say: if the original developer of a bit of code is ever hit by a bus, you are toast. The example that Scott gave was a particular regular expression that I just have...
  • Blog Post: Interesting problem in VS 2003 and how to fix it

    A team member and I found an interesting problem yesterday that I thought I'd share. We found the problem by luck, and the fix was weird. Perhaps there is an easier fix out there. The problem manifested itself this way: We needed to build our five different components into different MSI files ...
  • Blog Post: How to get rid of circular references in C#

    A refers to B, B refers to A, Why can't we all just get along? Every now and again, I see a posting on the newsgroups where someone has created a circular reference in their code structure, and they can't figure out how to get out from under it. I'm writing this article for those folks (and so I have...
  • Blog Post: C#: a way to get around the lack of multiple implementation inheritance

    I run across this question from time to time: why is there no multiple inheritance in C# like there was in C++. Personally, I've never needed it, but I do see a value to it, and there are some times when it would appear to be handy. There is a workaround to this problem that is not difficult to do. You...
  • Blog Post: How to learn Object Oriented Programming

    Do you understand what encapsulation means, but don't know why in the world you would want to use it? Do you see examples of inheritance in the frameworks and libraries, but have only just dabbled with inheritance in your own code? If you answered yes to these questions, you want to begin to learn the...
  • Blog Post: Storing configuration settings for your DLL to use

    One common complaint about the .NET framework is that there is only one config file for the application, even if there are many assemblies (exes and dlls). This post contains advice for how the author of a DLL can keep the configuration settings for that DLL seperate. The config file gets its name from...
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