Object-Relational Mapping Best Practices
Object-Relational Mapping (O/R Mapping) may sound intimidating and daunting for beginners in the programming world, but it is a technique
every developer should learn. It makes
writing code easier once you get the hang of it.
With O/R Mapping, you will be able to
create even complicated code while using the object-oriented paradigm of your preferred programming language. This means that you are using object-oriented programming languages to convert data between incompatible type systems. You will be resolving mismatches between the object-oriented world. A virtual object database will then be created, and it can be used within the programming language.
If you want to use O/R Mapping to
enhance your software development, here are some best practices you should follow:
- Before starting on O/R Mapping, make sure you check the querying capabilities of your O/R Mapper’s persistence interface. When this is done correctly, you can save more time and effort. You should pay close attention to aggregate functions and you should also know whether you can query for raw values instead of plain objects. Some instances may only require a few values to fill a grid, without requiring too many objects, which can result to object bloat.
- When working on your O/R Mapping, make sure that you are treating your O/R persistence API as a subsystem. This will make sure that you will be working based on an interface, making the prospect of switching to another O/R Mapper later will become easier. This doesn’t mean, however, that switching to another O/R Mapper will be absolutely pain-free, but when this best practice is applied, the pain can be isolated.
- Always make sure that you understand the basic concepts of your O/R Mapper's design. Knowing this will save you time and effort as you create your code. Make sure that you are not working against your O/R Mapper’s persistence design. You have to take into consideration the O/R Mapper’s design principles and use them as a constraint and maximise its usage. When this is not done correctly, you will face issues with performance and efficiency.
- Field validation should be placed at the level of the metadata. The field-level business rules should also be exposed to make sure that you won’t require a round-trip from your client to your server to determine whether an object is in the correct state or not.
- Your metadata should be implemented carefully and wisely. Instead of using reflection, you should generate field metadata in line with metadata classes. With this trick, you will have improved performance, plus it will be easier to debug your code.
- Be cautious about calling a field a “mandatory” field. O/R Mappers have the ability to tag specific fields as mandatory, and this construct is utilised too much. You should only limit the mandatory fields to particular cases such as those fields that make object incorrect within the application domain.
- You should look after the consistency and ease of use of a persistence
API when you are defining it in your O/R Mapper. As you specify the interface of your persistence API, all o the parameters should be consistent with the rest of the interface.
- Your interface should either have a type-safe approach or a generic approach – not a mix of both. But if you need the two, you can place generic methods on a separate interface that is more generic. Your interfaces should not be complex. They should be as simple as possible to avoid issues in the future.
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