Well, I have moved on. After nearly eight years as the Lead Developer, and upgrading the App from Access 97 and VB 6 through SQL 2000, Access XP, VB.Net to end up with SQL Server 2005 and C#, the company went after Java. I completed my apprenticeship in the arcane arts of Maven, Ant and Cruise Control. Getting our rather complex GWT build process fully automated was a challenge, but one I met.
Now, I am back in greener pastures. However, nothing is ever easy. After working on n-tier Windows based Enterprise Apps, I am now being introduced to the wonderful world of ASP and ASP.Net. I am back with VB.Net. The great news is that we are using VS2008 and .Net3.5. I am still hoping for Silverlight, but I will not hold my breath. I am happy with what I have to work with. (Although, the back end is Oracle and that brings a whole new set of issues to the table.)
So, I have had my eyes opened to the wonderful world of Open Source. (I can’t decide if my tongue is in my cheek on that “wonderful” or not.) So, of course, when I realized we had no ORM, my first thought was NHibernate. I set up an example. But the company is nervous about open source. So, I tried Ideablade DevForce again. Last time we looked at this product (a year ago), it was phenomenal. I wish that every Developer Tool company would take a look at Ideablade’s Developer Concepts manual. It is Excellent.
Anyway, it turns out the Ideablade is VERY n-tier app-centric. There is some undocumented support for ASP but it is really an after thought. So, I am back to NHibernate and it is working nicely.
The last tech change is from Infragistics to Telerik. Apparently, Infragistics support for their web products was not very responsive, and because of that they lost a customer. Now, we are using Telerik’s Ajax (Prometheus) Web Controls. It took forever to figure out what properties to set to get the RadGrid to connect up to an ObjectDataSource that is in turn bound to an NHibernate data class. In a future post I will explore this topic further and document the steps necessary.
Until then, I’m off to the hobby store.