Friday, November 7, 2008

Catching up

It's been a busy couple of months for me. I was recently promoted to Development Lead and that's consumed a large chunk of time. I've been busy juggling sprint schedules and new developers, but fortunately, I've still found time to code a fair amount, although I suspect that will change in the near term unless I change organizations, which is always something that could happen in IT given the current economic environment.

  We did for good or bad drop the Entity  Framework for the application refresh I talked about a couple of months ago. LINQ to SQL was just a better all around fit. I suppose we'll change that layer again at some point since Microsoft seems to be determined to ditch LINQ to SQL in favor of the Entity framework.

We also switched the communication layer to WCF from remoting. The transition was far more than expected because we had to implement an uber security context, which is not as straight forward as it would appear given the constraints imposed by the architect.

All in all though it was a good opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get into some of the new technologies. The only piece we could have leveraged and didn't was the workflow foundation.

You'll notice that I said communications layer as opposed to service layer. There seems to be a great deal of confusion around these terms and specifically what they mean. I define a service layer as providing some piece of functionality that provides business value via a service interface. And communications as a layer that sits between the business and presentation layer in a distributed application and provides access to the business and data layer. Of course I talked to people and work with people who think that if it's WCF and provides an interface, it's a service. I suppose that is the result of the "loose coupling" of terms that is currently so prevalent in our industry.

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