Data Access and Entity Framework with Terry Coatta

Data access is a fundamental component of almost all software applications. However, the data that any given application manipulates varies across a number of axes: volume, structure, growth over time, and modification rate are perhaps the most significant. When this is combined with application requirements driven by a varying set of demands related to features, time-to-market, scalability, and consistency, you end up with a dizzying array of possibilities for how to handle data access. There has been a great deal of excitement over the past few years regarding NoSQL databases, and as if often the case with software development, they have sometimes been portrayed as the silver bullet that solves the data access problem. Those of us who have been developing applications for any period of time know, however, that there is no silver bullet; only specific solutions to specific problems. This seminar will look at the issue of building a data access layer, and will focus on situations in which a more traditional SQL database makes a reasonable foundation for a data access layer. We will then go a step further and look at the use of Object Relational Managers (ORM) within the data access layer and provide some specific guidance with respect to making use of Microsoft's Entity Framework.

Terry Coatta

Terry Coatta is currently CTO for Marine Learning Systems. Marine Learning Systems is an eLearning software and services provider to the maritime and resource industry. Prior to Marine Learning Systems,Terry was President of AssociCom, a Vancouver-based start-up that builds online communities for professional and trade associations. His expertise lies in the areas of software architecture and software development. As CTO for Vitrium Systems Inc., he led the development organization through the release of three new products, and the customer base expanded from under 10 to over 200. From 2001 to 2005, he was the VP of Development at Silicon Chalk Inc. where he led a team developing a unique real-time collaboration tool for use at universities and colleges. Terry was also a founding partner in Network Software Group Inc. (acquired by Open Text Corporation, 1996) and Director of Software Development at GPS Industries Inc. An active ACM volunteer, Terry serves on the ACM Practitioners Board and Queue Editorial Board, and chairs the Case Study Committee.