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Joel on Software

Database driven Web application

We are designing our web application and one of the option which we are looking at is database driven web application. ie store all your UI control information and access level information(like which role can access which field(s))  in the database and create the UI based on the table at RUNTIME. All the validation controls are attached dynamically. Something like <a href ="http://www.kakoo.net/MiniApp1.aspx">MiniApp from Kakoo</a>


Has anybody done anything like this earlier? I am wondering whether it may have the performance hit. We are also planning to use caching the mapping information instead of making DB trip everytime.

thanks in advance
Ram

Ram
Monday, August 02, 2004

Been there, done that, got the bonus.  the performance hit is negligible if you design with that in mind.

Greg Hurlman
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Minapp requires sqlserver - http://htmldb.oracle.com requires Oracle, but both already do what you want. I guess db2 might have a similar tech. be careful there is no wheel re-inventing occuring here

Niall Litchfield
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

This is right, there is other similar tools. These are different implementations of the same idea. I wrote MiniApp (and I'm an ex-Oracle). Larry Elison used to call it "storing the application in the database". I do not go this far with MiniApp, the application definition is an XML document, it will soon be stored in the database (and cached as XML on the first display of the form). Of course, if you compare metadata driven applications to hard coded applications, there is some performance hits, but the ease of customization and the consistency of UI across pages make it definitly worth it.

Olivier Giulieri
Friday, September 10, 2004

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