Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vanilla DAL 0.1.2 Released

I just released version 0.1.2 of my .NET data access framework "Vanilla DAL". Currently I am working on support for Oracle and OleDB providers, and this release lays the groundwork for the oncoming changes on an API level. When this is done, Vanilla DAL will move from pre-alpha to alpha status.

Installing Oracle 10g express edition was a time-consuming task, as always with Oracle. Being a small footprint edition, it seems to be consuming too many system resources for my taste. On the other hand, the administration tools have improved tremendously (remember those Java rich clients on Oracle 8?). Anyway, my best Oracle days are long gone (Oracle 5 in 1992 on DOS, Oracle 7.3 and Oracle 8 between 1997 and 2001 on DEC VAX, Sun Solaris and finally Windows). This time I only plan to migrate my test database over there, get the Oracle-specific implementation done and that will be it.

I am not quite sure if I will manage to keep the complete API backward compatible to the previous releases, this mainly has to do with the fact that ADO.NET data providers enforce different SQL parameter naming conventions (e.g. @name under SqlServer, ? under OleDB, :name under Oracle). The most important issue is to prevent any DB-specific code in application modules. As there is no parameter name but only a parameter position under OleDB, I am still looking for the optimal mechanism to hide this detail from application code.