Thursday, January 06, 2005

Pluggable Architectures with Provider Models in .NET 1.1

Lately, these articles have sparked a lot of interest within our app dev group. Provider Model Design Pattern, Part 1 Provider Design Pattern, Part 2 I had a client that was experiencing problems with their monolithic application, in that they were adding microsites to their site on a weekly basis, and found that they had to recreate the wheel for their application framework for each microsite. At one point, they had up to 20 different assemblies referenced for each microsite. In addition, they wanted to keep the Personal Information in their production database private, thus they didn't want to hand out their schema or access to their database. On top of that, they had a multitude of 3rd party vendors who supplied code to them. Each had their own set of coding standards and beliefs about the application's responsibilities. Including us ;-) We looked at building an abstract framework that all the code would reference. The trick was to make everything extremely generic so that it could be 100% transparent to the developers. This meant pushing code out of base classes and into an abstract version in the framework, or out of the project entirely and into HttpModules. The abstract framework tied to concrete providers, as in the msdn articles above, and allow third party vendors to write and use their own providers for their own environments, and allowed the client to use the same application-framework for multiple small-to-large size applications with different configured providers. I've found these links useful, so I'm posting them here so that I can find them when I need them, but if you stumble upon them, maybe you'll find them useful.

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