Code Generators for Rapid Web Development

As a web developer, one thing that helps me to rapidly develop web applications is to use a common application framework that is flexible and robust. Additionally, I like to use code generators to build code for custom applications I build for my client. My most powerful code generators, create code for interacting with the local database dedicated to my website.

Normally, it is bad practice to repeat code when doing development. However, there are certain instances when this can be beneficial and assist in creating dynamic web applications. Here, we will discuss some of the many applications that I have found useful and how you can apply them to your own business.

Object-Oriented Classes

One way I enforce code reuse is by using object-oriented design. For my data access layer I create an abstract class which contains the common functionality. Next, I create derived classes which implement the specific methods which are needed for the entity model (usually a database table).

These derived classes have different fields which represent the fields defined for the table. They also contain mappings for the primary keys, any related fields that are retrieved from related tables, and custom methods for querying the database. The idea is that all of the database calls are encapsulated in the data access layer classes.

These derived classes have enough similarities between one another that it made sense for us to build a code generator to create these files from the database schema.

How to Generate Code in Your Intranet

On our intranet, we have the code generated connected directly to our database management scripts. When an administrator is viewing a table schema, they have a button on the bottom of the screen to generate the code for our data access layer. When the user presses this button, the code is immediately generated and the user can click anywhere on the code to select the code block and copy it to the clipboard.

The process of generating code is surprisingly simple. We simply retrieve the schema from the database and from that we define all the macros that are needed to substitute into a code template. These macros include things such as the script name, database table name, primary key fields, public fields, private fields, and a generated class name.

The code is output to the screen as pre-formatted text. Below this is a web form where the user may tweak any of the macro values that were generated. After making changes to these values, they can click a submit button which regenerates the code using the custom macro values. Of course this step is optional. The user may simply choose to copy all of the program code and paste it in their code editor and continue making changes that way.

Table Administration

In my website administration panel, I have a lot of pages that are built for managing database tables. I have a very capable library which handles all of the heavy lifting for paging through a table of records, creating a new record, editing and deleting a record. This is an object-oriented class that takes a variable number of parameters.

To create a new administration area, I just need to instantiate this class, define all of the required properties, and then call a method called “Process”. The resulting file is usually no longer than 25 lines of code. Creating these files doesn’t take very long when done by hand. However, I knew that creating a code generator for these server-side scripts would save us a lot of time.

Again, the key to accomplishing this goal was to first read the database schema for a table to get all of the field definitions. From these definitions, it would be a simple matter to create the code from an existing script template. I just define macros for all of the properties I need to substitute in the template. As the table schema is read, I build these properties which are later substituted in to the template.

Special Considerations

When generating code, it is important to keep in mind how the script is going to be used. In my data access layer scripts, I know that they are usually two directories beneath the website root. Because of this, I know that any relative links need to go up two levels to get to the site root.

Another important area to consider is form validation. There are certain constraints you can place on a web form to limit the amount of characters a user enters into a text field. You can even make Boolean fields display as radio buttons labeled “Yes” and “No”. Date fields can display using a specialized date picker.

Other special data fields can be displayed based on the field name. For example, fields containing the word “Password” can be displayed as password fields. I use fields with the name “created” and “modified” to track when a record has been changed. Fields that have the text “email” could be validated to make sure they contain a valid email address. Also, fields that have the text “postalcode” could be tested for valid postal codes.

I try to build my code generator so it is as smart as can be. The thinking behind this is that the developer can easily remove extra code that was added if they find too much validation is being done or the wrong type is done. The more work you can save for the developer, the better off you will be in the long run.

Hiring A Web Development Company Vs Doing It Yourself

Hiring a web development company to create a website for you may seem like a complete waste of money. After all, they can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars! You could easily learn how to create a basic website, then throw on some pretty graphics, text, and photos to lure in people–correct? It’s something any junior high kid can do, so why not you?

Think again–do you want your company website to look like something a junior high school kid created? Not really. Not only will it be unprofessional in appearance, with glaring, migraine-inducing graphics and text, but it will not gather big hits on internet search engine traffic…and of the potential customers that do somehow find your site, chances are that most of them will be driven away by your website! Not the kind of presence you want on the world wide web, is it?

Learning how to create a professional website with high numbers in internet search engine traffic is much more difficult than it seems. It takes a special kind of patience to learn basic HTML, much less master it and the more advanced web development tools. Furthermore, think developing your own professional website is cheaper? In order to master all these web development tools, you would need to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for classes and textbooks in order to learn this!

And by the time you are done and ready to develop your own site, weeks to months will have gone by. If you had simply hired a web development company in the first place, then not only will the costs be the same, but you will be getting a high-quality, proven product from a proven company that can guarantee you results…fast…for the same cost, or even cheaper. Think about it.

Choosing the Right Qualified Web Development Providers

Establishing your website is just as significant as to open a new branch within your office as well as do it properly based on full concentration is really important. Should you have a quality web page design in position then, you can anticipate an increase in your profit however if one can find flaws as part of your design then, you can even expect some loss as part of your profits. To place a good website design you might want to hire some professional web design services and for the purpose because they realize about internet marketing and they’re going to assist you better. You simply need to advise them your needs and they’ll create a nice solution.

There is certainly plenty of Website Design Companies though the question for you is the way to pick the best web design services that may be little tough in plenty of competition. First thing you will have to discover is usually the budget so you need to precise that i can spend this much on my website making. Should your budget is little on lower side and also you still want quality services you then will look into freelancer affordable web design services.

You’ll notice many, many freelancers that will supply you with good website development at far lower cost than professional web designing companies. Freelancers will charge you less not since they are giving you some substandard stuff but since they’re living at their particular and they don’t need any extra expense to maintain any kind of infrastructure just like the companies.

Though while picking a freelancer, do pay attention to there previous projects because that can explain to you the person’s caliber. Normally, freelancer internet development services make the perfect option for those who own a private business and in addition they aim for a website at some lower profile however, for people who have a nicely established business, I’m able to declare that they must hire some professional company which gives quality affordable web design services.

These businesses will charge you little extra but once you now have the well settled business then, you are likely to earn much more than that. These firms are expert in providing web development services and should be competitive enough to understand that kind of competition your companies will face and they’re going to allow you to a web site design that is just like your rivals of business.

These were a few recommendations which will help you in having most suitable option for the custom website services, so keep them on your mind and select the right option.