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.

Choosing A Web Development Company: Things To Consider

In a world where life is almost always conducted using modem lines and virtual pathways, keeping pace with technology has turned into an absolute necessity. This necessity has extended to the way people manage their business. Usually, a company that has no website is not considered a very credible company. Since we all live on a planet where online storefronts are the new window displays, companies have thus learned to respond to the need of having a website favorably.

The next thing to do is to find somebody which can set up your website for you, nice and easy. This is even more important if you are the sort of person who doesn’t really understand binary codes. But, finding a good website development company can be quite tricky, especially if you don’t know what to look for, in the first place. So, the following suggestions may do you a world of good if you pay heed to them.

1. Dedication. You don’t want to go for a web development company which cannot satisfy your every wish and request, right? So, choose one which is curtailed to seeing you achieve your goals for your business. This certain consideration will be obvious in a company which is willing to work with you, every step of the way, so that you’d get a website (and a web presence) that will herald all things wonderful for you and your business. Look for this particular trait in the web design company you’re eyeing. This will come in very handy.

2. Reputation.One of the most important things to look out for when you’re yearning for website maintenance services and website designing services. This is the thing that separates the good from the really good. The thing is, no matter how good a company can seem to be, what people are saying about the company dictates whether a company is really as good as it’s claiming to be. And, since Internet is pretty much what everyone is using to check something as of these times, verifying a company’s reputation is very easy. Never make the mistake of thinking that what people are saying about a certain company is not worth your time. Sometimes, they’re the very things that can help you differentiate between a good idea and a bad one.

3. Excellence. A good web design company can give you not only a good website, it can also give you sage advices about Internet marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization. One key thing to knowing that is if the company has a healthy amount of Search Engine Optimization specialists or SEO consultants. You should see if the team that you’re wanting to hire is a team that will be worth all the effort, time and money you’ll put into them. Also, you should be totally sure that they can do a very good job, and they’d give you customized web application or website that will be the portal through which all sorts of good news would pass… and eventually reach you and your business.

How To Achieve Success Building Asp Web Development Company

When starting any type of business, the best plans are made by careful consideration of the investment required, versus the risk and rewards. Starting an asp web development company can be a way to better assure success. Having off the shelf products and tools to work with is of great benefit when trying to launch a new enterprise.

A simple guideline to follow may help you better prepare for getting your development company up and running. This process allows you to have a general idea of the things that should be in place prior to opening up the doors to business.

Know how to give the client what he wants. You may have to obtain the credentials through an accredited organization or other learning environment. If that is impractical, then often the next best thing is actual verifiable work experience, with a peer company or a professional who’s reputation is well respected.

Create a well thought out and conservative business plan. Take into account your vision statement and put effort into rendering a mission statement that means as much to potential clients and investors as it does to yourself. Compare your abilities to that of the competition and find what it is that will set your apart from all the rest. Budgetary planning can easily provide too blue a sky if your not conservative. Keep your numbers tight.

The market place is vast, will you go after a certain niche or more narrow market sector, or will you try to be all things to all clients. Know who your going after and design your plan around offering them every reason to give you an opportunity, and then several more reasons as to why they will remain a satisfied customer.

Choosing a place to do business can be a benefit or a hindrance to both your clients and yourself. Know which type of arrangement will best serve all parties. Location is of course a prime concern. Flexibility to adapt and grow or re-locate is something that should be planned for, as keeping your mobility intact and your freedom to up size or change locations will allow you more adaptive leeway and less stress.

Avoid onerous upfront purchases if at all possible. Leasing your equipments, tools and other essentials keeps your initial operating budget in line and lean. Used equipment can be found and or rented short term until you are ready to make some capital investments created from actual profits. Try not to over invest into fixed or non movable assets. Be prepared to break a lease to relocate where a large client might require to be. Consider and be able to move to where the business might be instead of trying to bring the clients to see you.

Market your business such as an asp web development company would do. Use, learn or avail yourself of the power that search engine optimization can bring to your fledgling enterprise. Drive interested parties towards your content and applications. Show your wares, skills and products upfront and in a clear concise manner.