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Patterns & Practices : Application Blocks

Patterns have been in use for years in different fields, farmers have patterns and best practices for complete growth cycles of breeds they grow, civil engineers have patterns for building plazas and bridges. Similar ideas have emerged in the software engineering field. Many people have worked in this context during last couple of decades.


Many companies, like IBM had worked in standardizing the development cycles people use with their products and software. They had been providing valuable resources to their development community. Soon after the release of .NET, Microsoft started working on the similar lines. Their .NET Architecture Centre and Patterns & Practices are the result of these efforts.


Developer’s Patterns & Practices features Application Blocks, these are the code collection implementing common requirements that are part of most of the software applications. These blocks are beneficial for the learners as well as seasoned developers. For the learners, it is the best way to learn how to implement the functionality in question, and for the developers, these can speed up the development cycle, as one gets the ready to use code/application blocks. Consider an example of web application, almost all web applications has the data access code. One can easily use Data Access Application Block (DAAB) for this purpose.


The best thing about these application blocks is that Microsoft setup Workspaces on GotDotNet (the .NET community portal) for these blocks where different developers are contributing to these blocks and releasing versions with new features. For example, DAAB Workspace has released three major versions adding features that were not part of the original application block release, for instance support for typed dataset, dataset can be persisted back to database and abstract factories supporting multiple data providers etc.


I encourage looking others application blocks and their GotDotNet Workspaces. These are source of ready to use building blocks as well as learning the best practices our senior software developers using.

Published Tuesday, May 25, 2004 8:45 PM by khurram
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