Dynamic Data: Skeptic Turned Believer

by Admin 9. April 2012 12:35

I have to admit for the most part I loathe code generation tools.  The code generated is, in most cases, unsupportable, messy, uncommented and not optimized.  But that is the nature of code generators (otherwise most of us wouldn’t have jobs).  Recently I wrote an application that requires an administration piece for some of our database administrators.  Being technical people they do not need all of the bells and whistles of your average user.  I normally try to avoid these types of applications; they are not sexy, tedious and consume more time to develop then it appears they should.  

I had heard of Dynamic Data Web sites about 3 years ago and dismissed them as another code generation nightmare, however, in preparing for my Microsoft Web exam I ran across them again. I realized they are not code generated web sites, they are, in fact, a template with data hookups allowing developers to create a quick standard CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) web site with a simple grid/detail page interface.  After looking into the details of how to implement, develop and configure the application I realized Dynamic Data is a perfect candidate for quickly implementing the application development task I had at hand.

There is a simple checklist I came up with to determine if an application is a good candidate for an out of the box (mostly) dynamic data implementation:

1.Are a relatively low number of users going to be accessing the application?

2.Can the application be created with a relatively simple UI

3.Is the application used for mainly administration (user creation/modification, updating type tables, updating contacts, etc.?

4.Is this not a user facing application?

5.There are no business requirements for the application

If the answers to all of those questions are yes, there is no reason not to create a dynamic data web site.  I would go into the details of how to create a Dynamic Data Website but Visual Studio 2010 makes it so easy I would just be regurgitating the steps provided for you.  I will say this, give it a try with one of your existing databases and you will see just how easy it is to create a fully functional application in minutes.

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ASP.NET | Entity Framework | Dynamic Data


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