The Case for .NET Model-Driven Development

Platforms are mature - RAD is not.

.NET and VS.NET are great environments to develop software on. With all language features available and a great IDE, people are in a good position to develop great applications. However, Rapid Application Development features of VS.NET still violate design guidelines. While VS.NET makes application development easy, it still follows the VB6 Style RAD approach that encourages people to put business logic and even data access in forms - a very bad thing to do. The basic reason for this problem is the lack of a model of the business objects. Using VS.NET it is not possible to design business objects visually. This will start to change with the introduction of DSLs and the Class Designer.

How Model-Driven RAD works

1. Define your business objects

In a first step you will define your business objects using a Class Designer, UML Model or Code. These business objects are then enhanced by means of code generation or other techniques in order to automatically implement persistence and data-binding. The database schema will be created automatically or an existing one will be mapped towards an existing schema.

2. Use business object to drag and drop your UI

Using a Drag and Drop approach you will be able to easily create a GUI from the business objects . Dragging a business object from a ClassView onto a form will automatically place all controls necessary to display the business object in the form and connect them to their business object as a binding source.

3. Automatic Database Schema Deployment

When running an application, the application will itself determine, if schema updates are pending and perform them.

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