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Issue 10.5 ('Real World 2012')
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Rethinking Your Processes

Don't Keep Doing What You're Doing Wrong

Issue: 10.5 (July/August 2012)
Author: Bob Keeney
Author Bio: Bob is the owner of BKeeney Software that provides Real Studio and iOS consulting for clients all over the world. In addition to providing consulting, BKeeney Software provides Real Studio training videos (currently over 35 hours worth) and sells software to consumers and developers alike. He is a founder and former President of the Association of Real Studio Professionals.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,193
Starting Page Number: 64
Article Number: 10509
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Excerpt of article text...

I've been doing Real Studio consulting for ten years and I can tell you that it gets really easy to get into a rut and do the same things over and over again. It's easy when you don't have to come up with new solutions. There's an old adage admonishing us to work smarter not harder, so every now and then it pays off to evaluate what you do the most of and see if you can find a better way.

Most of our consulting work involves database applications. If you've done much work with Real Studio database applications, they have a tendency to be the same chunks of code over and over and over again. It's fairly easy and there's not much mystery behind it.

A few years back I had one of those 'aha!' moments when I started asking questions like: Were we using the most efficient way of coding database applications? What drawbacks are there to the way we are currently coding database applications?

After looking at our own very serviceable code we came up with a number of drawbacks to the 'standard way' of coding Real Studio database applications. The first was that it relied too much on copying and pasting of field names. Even though we check for database errors (see my blog post [http://www.bkeeneybriefs.com/2012/06/database-programmers-do-yourself-a-favor/]) we often found typos in our recordset and DatabaseRecord insert code.

Another issue we found was that the typical way of coding database applications was very slow. Even though it's the same code over and over again it involved a lot of typing or copying and pasting. The Real Studio IDE does nothing to help you out with your database coding (AutoComplete works with Real Studio classes but not with table and field names). What's worse is that it's up to you to remember what data type it is! I've seen some developers use the generic Value function, but that's less than ideal since it returns a variant and then converts it to whatever data type you specify. It's not strongly typecast and it's slow - variant datatypes usually are.

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