[dba-SQLServer] Front-End or Back-End or Middle-Tier Solutions

artful at rogers.com artful at rogers.com
Sat Nov 11 11:43:02 CST 2006

As my birthday approaches, I like to revisit one or two cherished assumptions and call them into question. Sometimes I learn something new, sometimes I just confirm the assumptions. 

For as long as I've been involved with databases that allow sprocs and UDFs, I have held the cherished belief that everything the back-end can do, the back-end should do. But I am aware that a lot of folks don't agree with this, and it's not because they're fools. I even know one seasoned DBA who lives at the other end of the spectrum on this argument -- he designs databases to contain the absolute minimum required. He uses Referential Integrity of course, and stored procedures, but anything remotely resembling business logic (that is, anything other than select, insert, delete, update) he believes should reside in either the middle tier or the front end, and anything remotely resembling presentation should reside in the front-end. As an example of the latter, he says crosstabs (or PIVOTs in SQL 2005 lingo) should not be done in the back end, but rather left up to the front end.

I'm wondering where you listers stand on this spectrum.

Incidentally, my 59th birthday is November 15. Large stacks of currency will be gratefully received. 


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