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

Jim Lawrence accessd at shaw.ca
Sat Nov 11 13:26:51 CST 2006

Hi Art:

The move towards web based applications is pushing towards tight integration
with the data and application all being controlled and ran from the server.

The leaders in this design are definitely Oracle and IBM and the one
detractor is Microsoft who has a huge investment in desktop applications.

I am half way in between. With everything running off the server or servers
(more like it) the process can become very expensive for the host... that is
just what IBM and Oracle want as they are not interested in individuals or
small companies, they are only interested in where the big easy money is.

I think that a system should be as redundant and distributive as possible
without exposing the data or the business logic. Clients should do their
share of the base computing and leave the all important data management up
to the server. There should not be any tight integration and the data
receipt and requests should be made using XML. Server based queues should
manage the linked data requests...

On the other had, I think most applications should run as web based; using
ASP.Net instead of the desktop equivalent. AJAX/Atlas is a great technology
and I have been designing all my new apps in that direction.

On a slightly different note, do you think LINUX servers and even stations
(desktops like Susi and Ubuntu are so simple to install and use.... anyone
who can install Window is set and they have all the bells and whistles.)
will overtake our Microsoft world? 

Our generation of programmers has a vested interest but I have noticed that
the younger systems people are becoming skilled in the open-source products.
A student can not afford M$ products so they become skilled at what they
have access to.... and they are the system admin, managers, application
developers and even company owners of our future. 

The only thing that is holding this trend at bay is a really super kick-ass
database product that is either free or very cheap. 

-----Original Message-----
From: dba-sqlserver-bounces at databaseadvisors.com
[mailto:dba-sqlserver-bounces at databaseadvisors.com] On Behalf Of
artful at rogers.com
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 9:43 AM
To: dba-SQLServer
Subject: [dba-SQLServer] Front-End or Back-End or Middle-Tier Solutions

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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