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Efficient Multiprocessing with the Database Libraries

B1Framework's Data Access Layer and BFC's Database Library both supply facilities that are not provided by the current generation of commercial database management systems, but are logical extensions that are often necessary for large-scale development. These database libraries are designed to make it simple to write efficient, dependable, database applications capable of handling large numbers of simultaneous users and processors. The components have been carefully optimized for each supported DBMS, to achieve reliable transaction processing with a minimum amount of database locking. There are low-level optimizations to prevent database deadlock and improve performance and concurrency for database-intensive applications.

Programming of multi-user database systems is simplified because of the streamlined interfaces. They relieve developers from much of the complexity of building scalable applications that can perform well for large numbers of users and processes, or large amounts of data. These component libraries provides efficient solutions to issues such as:

  • Application crashes that leave half-baked (inconsistent) data in the database (making rapid recovery impossible)

  • Multiple users simultaneously (incorrectly) modifying the same records

  • Users getting inconsistent views (snapshots) of data when other users are modifying that data

  • Large-scale record sorts and transmissions of large numbers of records

Since the early 1990's, Microsoft has provided a wide variety of database interfaces (ODBC, MFC database classes, DAO, RDO, OLE DB, ADO, ADO.NET, LINQ, and the Entity Framework). None has offered a framework for the rapid development of applications that can handle the thorny issues multi-user and scalability issues.

LINQ and the Entity Framework offer an improved programming interface but do little to improve performance. The latest Microsoft database interfaces require substantial custom design and programming to implement efficient data access for commercial, multi-user systems.

For example, the ADO.NET "disconnected data set" model has proven to be fraught with performance problems as the database table sizes increase. Returning an entire result set or a collection of result sets is often impractical for large-scale systems.

An underlying objective of both of Base One's database libraries is to prevent the all-too-common disaster of database applications that work perfectly in prototype, but perform dismally when put into production. One frequent cause of severe performance problems is the failure to plan for the true costs of transaction processing, required to maintain data integrity. Base One's components minimize or eliminate altogether the need to develop extra code to prevent database locking protocols from causing serious interference between multiple users and processes.

Building on Base One's middleware results in solutions that keep the demands on the database to a minimum. For example, automated client-side caching of both data and metadata outside the database helps prevent database connection "overload", and "optimistic" concurrency control automatically minimizes the length of time locks need to be held. This assures efficient, rigorous handling of data access collisions, such as multiple users trying to modify the same records or index pages.

The database libraries automatically handle many such arcane, but critically important details necessary for fast transaction processing. These techniques allows a much higher degree of concurrency than more cumbersome distributed transaction protocols, which are commonly over-used. Most of the time, programmers simply can use faster, basic transaction commit/rollback logic to tie together recoverable sequences of operations. The efficiency of Base One's approach to distributed processing has been proven in production financial systems that handle high volumes of data.

Visual Studio .NET | B1Framework | Efficient Multiprocessing | Database Scalability

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