Indeed, where would I be without them? Narvenyl’s new DataSpiders create new possibilities in database abstraction that makes me “geek out”.
The problem is simple. You define what each table looks like, and you can get data from each table in a nice list of objects. However, you can’t minipulate that data, or extend beyond one table, before the results are compiled into an orderly format and returned back to the caller.
From your, the programmer’s, point of view, you ask for purchase #382 from your store’s database, and you get purcahse #382. You know what is inside that object, because you’ve defined what fields are in each object.(For example, the fields “date” and “payment type” are very predictable. However, what about a field called “purchased”? Suddenly, you no longer have a simple, easy-to-store value. Now you have a list of items with their own values!
SQL developers know exactly what I’m talking about. You SELECT data from a database, and then you SELECT more afterwards to get the related data, such as items purchased, addresses used, etc. All this is done largely by hand.
Narvenyl is supposed to automate this kind of task, but how? The fields are defined, and you query those fields and return them. It’s fairly inflexible. Continue reading