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Home > Archive > SSW Standards > Better Software Suggestions > SSW Microsoft LINQ Suggestions


Do you agree with them all? Are we missing some? Let us know what you think.

  1. Don't use command prompt for generating pages.

    BLINQ uses command prompt to generate web page, which could potentially cause problems such as typo issues or quoting issues. Running other applications with an intuitive UI or a web page is usually a much better way to generate code rather than using the command prompt.

    BLINQ Command prompt to generate pages
    Figure: BLINQ uses command prompt to generate maintenance pages

    Can you have a web page with a button and a few check boxes for the options?

    SSW validate page for sql server, web server, network and components
    Figure: SSW validate page has buttons to generate reports for validating sql server, web server, network and components
  2. Please have search page for updating a specific record.

    In the BLINQ pages you can use navigation link at the bottom of the grid to be able to edit a record. It is ok to edit or update records if the tables don't have big amount of data. However, when you want to update recent records in a table which contains tens of thousands of record, you have to keep clicking the navigation links thousands times. The one of the best way to find the record to update is using the basic search or filter.

    BLINQ doesn't have search functionality
    Figure: BLINQ doesn't have search functionality

    Search makes it easy to narrow down the results and it is essential feature in maintenance web site and that feature is missing in BLINQ.

    SSW TimePROOnline search for who needs follow up
    Figure: SSW TimePROOnline search for who needs follow up
  3. Please add references by default.

    After installation of BLINQ and generation of web pages, you'll have lots of compile errors. That is because you are missing required references that BLINQ uses. In the References tab add click the "add..." button, select the "Browse" tab and browse to "c:/Program Files/VB LINQ Preview/Bin/". Add references to the following libraries:
    - System.Query.dll
    - System.Data.DLinq.dll
    - System.Xml.XLINQ.dll

    However, it would be better those references to be added by default and it should minimize all investigation and effort for the issues.

    BLINQ doesn't have required references by default
    Figure: BLINQ doesn't have required references and imports by default

  4. Allow regeneration of Blinq web pages for schema changes.

    Blinq is a one-time website generation tool, which means that successive runs will overwrite, not modify, output from a previous run. In other words, if you run Blinq again, it will overwrite the contents and your changes will be lost.

    This can be a nuisance when schema changes are required as simple as a columns being added, entire table being added, or even a data type change.

    Currently there are issues with Timestamp fields that do not allow modifications to records with Blinq. Our work-around to this bug requires modifications to all the generated pages that consist of timestamp columns. We cannot afford to rerun Blinq and redo our changes.

  5. No open source template to customize to how pages are generated.

    Unlike CodeSmith or NextGen, Blinq has only one way to generate its pages and code behind files. It would be very useful to be able to make changes to the templates that Blinq use for generating code so that we would have our own modifications. This would ultimately mean that we would always be able to regenerate web pages exactly the way we want them to (i.e. including our own work-arounds for Blinq issues we have discovered)

    our best solution to this is to propose the following:

    1. Generate one-time code using Blinq
    2. Create a regex that would search for particular patterns in code that we know will cause bugs
    3. Create a find-and-replace batch file or Rule in SSW Code Auditor.
    4. Run this rule throughout the entire generated Website.
    5. Make schema changes
    6. Repeat step 1
    7. Repeat step 4
    Rather than the following:
    1. Update Blinq Templates
    2. Regenerate code using Blinq
    3. Make Schema changes
    4. Repeat step 2 only
  6. Links

    Forum - Using VB Linq in web applications You are about to leave the SSW Site

  7. Please add a checkbox to hide stored procedures

    The checkbox below does a good job of hiding noise, but it doesn't complete the job, it had better add another checkbox to hide stored procedures, this would hide CustOrderHistResult, CustOrdersDetailResult etc.

    Checkbox to hide stored procedures.
    Figure: Add a checkbox to hide stored procedures
  8. Please add a default namespace to entity

    I like how with a DBML I don't have to specify a namespace

    But with EDMX I do, If you allowed me to have Null, it would nicely default to the folder name eg. in this case Northwind.Data.SQL

  9. LINQ to Entities Connection String is in the old style

    When you create a edmx - it should create a connection string in the new style... aka in the Properties:

    Connection String should create in the new style.
    Figure: Connection string should create in the new style.
  10. Allow the EDMX to have no namespace specified

    LINQ to SQL allows the DBML file to have no namespace specified and LINQ to Entities should be consistent. It should automatically pick up the namespace based on its location.

    Allow namespace null
    Figure: Allow namespace to be nullable.
  11. Function icon should use the standard icon in VS

    These icons should be more distinctive. At a glance they look the same and aren't very indicative of their purpose.

    Wrong Icon
    Figure: The function icon is same as the table's

    The function mapping icon should use the standard icon for a function:

    Standard Icon
    Figure: The standard icon in VS

Acknowledgments

Adam Cogan
Lei Xu