The project I’m working on at work is gaining momentum, and we are nearly starting with the proof-of-concept architecture solution.
While I’ve used ORM‘s for data objects and domain persistence in the past, we have been playing with NHibernate at work for this project. NHibernate is a port of Hibernate Core for Java to the .NET Framework. It handles persisting plain .NET objects to and from an underlying relational database.
For the generation of business entity classes and the HBM mapping files for NHibernate-driven objects, we tried out a couple of tools. One such tool called the NHibernate Plugin caught my eye, because it includes a GUI modelling workspace to drag-and-drop database objects, and create relationships between them, and finally the plugin auto-generates the business entity classes and HBM XML files for you. Unfortunately the plugin is only available for Visual Studio 2005, and since our project utilizes .NET Framework 3.5 (with VS.NET 2008), we might not be able to make use of it anytime soon. Never the less, its a great tool worth mentioning, and if someone comes up with a workaround to make it work in VS.NET 2008 then please leave me a message. (Update: NConstruct Lite is a great wizard-like generator for NHibernate, and its free too!)
By the way, the other day at work, I received an email from Vishal Sharma, and as it turns out, we both work at the same company. Small world eh! Vishal covered the top Aussie webapps/startups sometime back. Vishal and I briefly talked about planning out a web venture of some sort in the coming months.