Ireland, Christopher; Bowers, David; Newton, Mike and Waugh, Kevin
Understanding object-relational mapping: A framework based approach.
International Journal on Advances in Software, 2(2/3),
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Object and relational technologies are grounded in different paradigms. Each technology mandates that those who use it take a particular view of a universe of discourse. Incompatibilities between these views manifest as problems of an object-relational impedance mismatch. In a previous paper we proposed a new conceptual framework for the problem space of object-relational impedance mismatch and consequently distinguished four kinds of impedance mismatch. Here we show how that framework provides a mechanism to explore issues of fidelity, integrity and completeness in the design and implementation of an existing object-relational mapping strategy. We propose a four-stage process for understanding a strategy. Using our process we show how our framework helps to identify new issues, understand cause and effect, and provide a means to address issues at the most appropriate level of abstraction. Our conclusions reflect on the use of both the framework and the process. The information arising from the use of our framework will benefit standards bodies, tool vendors, designers and programmers, as it will allow them to address problems of an object-relational impedance mismatch in the most appropriate way.
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