Everywhere you turn, someone is promoting software methodologies: Kent Beck with eXtreme Programming (XP), Dr. Barry Boehm with Agile methods, IBM/Rational with the Rational Unified Process (RUP), and Microsoft with services-oriented architecture (SOA). Although each offers something valuable for the programmer, few methods and few tools apply in every instance. Software development still comes down to the judgment of individual developers. Where do I spend my time? Where can I take shortcuts without compromising quality? Of all the tools and methodologies that are available, what suits my purposes in this instancenot every instance, just this instance?
For example, if you cause a stove fire by spilling peanut oil or Cognac onto a hot skillet, quickly covering the skillet will extinguish the fire. But if you are extinguishing an oil well fire, you might need an explosion or the exhaust from a turbine engine. Try using a ton of dynamite on your average skillet fire and you'll blow up your house.
This article is about a simple tool, ADO.NET's SQL command builder, which is a perfect example of this type of right-tool-for-the-right-job judgment. The command builder reads a schema and generates SQL for you; this can be an excellent timesaver in the appropriate circumstances. When applied with sound judgment, this technique is a nice shortcut.
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