I often see short alpha codes or single letters used as keys in database tables. This is generally bad practice because keys should not contain content. However it reveals an information oriented tendency of some developers that sometimes leaks into database design. Alpha codes should not be used when doing data oriented work. They can however be used when doing information oriented work.
Alpha Codes Need Overhead
In order to work with alpha codes effectively, endemes provide an natural effective means of working with codes. Codes need an extensive framework to be useful. In other words codes need overhead:
- endemes or constants
- alpha code interpreters
- endeme sets
Without this sort of overhead, the meanings of the codes are not supported in the software you build.
Go All The Way
Go all the way if you choose to use an information oriented approach to tackling this challenge. The sort of overhead described above supports the meanings of the codes in the software you build. You have a choice. Either let object orientation do the work or do the work yourself to build a big information oriented framework. If you go the information oriented route it is important to not do the information approach part-way:
- You do info part way when you ave a code table without endeme structures to define and describe and give meaning to the codes.
- You do info part way when you have literal fields without endeme structures to define and describe and give meaning to the field names.
- You do info part way when you make complex parameter inputs to a retrieval sp or method and the retrieval structure is not handled as information?
- Dynamic page construction should be an outgrowth of information,not simply done because you can do it.