Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Even Weird Naming Conventions are Good

The good thing with naming conventions are that they are toolable. The DBAs at my department have strong opinions about database naming. They have good reasons for that, even though I don't fully understand all of them :-)
  • Table names should be prefixed with application/component identifier.
  • Primary key id column should be prefixed with table name (without application prefix) and followed by _GID.
  • Underscore to separate words.
  • Foreign key column is concatenation of role name and primary key column name of target table, except when role and table have the same name.
Does this mean that we have to specify each and every name twice, once for Java and once for the database. Argh... NO, we are using Sculptor. With a straightforward customization I implemented these conventions in the generator and we could continue with natural (java point of view) naming and please the preferences of the DBAs without additional effort.

Naming conventions are important for software quality. Supporting the conventions with a tool is the best way to make sure that they are applied in a consistent way.

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