LightSpeed 1.0: Mastering Domains

New Zealand firm debuts object-relational mapping toolset.

New Zealand-based Mindscape Ltd. has released LightSpeed 1.0, a .NET object-relational mapping tool that the company says stands out due to its emphasis on domain-driven design patterns.

Mindscape Director Andrew Peters describes the tool as a domain-modeling framework, not just a mapping tool. "Practically, this means things like support for databinding, rich object level validation, property change notification, et cetera," he writes by e-mail.

LightSpeed employs a consistent set of conventions for building domain objects-an approach Mindscape calls "convention over configuration"-to reduce complexity and increase efficiency.

'Relatively New' Field
Peters asserts LightSpeed has been designed for easy use and initial feedback has been positive, but adds, "Domain modeling and O/R mapping in general is still relatively new to a lot of .NET developers. Similarly, some of the domain-driven design patterns employed may be unfamiliar."

In addition, the tool's documentation materials note LightSpeed's intrinsic limitations. It's primarily aimed at making it easier to complete projects requiring a consistent .NET domain model, and "is not designed to handle complex 'edge-case' scenarios or mapping domain models to existing complex legacy databases," the company notes. (Such tasks might better be handled by established products like NHibernate, according to Mindscape.)

LightSpeed Basics
Peters says the LightSpeed API is based around a pair of main classes, LightSpeedContext and Repository. "The LightSpeedContext is simply the top-level context for the application and is where things like connection strings are configured," he says. "The Repository encapsulates the idea of a unit of work-that is, a set of pending database operations. As entities are added, removed or modified they are added to the current unit of work and when the application is ready to persist it simply calls Repository.CompleteUnitOfWork to flush the pending changes."

The tool supports a range of common databases, including SQL Server 2005, MySQL 5, PostgreSQL 8, SQLite 3 and Oracle 9 or higher.

Other features include support for generic and nullable types; System.Transaction support when offered by the .NET database provider; and the ability to detect new entities and track changes to existing ones.

LightSpeed 1.0 Professional Edition costs $499.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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