July 3, 1998

Always Use Relative Paths

No matter what language you are developing in, or whether you are developing programs or Web pages, never hard code paths to files that include drive letter distinctions (i.e. N:Images). Always use relative paths (..images), or universal naming conventions (UNCs – \imageserverfoo). Also, if possible, don’t use paths at all,

SQL Feature to Integrate with COM Objects

SQL Server has a very powerful, but often overlooked, feature to integrate with COM objects. SQL itself can create COM objects from within Triggers or Stored Procedures, apply property values and execute methods. What you commonly see in Visual Basic, and other languages, that looks similar to: Set oFoo =

Automate Processes with the Windows Scripting Host

Take advantage of the Windows Scripting Host to automate processes and get out of the linear mode of programming that ties up a user’s PC. Often when you write programs, they do not need user input aside from the initial user input. Don’t tie up their machine while you do

Utilize Version Control Mechanisms

If you are using SQL server, consider utilizing version control mechanisms for your triggers and stored procedures. Many times I have heard people wondering about changes to a procedure or trigger and have no way to look at the past version to confirm their suspicions (aside from going to backups).

Scheduled Walkthroughs and Reviews

Successful development groups implement regularly scheduled walkthroughs and reviews. I have found three common types: Code Walkthrough – At various points during the development life cycle, the developer or project lead will invite individuals familiar with the project (designers, tech writers, consultants) to review the project as it stands. This