Friday, February 03, 2006

Seriously hard core debugging

This is a great blog: If broken it is, fix it you should. She goes really deep into dot net debugging tools and there's some great advice about common application problems. One of my favorite bug bears is ASP Session State. I've seen quite a few applications that fall into the trap of overusing the Session State and then having huge issues with scalability. One such was a mission critical £100 million billing and provisioning system for one of the worlds top cable companies. The original developers had put everything in session state and it simply wouldn't scale. This was classic ASP so they ended up putting an expensive cisco sticky router in front of it, but even that didn't solve all the problems. I remember having a lengthy discussion at the time with someone who said that all these problems will be solved with ASP.NET because you can move the session state handling off to SQL Server. My point was that if you're writing an enterprise application with a SQL server back end, why not maintain your application state by restoring your domain model directly via your Data acces layer on each page hit. That way you'll have real control over state and you wont hit all the scalability issues that Tess goes into in her blog.

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