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Top Practices for Coding in the .Net Framework

If you’ve just gotten into software programming, then the powerful .NET framework is probably giving you fits; don’t worry, though – the initial learning curve reaps tremendous benefits because of its dependence on C-Sharp and Visual Basic programming languages, which run through many enterprise-level applications. It’s a bit more involved than the “more obvious” languages such as JavaScript and C++, which follow English closely.

The trick to getting good with .NET is maintaining good practices. Good organization of your code, a solid understanding of object-oriented concepts will see you through to expert practice in short order. This will help you avoid kind of software errors that beginners consistently make, for starters. For the higher-level .NET stuff, you can read more about this here. What follows is more for beginners.

 Always Plan Out Your Code 

Although the “devil is in the detail,” the success of your code depends on the overarching principles. What are you trying to accomplish exactly? Make sure to identify each portion of the code you plan to implement by sections; perhaps you can use an organization tool to list the classes you plan on using, along with their properties, etc. It is in this part that you first identify what information goes with each class in a tree-like form, all before you start coding.

While you’re defining classes and their components, sketch out your plan for the databases you’ll be using. After all, .NET is a dynamic application, and a lot of work has been put in by developers over the years to facilitate the writing of code, so you might as well use them. Some of the most common databases to which you have access are MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, NoSQL, and Oracle.

Whichever databases you use, employ a tool to plan and arrange them properly to avoid many headaches once you begin coding. Keep the standard best practices rules of redundancy and normalization in mind as you set out the format with a third-party tool.

 Consistency in Naming is Key 

This depends, of course, on whether you’re writing your code or your working for a client. The theme of consistency in defining your variables runs through both; but the client could have a specific, prescribed way of naming them that might differ from the way you usually do it. An example of consistency is to use verbs when naming action elements, like “RetrieveCustomerDetails,” or “SendEmail,” etc. As you can see, it makes the code much more readable to you as well as to other programmers.

 Parsing Your Code Properly 

In .NET, you do this by defining layers. For example, if three different entities are going to eventually see your code – and they will; at the very least – then good coding practice mandates a presentation layer for the end-user (customer, basically), a data layer for other software engineers to take a look at, and a business logic layer endemic to the organizational particulars of that business.

The effect of layering is similar to the function of grouped layers in Adobe Photoshop. If you’ve ever used this premier design suite, then you’re probably familiar with how much easier the layering makes fixing issues without overhauling the entire design. In the .NET framework, layering lets you change one layer to your heart’s desire without adversely affecting another.

 Proper Handling of Errors 

The following is good practice for any applicable program; not just when using the .NET framework and its associated databases. Create a logging solution so that you can record all the errors and cut down on the time consumed by lengthy troubleshooting. Basically, you can recreate an equivalent of the Windows Event Viewer in Microsoft’s operating system.

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