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On holibobs…

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My self and the good lady wife are currently holidaying on there island of Madeira, and we’re having a great time. While out for an evening stroll we spotted these wonderful balancing stones – which I photographed this morning.

Mysterious stone columns

And it got me thinking about application architecture.Take this pile of stones.

Three layers of stone architecture

At first glance it looks pretty cool right, and it certainly is a great of engineering. But it’s pretty hard to replace the top layer. Put on a layer that had a different weight distribution and the whole stack becomes unstable. And the lower down the stack you attempt to replace a layer, the greater the difficulty involved, as that layer and every layer above it is affected by a change.

From a software point of view what does it mean then?

Well each layer is built depending on the layer(s) below it. In software terms it would be like the business layer opening and holding a SQL connection and transaction and then calling multiple data layer calls using that connection and transaction. The business layer has knowledge and a dependency on the data layer. A better approach would be to handle idbconnection and idbtransaction objects, but what about a web service layer?

I’m not an architecture expert, so this is something I’ll have to think about, but I think it might make an interesting article for the internal newsletter at work.