Labs Tip: Dont Reinvent the Wheel

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2006-05-11 Print this article Print

When building a complex application or service, any light is better then stumbling around in the dark.

When I look at many companies Web applications, services and portal implementations, Im often surprised by the amount of unnecessary and unusual work that went into developing them. It isnt uncommon to see weird coding, configurations and design decisions that could have been a lot more elegant and efficient if the developers had taken one simple step--namely, looking at the sample code and implementations that were available from the IDE, portal or application server that they were using. I think the tendency to pass over the provided samples comes from the same impulse that usually leads to responses of "RTFM"--basically, the desire to get down to work as quickly as possible. But if you arent at least looking at sample code, you are probably unnecessarily reinventing the wheel. In almost all cases, these samples are derived from implementations that were done at real companies. Now, I dont think its a good idea to lift a sample application as a whole for your business. This could lead to po-tential security problems down the road, as everyone else also has access to this code. But samples provide good tips and ideas for building your implementation. And when building a complex applica-tion or service, any light is better then stumbling around in the dark.
Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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