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ORM - What is it and Why Should You Use It?

  • Orm
  • March 05, 2022

Let's first define Object-Relational-Mapping as a concept before discussing what an Object-Relational-Mapper is.

Object-relational mapping is a way to communicate using an object-oriented paradigm to create queries such as the one above and much more complex ones.


Object-relational-mappers come into play here. Most people refer to "ORM" when talking about a library that uses this technique.


A high-level abstraction is added to an object-oriented program by ORM Package. So it transforms the underlying code into logic but without revealing its details. Maps describe the relationship between an object and data without knowing the data structure. The application can be connected to the SQL code that manages data activities with the model. It saves the developer a great deal of time to avoid rewriting this "plumbing" code.


As you can see, the query would be executed by JavaScript rather than utilizing an ORM library. This allows us to use the same languages we know and love while abstracting away the complexity of interfacing with a database.

The use of an ORM is not without tradeoffs, as with any other technique.


Now let's consider some of the pros and cons!


Why should you use an ORM? 


  1. Besides, you're already using the language you're writing in. If we're being honest, we probably aren't expert SQL statement writers. We don't write SQL often, but it's a powerful language. It's great to be able to leverage your fluency in one language more than another, though!

  2. The database system of your choice is abstracted away, so switching between MySQL and PostgreSQL is easy-peasy.

  3. Many features are available out of the box, such as support for transactions, connection pooling, migrations, seeds, streams, and other things.

  4. Most of the queries you write will perform better than if you wrote them.


Can an ORM be used without a lot of cons? 


  1. If you are an expert at SQL, you can probably write your queries to get better performance.

  2. The process of learning an ORM is time-consuming.

  3. It is a hassle to configure an ORM for the first time.

  4. Understanding what is happening under the hood is essential for developers. It is possible to become a weaker developer in this portion of the stack if you use ORMs as a crutch to avoid understanding databases and SQL.


Conclusion


An object-oriented application's SQL code can be time-consuming and add little value to a relational database. SQL query builders and raw SQL code can improve the process, but both require developers to be familiar with databases and code in SQL. ORMs' data models are highly abstract, and SQL code generated by them is automatically generated. In addition to giving developers greater flexibility, these tools also separate the database and the coding logic. There are, however, those who dislike ORMs. Reduced performance, coding, and poor mapping are the most common complaints.

The OOP development process can be sped up by utilizing an ORM. Before committing to using an ORM, developers should do their research. The market is full of free and paid-for ORM tools. This toolset has been around for many years, so its documentation and support are extensive.

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