On Wednesday, I participated on a panel that discussed data access options. We started out with Richard Campbell throwing in Entity Framework. The panel was full of architect-level folks, and none of us are comfortable using it yet, but we are all keeping an eye on it. We discussed O/R Mappers (I plugged NHibernate), but we mostly discussed architecture. We all agreed on keeping data access out of the way and off to the side. Wrapping tools is always good, and we all agreed that it is bad to couple our core objects to any data access concern.
We all come from the perspective of line-of-business applications. 10-table wonders (small apps) have different constraints, but the larger, longer-lived apps require more.
I enjoyed the talk much more than the Pros and Cons of Stored Procedures, which was heavily focused on SQL Server and is suited for a DBA developer audience, but this panel fully explored the broader options.
The other panelists were: