What is Object-Relational Mapping?

Object relational mapping(ORM) is a practice of converting a set of values into formats that are compatible with a specific type of technology. Lots of object relational mapping focuses on the differences between database technologies and other software. ORM is incorporated into programming languages in order to make sure that databases will be able to hold and deliver information as necessary.

The inspiration for ORM, object oriented design, is found in object oriented programming languages like Visual Basic and the C suite. In these languages, a diverse set of variables and values can be made into an object to reduce the amount of code needed for a specific function or program. This same idea applies to object relational mapping, where objects that can be translated to a database are sometimes called “persistent” objects.

The basic idea of object relational mapping is that a database needs to be able to interpret what is being put into it. A client name with other attendant information such as addresses or phone numbers is largely a collection of character strings. There may be a variable number of character strings associated with the client. The problem is that the database may not be able to deal with variable numbers of strings, or the format of the strings. This leads to a need for programming strategies involved in storing or extracting data.

Those interested in object relational mapping can gain a better idea of what is needed from studying the design of SQL (structured query language) databases, and other kinds of database design. Skilled IT engineers are often asked to deal with these kinds of problems involving data structure or format. They may rely on ORM solutions already written, or craft their own tools, but either way, finding a workable method is valuable to an enterprise that needs accessible data to function, whether it’s a private company, a government agency, or a non-profit.

Manipulating objects can be a large part of what is needed from a programmer. Top notch IT professionals understand the issues around the need for ORM and related technologies. It’s all about finding the right ways to source IT solutions, such as the “translation” of data between different software components in a company’s software architecture. Knowing more about how programmers use advanced tools will help database managers or anyone else with an interest in crafting accessible data strategy.