What’s Wrong With ORM

Last night I gave a talk to the London Perl Mongers about “What’s Wrong With ORM”. It was a first draft of a talk that I hope to be giving a few times this year. There’s also an article in preparation (well, I say “in preparation” but I actually mean “slowly coalescing in my brain”).

Anyway, the slides are online. I’d be interested in hearing any comments that you have.


  1. I like your rebuttal to the “no metadata” arguments. Very succinct.

    Though I suspect the secret title of this talk is “what people are doing wrong with ORM and what improvements could be made to ORM tools, though ORM itself itsn’t inherently flawed”.

    You might also tackle the topic of what happens when there isn’t a 1:1 mapping between your business objects and your database tables. Or to put it another way: your ORM objects aren’t necessarily the layer just below your application logic. I don’t that’s controversial, but perhaps worth including.

    BTW, “consistency”, with an e, slide 15.

  2. It’s certainly true that making the title as short as it is means I lost a little bit of accuracy. Perhaps “What’s Wrong With Current ORM Implementions” would have been more accurate. But you get larger audiences if you sound a bit controversial.And, yes, there are a number of other topics I can include. Which is good as I’ve proposed a 45 minute version of the talk for this year’s EuroOSCON. This version is really just something to get out there to see if people are interested in the topic.

  3. If you really want to be controversial, you need to call it “What’s wrong with ActiveRecord” and mention Class::DBI and friends as little as possible.

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