Our project has ~40 tables with complex relations.A colleague believes in using long join queries which enforces me to learn about tables outside of my module but I think I should not concern about tables not directly related to my module and use data access functions (written by those responsible for other modules) when I need data from them. Let me clarify:
I am responsible for the ContactVendor module which enables the customers to contact the vendor and start a conversation about some specific product. Products module has it's own complex tables and relations with functions that encapsulate details (for example i18n, activation, product availability etc ...). Now I need to show the product title of some product related to some conversation between the vendor and customers. I may either write a long query that retrieves the product info along with conversation stuff in one shot (which enforces me to learn about Product tables) OR I may pass the relevant product_id to the get_product_info(int) function.
First approach is obviously demanding and introduces many bad practices and things I normally consider fault in programming. The problem with the second approach seems to be the countless mini queries these access functions cause and performance loss is a concern when a loop tries to fetch product titles for 100 products using functions that each perform a separate query. So I'm stuck between "don't code to the implementation, code to interface" and performance. What is the right way of doing things ?
UPDATE: I'm specially concerned about possible future modifications to those tables outside of my module. What if the Products module decided to change the way they are doing things? or for some reason modify the schema? It means some other modules would break or malfunction until the change is integrated to them. The usual ripple effect problem.</div