We have a large system which database is based on DB2 on OS/390. What we do is, when the application starts, we call a CICS module that sweeps the 100+ table database and returns a "recordset" of relevant information for each table that is then processed by the user level using ADO/DAO filters. This is rather clumsy, but it's by far more efficient that querying the database for each single program need (we do many million application runs a day). What's awful with it is the poor design of the application level, where there is no central repository for common useful routines and each programmer in a developer team of 30 to 50 people re-invented the wheel.... often with a variable number of sides :-)
Jus to stay on the off-topic side of life, we also had a number of memory leaks found, because the whole project was designed by some Smalltalk "expert" and the implemented in Visual Basic (!), and we kept on discovering weird pointers problems and memory leaks all around.
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