Judging by the tag cloud on his blog, Rick works mainly in the Microsoft end of the enterprisey world. If VisualStudio is the main front end to your system then I can see why the question would arise. Of course, in other parts of the IT world programs stopped being in flat files a long time ago. Or even never were. But you have to go looking for that world. As luck would have it, Gilad Bracha has just recently explained some of the very pleasant aspects of that world. But so many programmers either don't know it exists, or once shown it refuse to enter.