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.NET Transactional Document DB and Event Store on PostgreSQL

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The Marten library provides .NET developers with the ability to use the proven PostgreSQL database engine and its fantastic JSON support as a fully fledged document database. The Marten team believes that a document database has far reaching benefits for developer productivity over relational databases with or without an ORM tool.

Marten also provides .NET developers with an ACID-compliant event store with user-defined projections against event streams.

Access docs here and v3.x docs here.

Support Plans

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While Marten is open source, JasperFx Software offers paid support and consulting contracts for Marten.

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Past Sponsors


Working with the Code

Before getting started you will need the following in your environment:

1. .NET SDK 8.0+

Available here

2. PostgreSQL 12 or above database

The fastest possible way to develop with Marten is to run PostgreSQL in a Docker container. Assuming that you have Docker running on your local box, type: docker-compose up or dotnet run --framework net6.0 -- init-db at the command line to spin up a Postgresql database withThe default Marten test configuration tries to find this database if no PostgreSQL database connection string is explicitly configured following the steps below:


If you'd like to use Patching Api you need to enable the PLV8 extension inside of PostgreSQL for running JavaScript stored procedures for the nascent projection support.

Ensure the following:

  • The login you are using to connect to your database is a member of the postgres role
  • An environment variable of marten_testing_database is set to the connection string for the database you want to use as a testbed. (See the Npgsql documentation for more information about PostgreSQL connection strings ).

Help with PSQL/PLV8

  • On Windows, see this link for pre-built binaries of PLV8
  • On *nix, check marten-local-db for a Docker based PostgreSQL instance including PLV8.

Test Config Customization

Some of our tests are run against a particular PostgreSQL version. If you'd like to run different database versions, you can do it by setting POSTGRES_IMAGE env variables, for instance:

POSTGRES_IMAGE=postgres:15.3-alpine docker compose up

Tests explorer should be able to detect database version automatically, but if it's not able to do it, you can enforce it by setting postgresql_version to a specific one (e.g.)


Once you have the codebase and the connection string file, run the build command or use the dotnet CLI to restore and build the solution.

You are now ready to contribute to Marten.

See more in Contribution Guidelines.


Build Commands

Description Windows Commandline PowerShell Linux Shell DotNet CLI
Run restore, build and test build.cmd build.ps1 dotnet build src\Marten.sln
Run all tests including mocha tests build.cmd test build.ps1 test test dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- test
Run just mocha tests build.cmd mocha build.ps1 mocha mocha dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- mocha
Run StoryTeller tests build.cmd storyteller build.ps1 storyteller storyteller dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- storyteller
Open StoryTeller editor build.cmd open_st build.ps1 open_st open_st dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- open_st
Run docs website locally build.cmd docs build.ps1 docs docs dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- docs
Publish docs build.cmd publish-docs build.ps1 publish-docs publish-docs dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- publish-docs
Run benchmarks build.cmd benchmarks build.ps1 benchmarks benchmarks dotnet run --project build/build.csproj -- benchmarks

Note: You should have a running Postgres instance while running unit tests or StoryTeller tests.

xUnit.Net Specs

The tests for the main library are now broken into three testing projects:

  1. CoreTests -- basic services like retries, schema management basics
  2. DocumentDbTests -- anything specific to the document database features of Marten
  3. EventSourcingTests -- anything specific to the event sourcing features of Marten

To aid in integration testing, Marten.Testing has a couple reusable base classes that can be use to make integration testing through Postgresql be more efficient and allow the xUnit.Net tests to run in parallel for better throughput.

  • IntegrationContext -- if most of the tests will use an out of the box configuration (i.e., no fluent interface configuration of any document types), use this base type. Warning though, this context type will not clean out the main public database schema between runs, but will delete any existing data
  • DestructiveIntegrationContext -- similar to IntegrationContext, but will wipe out any and all Postgresql schema objects in the public schema between tests. Use this sparingly please.
  • OneOffConfigurationsContext -- if a test suite will need to frequently re-configure the DocumentStore, this context is appropriate. You do not need to decorate any of these test classes with the [Collection] attribute. This fixture will use an isolated schema using the name of the test fixture type as the schema name
  • BugIntegrationContext -- the test harnesses for bugs tend to require custom DocumentStore configuration, and this context is a specialization of OneOffConfigurationsContext for the bugs schema.
  • StoreFixture and StoreContext are helpful if a series of tests use the same custom DocumentStore configuration. You'd need to write a subclass of StoreFixture, then use StoreContext<YourNewStoreFixture> as the base class to share the DocumentStore between test runs with xUnit.Net's shared context (IClassFixture<T>)

Mocha Specs

Refer to the build commands section to look up the commands to run Mocha tests. There is also npm run tdd to run the mocha specifications in a watched mode with growl turned on.

Note: remember to run npm install

Storyteller Specs

Refer to build commands section to look up the commands to open the StoryTeller editor or run the StoryTeller specs.

Current Build Matrix

CI .NET Postgres plv8 Serializer
GitHub Actions 6 12.8 STJ
GitHub Actions 6 15-alpine Newtonsoft
GitHub Actions 7 12.8 JSON.NET
GitHub Actions 7 latest STJ
Azure Pipelines 8 12.8 JSON.NET
Azure Pipelines 8 12.8 STJ
Azure Pipelines 8 15-alpine STJ
Azure Pipelines 8 latest Newtonsoft


All the documentation is written in Markdown and the docs are published as a static site hosted in Netlify. v4.x and v3.x use different documentation tools hence are detailed below in separate sub-sections.

v4.x and above

VitePress is used as documentation tool. Along with this, MarkdownSnippets is used for adding code snippets to docs from source code and Algolia DocSearch is used for searching the docs via the search box.

The documentation content is the Markdown files in the /docs directory directly under the project root. To run the docs locally use npm run docs with auto-refresh on any changes.

To add code samples/snippets from the tests in docs, follow the steps below:

Use C# named regions to mark a code block as described in the sample below

#region sample_my_snippet
// code sample/snippet
// ...

All code snippet identifier starts with sample_ as a convention to clearly identify that the region block corresponds to a sample code/snippet used in docs. Recommend to use snake case for the identifiers with words in lower case.

Use the below to include the code snippet in a docs page

<!-- snippet: sample_my_snippet -->
<!-- endSnippet -->

Note that when you run the docs locally, the above placeholder block in the Markdown file will get updated inline with the actual code snippet from the source code. Please commit the changes with the auto-generated inline code snippet as-is after you preview the docs page. This helps with easier change tracking when you send PR's.

Few gotchas:

  • Any changes to the code snippets will need to done in the source code. Do not edit/update any of the auto-generated inline code snippet directly in the Markdown files.
  • The latest snippet are always pulled into the docs while we publish the docs. Hence do not worry about the inline code snippet in Markdown file getting out of sync with the snippet in source code.


stdocs is used as documentation tool. The documentation content is the markdown files in the /documentation directory directly under the project root. Any updates to v3.x docs will need to done in 3.14 branch. To run the documentation website locally with auto-refresh, refer to the build commands section above.

If you wish to insert code samples/snippet to a documentation page from the tests, wrap the code you wish to insert with // SAMPLE: name-of-sample and // ENDSAMPLE. Then to insert that code to the documentation, add <[sample:name-of-sample]>.

Note: content is published to the gh-pages branch of this repository. Refer to build commands section to lookup the command for publishing docs.


Copyright © Jeremy D. Miller, Babu Annamalai, Oskar Dudycz, Joona-Pekka Kokko and contributors.

Marten is provided as-is under the MIT license. For more information see LICENSE.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted the code of conduct defined by the Contributor Covenant to clarify expected behavior in our community.