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Base class with tests for adding specifications to a DDD model


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Base class with tests for adding specifications to a DDD model. Also includes a default generic Repository base class with support for EF6 and EF Core. Currently used in Microsoft reference application eShopOnWeb, which is the best place to see it in action, as well as the Clean Architecture solution template. Check out Steve "ardalis" Smith's associated (free!) eBook, Architecting Modern Web Applications with ASP.NET Core and Azure, as well.



🎥 Watch What's New in v5 of Ardalis.Specification

🎥 Watch an Overview of the Pattern and this Package

Version 7 Release Notes

Version 7 is now available on! We have had a lot of confusion about the need to have the version of Ardalis.Specification (and/or the EF6/EFCore packages) match the consuming project's version of .NET. We intend to version this package more frequently in the near future to make it clear that it need not match.

Breaking Changes

  • Updated projects, drop support for old TFMs. by @fiseni in #326

Other updates

  • Patch 2 by @davidhenley in #283
  • Fix Just the Docs link in docs home page by @snowfrogdev in #293
  • Update url path by @ta1H3n in #303
  • Implement SelectMany support by @amdavie in #320
  • Add two methods for consuming repositories in scenarios where repositories could be longer lived (e.g. Blazor component Injections) by @jasonsummers in #289
  • Added support for AsAsyncEnumerable by @nkz-soft in #316
  • Lamadelrae/doc faq ef versions by @Lamadelrae in #324
  • Update the search feature to generate parameterized query. by @fiseni in #327
  • Add support for extending default evaluator list by @fiseni in #328
  • Ardalis/cleanup by @ardalis in #332

Version 6 Release Notes

See Releases

Sample Usage

The Specification pattern pulls query-specific logic out of other places in the application where it currently exists. For applications with minimal abstraction that use EF Core directly, the specification will eliminate Where, Include, Select and similar expressions from almost all places where they're being used. In applications that abstract database query logic behind a Repository abstraction, the specification will typically eliminate the need for many custom Repository implementation classes as well as custom query methods on Repository implementations. Instead of many different ways to filter and shape data using various methods, the same capability is achieved with few core methods.

Example implementation in your repository using specifications

public async Task<List<T>> ListAsync(ISpecification<T> specification, CancellationToken cancellationToken = default)
	return await ApplySpecification(specification).ToListAsync(cancellationToken);

private IQueryable<T> ApplySpecification(ISpecification<T> specification)
	return SpecificationEvaluator.Default.GetQuery(dbContext.Set<T>().AsQueryable(), specification);

Now to use this method, the calling code simply instantiates and passes the appropriate specification.

var spec = new CustomerByNameSpec("customerName");
var customers = await _repository.ListAsync(spec, cancellationToken);

Specifications should be defined in an easily-discovered location in the application, so developers can easily reuse them. The use of this pattern helps to eliminate many commonly duplicated lambda expressions in applications, reducing bugs associated with this duplication.

We're shipping a built-in repository implementation RepositoryBase, ready to be consumed in your apps. You can use it as a reference and create your own custom repository implementation.

Running the tests

This project needs a database to test, since a lot of the tests validate that a specification is translated from LINQ to SQL by EF Core. To run the tests, we're using docker containers, including a docker-hosted SQL Server instance. You run the tests by simply running RunTests.bat or


Some free video streams in which this package has been developed and discussed on

Pluralsight resources: