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Edument CQRS and Intentful Testing Starter Kit

What is this?

A bunch of C# code to help you get started with writing intentful tests for a domain, expressing it as commands, events and exceptions. These ideas are often associated with the CQRS pattern.

Here's an example of how a test might looks:

public void VoucherGivenAfter5000Points()
        Given(new PointsAwarded
            MemberId = dummyMember,
            Points = 4000,
            AwardDate = awardDate1
        When(new AwardPoints
            MemberId = dummyMember,
            Points = 1500,
            AwardDate = awardDate2
        Then(new PointsAwarded
            MemberId = dummyMember,
            Points = 1500,
            AwardDate = awardDate2
        new VoucherSent
            MemberId = dummyMember,
            PointValue = 5000

The approach taken draws on:

  • Behavior Driven Development, for the given/when/then form of the tests
  • Domain Driven Design, both in terms of using the aggregate pattern, but far more importantly because the verb focus this approach encourages helps better capture domain language
  • Functional Programming, since commands and events are immutable, and the handling of commands is expressed in a pure way (but don't worry if these terms confuse you; you can still use this stuff!)

If you use this approach, you may also want to consider:

  • Event Sourcing, which provides a persistence approach that fits well with a system built in terms of events
  • Command Query Responsibility Segregation, because event sourcing is often great for our (command-centric) domain logic, but less good for queries

So, it's a framework?

No. You take the code, copy it into your project, and massage it to fit your needs. Not using part of it? Just Delete It. Wish something worked a little differently? Just Change It.

The idea is to give you a head start, saving you from writing — or working out how to write — this code yourself. In every non-trivial system where we've used this code, we've done some kind of modification to it. We expect you will experience the same need, and follow the same path.

So, how do I get started?

Clone the repository, then take a look at the tutorial, which walks through the sample application.

You will need a C# compiler. The starter kit uses language features from C# 3, however the sample application uses ASP.NET MVC 4, which needs at least Visual Studio 2010.

You also need NUnit installed, and may need to correct the reference to it when first loading the project.

You may also find our DDD and CQRS FAQ useful.

I want to do CQRS; is this for me?

Whoa there! Let's try and clear up what we mean by CQRS. Its literal meaning is separating the parts of our system that read (queries) from those that write (commands). This may simply mean that reads and writes take place on different objects, or it may also imply that we use different data stores for reads and writes.

For this literal sense of CQRS, you should not start out by saying you want to do CQRS. Instead, you should arrive at it because it helps you to deliver on some larger architectural goal.

  • Wrong: I want to do CQRS because I heard it's the modern thing!
  • Right: I want to work in terms of commands/events for my domain logic, because modeling and writing tests this way will help me deliver a system that meets the customer's needs. I want to persist using an event store, but that doesn't meet my querying needs. Therefore, I need to also have a relational database. This means my reads and writes need to happen through different code paths, which means I will be doing CQRS.

By now, however, CQRS has come to imply a lot of things besides the literal separation of reads and writes. It evokes ideas of domain events, event sourcing, BDD style testing, and a different way of approaching Domain Driven Design. If you feel those kinds of ideas will be helpful to you in building a system, then yes, the code we're offering here may serve as a good starting point.

Support and training

There is a Google Group where you can ask questions and discuss usage of the starter kit.

Edument offers commercial support and training on Domain Driven Design, CQRS, and software architecture in general. Contact us for more details.

Who did this?

This code was built by Jonathan Worthington and Carl Mäsak as part of their work at Edument.


A starter kit for working with CQRS and intentful testing.







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