Postgresql as a Document Database and Event Store for .Net Applications
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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.

Note that current stable version of Marten 2.x is compatible with Npgsql 3.x. If you are looking for a Marten version compatible with Npgsql 4.x, you can use the Marten 3.x alpha version available in NuGet and also you can checkout the dev branch.

Working with the Code

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

  • Access to a PostgreSQL 9.5+ database.
  • An environment variable of marten_testing_database 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 )
  • You will also need to enable the PLV8 extension inside of PostgreSQL for running JavaScript stored procedures for the nascent projection support. See this link for pre-built binaries for PLV8 running on Windows
  • You will also need to make sure that the login you are using to connect to your databasee is a member of the postgres role
  • Ensure you have installed .NET Core SDK 2.0
  • Once you have the codebase and the connection string file, run the rake script or use the dotnet CLI to restore and build the solution.

You are now ready to contribute to Marten.


  • Unit Tests rely on xUnit and Shouldly
  • Rake is used for build automation. It is not mandatory for development.
  • Node.js runs our Mocha specs.
  • Storyteller for some of the data intensive automated tests

Mocha Specs

To run mocha tests use rake mocha or npm run test. 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

To open the Storyteller editor, use the command rake open_st from the command line or rake storyeller to run the Storyteller specs. If you don't want to use rake, you can launch the Storyteller editor after compiling the solution by the command packages\storyteller\tools\st.exe open src/Marten.Testing.


The documentation content is the markdown files in the /documentation directory directly under the project root. To run the documentation website locally with auto-refresh, either use the rake task rake docs or the batch script named run-docs.cmd.

If you wish to insert code samples 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 by running the publish-docs.cmd command.

Rake Commands

# run restore, build and test

# run all tests including mocha tests
rake test

# running documentation website locally
rake docs

DotNet CLI Commands

# restore nuget libraries
dotnet restore src\Marten.sln

# build solution
dotnet build src\Marten.sln

# running tests for a specific target framework
dotnet test src\Marten.Testing\Marten.Testing.csproj --framework netcoreapp2.0

# mocha tests
npm install
npm run test

# running documentation website locally
dotnet restore docs.csproj
dotnet stdocs run