Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Event Sourced Aggregates Part 4: Smart command handlers

In this fourth post in my series about event sourced aggregates I will continue work on the command handlers. In the 3rd post I did some cleaning up of the command handlers, cutting them down to very little code. In this post I will make the command handlers smart by moving domain logic from the aggregate to the command handlers.


In the first and second posts of the series I outlined a typical C# implementation of event sourced aggregates and how that style of implementation leads to ever growing aggregates - every added features adds (at least) two methods to the aggregate: 
  • One for the domain logic. E.g. a 'ChangeUsername' method, that has whatever business logic there is around changing the username. If and when these methods decide a change to the aggregate state is needed they emit a domain event.
  • A 'When' method for any new events. The `When` methods perform all state changes on the aggregate.
The patterns I see in the implementations I come across is that there is a one-to-one correspondence between commands, command handlers and public domain logic methods on the aggregate. For example the pattern is that for a 'ChangeUsernameCommand' there is a 'ChangeUsernameCommandHandler' class and a 'ChangeUsername' method on the aggregate. I took almost all the plumbing out of the command handler in the last post and essentially left it at this:

which invokes the 'helper.Handle' method to get all the plumbing done and then calls the 'ChangeUsername' method to get the domain logic done. So in essence the command handler just delegates to the aggregate, but isn't the responsibility of the command handler to ... handle the command? I think it is. And handling the command means running the domain logic, so let's move that logic from the aggregate to the command handler.

Smart command handlers

In the second post I introduced the 'ChangeUsernameCommand` and the associated command handler and methods on the aggregate. In particular this `ChangeUsername` method on the aggregate:

which implements the domain logic for changing username. That is the logic I want to move to the command handler.
Moving the domain logic straight over the command handler, changes the `Handle` method on the command handler to this:

Now the command handler contains the logic for handling the command. Note that now the command handler also emits domain events - on line 7. This makes sense since this is still event sourced, so changes to the aggregate state are still done through events. The rest of the mechanics around events remain unchanged: The `Emit` method on the base aggregate still calls the 'When' method for the event and stores the event to the list of new events on the aggregate. Saving the aggregate still means appending the list of new events to the event store, and getting the aggregate from the 'AggregateRepository' still means reading all the aggregates events from the event store and replaying each one.

Having moved the domain logic out of the aggregate I have a slimmer aggregate, that only has the state of the aggregate and the 'When' methods. In the next two post I slim down the aggregate even further by moving the 'When' methods out.

The complete code for this post in this branch.