Domain Model and related data (anemic domain model)

architecture asp.net-core c# domain-driven-design entity-framework-core

Question

I'm currently working with ASP .NET Core 1.0 using Entity Framework Core. I have some complex calculations with data from the database and I'm not sure how to build a proper architecture using Dependency Injection without building an anemic domain model (http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/AnemicDomainModel.html)

(Simplified) Example:

I have the following entities:

public class Project {
    public int Id {get;set;}
    public string Name {get;set;}        
}

public class TimeEntry
{
    public int Id {get;set;}
    public DateTime Date {get;set;}
    public int DurationMinutes {get;set;}
    public int ProjectId {get;set;}
    public Project Project {get;set;}        
}

public class Employee {
    public int Id {get;set;}
    public string Name {get;set;}
    public List<TimeEntry> TimeEntries {get;set;}
}

I want to do some complex calculations to calculate a monthly TimeSheet. Because I can not access the database within the Employee entity I calculate the TimeSheet in a EmployeeService.

public class EmployeeService {
    private DbContext _db;
    public EmployeeService(DbContext db) {
        _db = db;
    }

    public List<CalculatedMonth> GetMonthlyTimeSheet(int employeeId) {
        var employee = _db.Employee.Include(x=>x.TimeEntry).ThenInclude(x=>x.Project).Single();
        var result = new List<CalculatedMonth>();

        //complex calculation using TimeEntries etc here

        return result;
    }
}

If I want to get the TimeSheet I need to inject the EmployeeService and call GetMonthlyTimeSheet.

So - I end up with a lot of GetThis() and GetThat() methods inside my service although this methods would perfectly fit into the Employee class itself.

What I want to achieve is something like:

public class Employee {
    public int Id {get;set;}
    public string Name {get;set;}
    public List<TimeEntry> TimeEntries {get;set;}

    public List<CalculatedMonth> GetMonthlyTimeSheet() {            
        var result = new List<CalculatedMonth>();

        //complex calculation using TimeEntries etc here

        return result;
    }
}

public IActionResult GetTimeSheets(int employeeId) {
    var employee = _employeeRepository.Get(employeeId);
    return employee.GetTimeSheets();
}

...but for that I need to make sure that the list of TimeEntries is populated from the database (EF Core does not support lazy loading). I do not want to .Include(x=>y) everything on every request because sometimes I just need the employee's name without the timeentries and it would affect the performance of the application.

Can anyone point me in a direction how to architect this properly?

Edit: One possibility (from the comments of the first answer) would be:

public class Employee {
    public int Id {get;set;}
    public string Name {get;set;}
    public List<TimeEntry> TimeEntries {get;set;}

    public List<CalculatedMonth> GetMonthlyTimeSheet() { 
        if (TimeEntries == null)
          throw new PleaseIncludePropertyException(nameof(TimeEntries));

        var result = new List<CalculatedMonth>();

        //complex calculation using TimeEntries etc here

        return result;
    }
}

public class EmployeeService {
    private DbContext _db;
    public EmployeeService(DbContext db) {
        _db = db;
    }

    public Employee GetEmployeeWithoutData(int employeeId) {
        return _db.Employee.Single();
    }

    public Employee GetEmployeeWithData(int employeeId) {
        return _db.Employee.Include(x=>x.TimeEntry).ThenInclude(x=>x.Project).Single();
    }
}

public IActionResult GetTimeSheets(int employeeId) {
    var employee = _employeeService.GetEmployeeWithData(employeeId);
    return employee.GetTimeSheets();
}
1
5
11/22/2016 10:14:08 AM

Popular Answer

Do not try to solve querying problems with your aggregates. Your aggregates are meant to process commands and protect invariants. They form a consistency boundary around a set of data.

Is the Employee object responsible for protecting the integrity of an employee's timesheet? If it doesn't then this data doesn't belong into the Employee class.

Lazy-loading may be fine for CRUD models, but is usually considered an anti-pattern when we design aggregates because those should be as small and cohesive as possible.

Are you taking business decisions based on the calculated result from timesheets? Is there any invariants to protect? Does it matter if the decision was made on stale timesheet data? If the answer to these questions is no then your calculation is really nothing more than a query.

Placing queries in service objects is fine. These service objects may even live outside the domain model (e.g. in the application layer), but there is no strict rule to follow. Also, you may choose to load a few aggregates in order to access the required data to process the calculations, but it's usually better to go directly in the database. This allows a better separation between your reads & writes (CQRS).

3
11/22/2016 3:48:08 PM


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