Udi Dahan   Udi Dahan – The Software Simplist
Enterprise Development Expert & SOA Specialist
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People, Politics, and the Single Responsibility Principle

Monday, May 26th, 2014

PeopleIn one of Uncle Bob’s recent blog posts on the Single Responsibility Principle he uses the example of using people and organization boundaries as an indication of possible good software boundaries:

When you write a software module, you want to make sure that when changes are requested, those changes can only originate from a single person, or rather, a single tightly coupled group of people representing a single narrowly defined business function. You want to isolate your modules from the complexities of the organization as a whole, and design your systems such that each module is responsible (responds to) the needs of just that one business function.

This is something that often comes up when I teach people about service boundaries when it comes to SOA – organization boundaries are the most intuitive choice.

And, once up on a time, that intuition might have indeed held up.

Stepping back in time

In the age before computers, organizations had a very specific way of structuring themselves.

People who had to work closely together sat in close physical proximity to each other. Data that was required on an ongoing basis would be in file cabinets also physically co-located with the people using that data, and it would be structured in a way that was optimal for their specific purposes. All of this was due to the high cost of communicating with people farther away.

If you needed data from a different department, you had requisition it by filling out a special form, put it in your outbox, and then some guy from the mail room would pick it up, and physically schlep it to the right department, putting it in their inbox, and then someone there would get your data for you – putting it together with your original request, and then the mail guy would schlep it back. This inbox/outbox style of communication should ring a bell from the messaging patterns I talk about with NServiceBus.

As a result, different departments had to have very clearly delineated responsibilities with minimal overlap with each other. The organization just couldn’t function any other way.

And then a bunch of us geeks came along.

Enter the age of computers and networks

By introducing this technology, the cost of communication across large distances started falling – slowly at first, and then quite dramatically.

When anyone in an organization was able access data from anywhere in the blink of an eye, an interesting dynamic started to unfold. All of a sudden, the division of responsibility between departments wasn’t as critical as it was before. When an employee needed to do something, there wasn’t this “that isn’t our job, you need to go to so-and-so” reaction. Because things could be done instantly, that’s exactly what happened.

And then came the politics

By removing the cost of communication, it became possible for more power-hungry people in the organization to start making (or trying to make) decisions that they couldn’t have made before. The introduction of computers into an organization was heralded as a new way of doing business – that the old organizational boundaries were a relic that we should leave behind us.

And thus can the re-org (the first of many).

Responsibilities and people were shuffled around, managers vied for more power, and politics took its’ place as one of the driving forces in the company structure.

Nowadays, if you want a decision made in a company, there isn’t just one person who has the authority to sign off on it anymore. No, you need to have meetings – and more meetings, with people you never knew existed in the company, or why on earth they should have a say on how something is supposed to get done. But that is now our reality: endlessly partially overlapping responsibilities across the organization.

So, what of the Single Responsibility Principle

This just makes it that much harder to decide how to structure our software – there is no map with nice clean borders. We need to be able to see past the organizational dysfunction around us, possibly looking for how the company might have worked 100 years ago if everything was done by paper. While this might be possible in domains that have been around that long (like banking, shipping, etc) but even there, given the networked world we now live in, things that used to be done entirely within a single company are now spread across many different entities taking part in transnational value networks.

In short – it’s freakin’ hard.

But it’s still important.

Just don’t buy too deeply into the idea that by getting the responsibilities of your software right, that you will somehow reduce the impact that all of that business dysfunction has on you as a software developer. Part of the maturation process for a company is cleaning up its’ business processes in parallel to cleaning up its’ software processes.

The good news is that you’ll always have a job 🙂

Don’t try to model the real world, it doesn’t exist.

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Recently I’ve started talking more about modeling and its relation to the real world.

no spoonHere’s where it all starts from:

Don’t try to model the real world, it doesn’t exist.

I know that that sounds like a very Matrix-y kind of statement, so let me explain.

The “Real” World

The problem with the “real” world is that you are limited by the laws of physics. The thing is that somewhere along the history of software development, we got this idea that if only the structure of our software represented physical reality, then our software would be maintainable, flexible, robust, … in short, good.

glassThe thing is that a single physical entity can have multiple meanings to various stakeholders.

Let’s look at something simple, like a glass:

From a developer’s perspective we might call that a Product and not think very much more of it. We’d be happy that we could come up with a single abstraction that allowed us to model all the different kinds of products the same way.

Yet, in talking with our business stakeholders, one might call it inventory, another might call it a liability (think of breakage requiring insurance), and another call it merchandise. The important thing to note is that the data relevant to each of those meanings is so different from one stakeholder to another.

And that brings me to “customer”

One of my least favorite entities – a lingering symptom of the Northwind disease.

When someone walks into your store for the first time (whether that store is physical or virtual), are they a customer? Even if they haven’t ever bought anything? Even if you don’t know their name? Are they even a User then? I mean, it’s not like we’re going to force people to login (or create an account) just to browse the site, right? A term like Visitor, Prospect, or Lead sounds like it would describe this type of concept better.

After wandering around your store for a while, they come up to you and ask for help finding something. If this pattern repeated itself over and over again for the same category of item, would that be meaningful to the business? Don’t you think that should be modeled? I hope your answers are yes, and yes. This is the domain of merchandising, and seems more related to Visitors than to Customers.

Let’s say your selling to other businesses rather than to consumers. In the B2B space, it is common not to receive payment for goods or services for some time – you might have heard terms like Net30, which means you will be paid up to 30 days later (in some cases, this may be from the end of the month of the invoice rather than the date of the invoice).

If you talk to the business folks in charge of these scenarios, you’ll hear them talk about Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. Yep, they are the accountants. If you were to go about building a DDD Ubiquitous Language, it sounds like the term Account would be a better choice than Customer. The thing is that accountants use the same language regardless of how quickly an account is settled – like if payment is done by credit card at the time of purchase.

There is no Customer.
There is no Product.

The same goes for so many other problem domains.

I know it feels counter-intuitive to not have a single class representing a single physical thing. It feels like it’s the exact opposite of Domain-Driven Design. It feels anti-object-oriented. But remember, most stakeholders you talk to don’t focus on the physical elements either.

The one thing left to be modeled from “reality”

And that’s identity.

It would be most accurate to say that the physical thing you perceive is nothing more than identity serving to correlate all the separate business concerns to each other. It’s this ID that ties the Visitor on the site, to the Account, to the Addressee (for shipment).

These IDs are needed primarily for reporting and UI reasons – it isn’t likely to have a business action operate on entities correlated this way in the same transaction.

Nouns, Verbs, and Reality

In building your ubiquitous language, look past the nouns and verbs visible on the surface.

Watch out for statements like “in reality…” and “in the real world…” as they are really just one person’s interpretation of their perception of reality. Not one of us is able to see reality clearly – it’s all just perceptions. Recognize that, like models, all perceptions are wrong, but some may be useful.

Model the perceptions – at least you can have first hand experience of those.

Forget about reality – all that exists is perceptions.

In closing

Transcend the physical.

In software there is no gravity, no mass, and as many dimensions as you choose to create.

Break free of the Matrix.

You are the god of your software.

Why you should be using CQRS almost everywhere…

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

grass… but differently than the way most people have been using it.

I think I’ve just about drove everybody crazy now with my apparent zigzagging on CQRS.

Some people heard about CQRS first from one of my presentations and got all excited about it. Then I did some blogging which further drove people to CQRS (as did Greg Young and some others). As CQRS was just about to hit its stride with the Early Adopters, I started pushing a more balanced view – CQRS not as an answer, but as one of many questions. More recently I’ve pushed more strongly back against CQRS saying that it should be used rarely.

So what’s the missing piece?

If you’re in the Domain-Driven Design camp (as many doing CQRS are), then it’s Bounded Contexts.

If you’re in the Event-Driven SOA camp (a much smaller camp to be sure), then it’s Services.

The problem is the naming, because the DDD guys have their kinds of services which do not fit the definition for Service of the Event-Driven SOA approach.

Let me propose the term Autonomous Business Component for the purposes of this blog post to describe that thing which is both a DDD Bounded Context (have the shared BC part of the acronym) and an SOA Autonomous Services. Resulting in the nice short form: ABC (and everyone knows you need to have a good acronym if you want something to catch on).

What does this have to do with CQRS?

Nothing just yet. Well, at least, nothing directly to do with CQRS.

Although some proponents of CQRS have stated that it can and should be used as the top-most architectural pattern, both myself and Greg Young (arguably the first two to talk about it and the two who ultimately collaborated on naming it – and now Google knows we didn’t means “cars”) always recommended it as a pattern to be used one level down.

Although Greg and I have had many long discussions on the topic and do agree very much about what the overall structure should look like, I’ll try to avoid putting words in his mouth from this point on.

Before talking more about ABCs, let’s discuss the principle upon which they rest: The Single Responsibility Principle (SRP).

What does SRP have to with CQRS?

Many developers are familiar with SRP and have seen good results from using it. What we’re going to do is take this principle to the next level.

In Object Orientation (OO), data is encapsulated in an object. A good object does not expose its data to other objects to do with as they wish. Rather, it exposes methods that other objects can invoke, and those methods operate on the internal data.

SRP would guide us to not have the same data exist in two objects. For example, if we saw the customer’s first name as an internal data member of two objects, we’d be right to question that kind of duplication and move to refactor it away. However, when we see two systems doing the exact same thing – somehow that gets excused.

“Of course we need to be able to see the customer’s first name in the front-end website as well as in the back-end fulfillment system. How could we NOT have the customer’s first name in both those code-bases?”

And there’s the catch.

Who said that a system should be a single code-base?

But what about integration?

Although many times we do need to integrate existing systems together, sometimes we have the ability to change those systems. More importantly, when going to create a new solution, we can avoid getting ourselves into the problems that integration tries to solve.

Integrating with a system that cannot be changed can be done also by composing multiple ABCs, but that’s a topic for another post.

It is better to think of integration as a necessary evil – kind of like regular expressions and multi-threading; things to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

“If you have a problem that you decide to use a regular expression to solve, you now have 2 problems.” Or so the saying goes. With multi-threading, you have a non-deterministic number of problems to solve.

If you thought you had duplicate responsibilities with 2 systems operating on the same data, how will introducing a 3rd code base (also known as “integration”) help? Remember that Single Responsibility Principle – our goal is to get it down to one.

OK, so how do ABCs do that?

In order for us to get back into alignment with SRP, that would require us to have responsibility for a single piece of data exist in one code base. Note that SRP makes no statements about how many physical places a given code base can be deployed to. Nor does it state that only a single technology can be in play – code that emits HTML can be packaged at design time together with rich-client code in the same solution.

If an ABC is responsible for a piece of data, it is responsible for it everywhere, and forever. No other ABC should see that data. That data should not travel between ABCs via remote procedure call (RPC) or via publish/subscribe. It is the ultimate level of encapsulation – SRP applied at the highest level of granularity.

This results in systems which are the result of deploying the components of multiple ABCs to the same physical place. The ABC which owns the customer name would have the necessary web code to render it in the e-commerce front-end and in the shipping back-end for printing on labels. This would mean that practically every screen in any UI is a composite of widgets owned by their respective ABCs.

This is ultimately what keeps the complexity of each ABC’s code base to a minimum.

But why not just use CQRS as the top-level pattern? ABCs are weird.

Imagine trying to create a single denormalized view model for the entire Amazon.com product page – product name, price, inventory, editorial review, customer comments, other products that customers viewed, other products that customers bought, etc.

Pretty complex, right?

How much duplication would you have for the page shown after you add an item to a cart? Once again, you need to show other products that customers bought, their names, images, prices, and inventory.

And then on the home page – items you might be interested in, names, images, prices.

And that’s only in the front-end system.

It’s not just the duplication, but how complex the code is for each one.

Instead of the duplication that top-level CQRS would bring you, consider an ABC responsible for products names and images that has just about the same view model composed on each of the above screens. The same with another ABC responsible for price.

You may be thinking that this would result in more queries to get the data to show on a page, and you’d be right. But it isn’t necessarily a classical N+1 Select problem, as the queries are bounded to the number of ABCs. Secondly, consider the ability to have well-tuned caching at the granularity of an ABC – something that would be much more difficult when dealing with everything as a single monolithic view model. In short, not only will it not be a performance problem, often it will actually improve performance.

OK – that explains “everywhere”, what about “forever”?

Forever is where things get interesting – or more accurately, when they get interesting.

Let’s talk about things like invoices.

One of the requirements in this area is that immutability. If the customer’s name was Jane Smith when they made their purchase, it doesn’t matter that they’ve since changed their name to Jane Jones, the invoice should still show Jane Smith.

Often developers push these types of requirements on the data warehouse guys – that’s where history gets handled. The only thing is that if your ABC owns the customer’s name, then no other code base can deal with it. If it’s your data, you have to handle all historical representations of it.

On the one hand, this would seem to kill the data warehouse. On the other hand, it means that the principles of data warehouses are now core to every code-base.

This means you don’t ever delete data (see my previous blog post on the subject), and you definitely don’t overwrite it with an update – even if you think you’re in a simple CRUD domain. The only case where you can get away with traditional CRUD is if we’re talking about private data – data that is only ever acted on by a single actor.

This sounds like the collaboration you talk about with CQRS

It’s similar in principle but different in practice.

In a collaborative domain, an inherent property of the domain is that multiple actors operate in parallel on the same set of data. A reservation system for concerts would be a good example of a collaborative domain – everyone wants the “good seats” (although it might be better call that competitive rather than collaborative, it is effectively the same principle).

A customer’s name would not fall under that category. It isn’t an inherent property of the domain for multiple actors to operate on that data. While there can be multiple readers, one can easily enforce a single writer without any adverse effects. Doing that with a reservation system would cause the online system to behave as if users were lining up in front of a box office – not a desirable outcome.

Private data would be something like a user’s shopping cart. Until they make a purchase, that data doesn’t need to be visible anywhere. Here you could theoretically do simple CRUD – that is, until the business realizes that there’s extremely valuable information to be extracted from the historical record of things people do with their carts.

I think you’re ready to make your point, so just make it already

OK – so we now realize that Update and Delete don’t exist in their traditional form. Delete is really just a kind of update, and update is effectively an “upsert” – a combination of update and insert to retain history. This can be done by having ValidFrom and ValidTo columns for our data.

In which case, Create is really just a special case of Upsert, which looks like this:

UPDATE Something SET ValidTo = NOW() WHERE Id=@Id AND ValidTo = NULL; INSERT INTO Something SET { regular values }, Id=@Id, ValidTo = NULL;

And then we’d have 2 forms of Read – reading the current state (ValidTo = NULL), and reading history (ValidFrom <= Instant AND (ValidTo >= Instant OR ValidTo = NULL))

Here we don’t need fancy N-Tier architectures, data transfer objects, service layers, or domain models. A simple 2-Tier approach could probably suffice. We don’t need a task-based UI, events, denormalized view models, or any of that CQRS stuff. This was at the crux of my previous anti-CQRS post.

The only thing is that this is exactly CQRS.

Say what?

Have we not effectively separated the responsibility of commands/upserts and queries/reads?

As Greg Young has said before, “the creation of 2 objects where there previously was one”.

Effectively 2 paths through our ABC.


Let me give you a second to gather your thoughts.


You see, CQRS is an approach, a mind-set – not a cookie cutter solution. Frameworks that guide you to applying CQRS exactly the same way everywhere are taking you in the wrong direction. The fact is that you couldn’t possibly know what your Aggregate Roots were before you figured out how to break your system down into ABCs. Attempting to create commands and events for everything will make you overcomplicate your solution.

So the built-in history of this model is event-sourcing?

Well, it’s not event-sourcing in the sense that we don’t necessarily have events. It achieves many of the benefits of event-sourcing by giving us the full history of what happened.

On the whole issue of replaying events to fix bugs – that’s a bit problematic, logically, unless we have a closed system. A closed system is one that doesn’t interact with anything else – no other systems, no users, nothing. As such, closed systems aren’t that common.

In an open system, one with users, let’s say there was a bug. This bug could have caused the wrong data to be written and/or shown to users. As such, users could have submitted subsequent commands based on that erroneous data that they would not have submitted otherwise. There’s no way for us to know.

The problem with replaying events when we fix the bug is that we’re in essence rewriting history – making it as if the user didn’t see the wrong data. The only problem is that we can’t know which events not to replay – we can’t automatically come up with the right events that should have come afterwards. We could try to sit together with our users and have them try to revise history manually, but our organization often isn’t in a bubble. Our users interacted with customers and suppliers. It isn’t feasible to try to undo the real-world impacts of this situation.

Why didn’t you just tell us this from the very beginning?

I did, you just weren’t listening.

You wanted a cookie cutter, and until you tried CQRS out as cookie cutter (and saw it create a bunch of complexity) you wouldn’t listen to anything else.

As developers, we’re trained to solve problems – the faster the better. Unfortunately, this causes us to be blind to things that don’t immediately present themselves as solutions.

When applying CQRS with ABCs, the solutions you end up with are very simple, but the process of getting there is quite hard and takes practice. Finding the boundaries of ABCs such that data isn’t duplicated between them and that data doesn’t travel between them either via RPC or publish/subscribe – it may feel impossible the first several times you try. Keep at it – it is almost always possible.

We haven’t touched on the whole saga/aggregate-root thing yet, but that isn’t as important until you can successfully apply the principles described here.

Also, this post has already gotten long enough, so it looks like now would be a good time to stop.

Until next time…

The Danger of Centralized Workflows

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

It isn’t uncommon for me to have a client or student at one of my courses ask me about some kind of workflow tool. This could be Microsoft Workflow Foundation, BizTalk, K2, or some kind of BPEL/orchestration engine. The question usually revolves around using this tool for all workflows in the system as opposed to the SOA-EDA-style publish/subscribe approach I espouse.

The question

The main touted benefit of these workflow-centric architectures is that we don’t have to change the code of the system in order to change its behavior resulting in ultimate flexibility!

Some of you may have already gone down this path and are shaking your heads remembering how your particular road to hell was paved with the exact same good intentions.

Let me explain why these things tend to go horribly wrong.

What’s behind the curtain

It starts with the very nature of workflow – a flow chart, is procedural in nature. First do this, then that, if this, then that, etc. As we’ve experienced first hand in our industry, procedural programming is fine for smaller problems but isn’t powerful enough to handle larger problems. That’s why we’ve come up with object-oriented programming.

I have yet to see an object-oriented workflow drag-and-drop engine. Yes, it works great for simple demo-ware apps. But if you try to through your most complex and volatile business logic at it, it will become a big tangled ball of spaghetti – just like if you were using text rather than pictures to code it.

And that’s one of the fundamental fallacies about these tools – you are still writing code. The fact that it doesn’t look like the rest of your code doesn’t change that fact. Changing the definition of your workflow in the tool IS changing your code.

On productivity

Sometimes people mention how much more productive it would be to use these tools than to write the code “by hand”. Occasionally I hear about an attempt to have “the business” use these tools to change the workflows themselves – without the involvement of developers (“imagine how much faster we could go without those pesky developers!”).

For those of us who have experienced this first-hand, we know that’s all wrong.

If “the business” is changing the workflows without developer involvement, invariably something breaks, and then they don’t know what to do. They haven’t been trained to think the way that developers have – they don’t really know how to debug. So the developers are brought back in anyway and from that point on, the business is once again giving requirements and the devs are the one implementing it.

Now when it comes to developer productivity, I can tell you that the keyboard is at least 10x more productive than the mouse. I can bang out an if statement in code much faster than draggy-dropping a diamond on the canvas, and two other activities for each side of the clause.

On maintainability

Sometimes the visualization of the workflow is presented as being much more maintainable than “regular code”.

When these workflows get to be to big/nested/reused, it ends up looking like the wiring diagram of an Intel chip (or worse). Check out the following diagram taken from the DailyWTF on a customer friendly system:


The bigger these get, the less maintainable they are.

Now, some would push back on this saying that a method with 10,000 lines of code in it may be just as bad, if not worse. The thing is that these workflow tools guide developers down a path where it is very likely to end up with big, monolithic, procedural, nested code. When working in real code, we know we need to take responsibility for the cleanliness of our code using object-orientation, patterns, etc and refactoring things when they get too messy.

Here is where I’d bring up the SOA/pub-sub approach as an alternative – there is no longer this idea of a centralized anything. You have small pieces of code, each encapsulating a single business responsibility, working in concert with each other – reacting to each others events.

Productivity take 2: testing and version control

If you’re going to take your most complex and volatile business logic and put it into these workflow tools, have you thought about how your going to test it? How do you know that it works correctly? It tends to be VERY difficult to unit-test these kinds of workflows.

When a developer is implementing a change request, how do they know what other workflows might have been broken? Do they have to manually go through each and every scenario in the system to find out? How’s that for productivity?

Assuming something did break and the developer wants to see a diff – what’s different in the new workflow from the old one, what would that look like? When working with a team, the ability to diff and merge code is at the base of the overall team productivity.

What would happen to your team if you couldn’t diff or merge code anymore?
In this day and age, it should be considered irresponsible to develop without these version control basics.

In closing

There are some cases where these tools might make sense, but those tend to be much more rare than you’d expect (and there are usually better alternatives anyway). Regardless, the architectural analysis should start without the assumption of centralized workflow, database, or centralized anything for that matter.

If someone tries to push one of these tools/architectures on you, don’t walk away – run!

Entities, Transactions, and Broken Boundaries

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

One of the things I cover early on in my course is the problem with traditional layered architecture driving people to create a business logic layer made up of a bunch of inter-related entities. I see this happening a lot, even though nowadays people are calling that bunch of inter-related entities a “domain model”.

Let me just say this upfront – most inter-related entity models are NOT a domain model.
Here’s why: most transactions don’t respect entity boundaries.

That being said, you don’t always need a domain model.
The domain model pattern’s context is “if you have complicated and everchanging business rules” – right there on page 119 of Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture.

Persisting the customer’s first name, last name, and middle initial – and later reading and showing that data does not sound either complicated or that it is really going to change that much.

Then there are things like credit limits, that may be on the customer entity as well. It is likely that there are business requirements that expect that value to be consistent with the total value of unpaid orders – data that comes from other entities.

The problem that is created is one of throughput.

Since databases lock an entire row/entity at a time, if one transaction is changing the customer’s first name, the database would block another transaction that tried to change the same customer’s credit limit.

The bigger your entities, the more transactions will likely need to operate on them in parallel, the slower your system will get as the number of transactions increases. This feeds back in on itself as often those blocked transactions will have operated already on some other entity, leaving those locked for longer periods of times, blocking even more transactions.

And the absurd thing is that the business never demanded that the customer’s first name be consistent with the credit limit.

What if we didn’t have a single Customer entity?

What if we had one that contained first name, last name, middle initial and another that contained things like credit limit, status, and risk rating. These entities would be correlated by the same ID, but could be stored in separate tables in the database. That would do away with much of the cascading locking effects drastically improving our throughput as load increases.

And you know what? That division would still respect the 3rd normal form.

Which of these entities do you think would be classified by the business under the “complicated and everchanging rules” category?

And for those entities that are just about data persistence – do you think it’s justified to use 3 tiers? Do we really need a view model which we transform to data transfer objects which we transform to domain objects which we transform to relational tables and then all the way back? Wouldn’t some simpler 2-tier programming suffice – dare I say datasets? Ruby on Rails?

Are we ready to leave behind the assumption that all elements of a given layer must be built the same way?

Evolving Loosely-Coupled Frameworks & Apps

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

This post will be less of a big-concept type posts I usually do, and more of a tip for people building and maintaining infrastructure and frameworks either open-source or internally for their companies. I’m going to illustrate this with NServiceBus as it is a large enough code base to have significant complexity and open so that you can go and take a look yourself. Trying to include some example in here would be just too small to be useful or for the point to come across.

Some background

As a cohesive framework, NServiceBus makes it quite easy for developers to pick and choose which settings they want turned on and off. Being built as a loosely-coupled set of components that don’t know about each other has always kept the internal complexity low. But as the NServiceBus API has been evolving over the years, and the functionality offered has increased, some interesting challenges have popped up as the codebase has been refactored.

The challenge

The UnicastBus class has grown too large and it’s time to refactor something out. Coincidentally, users have been asking for a better “header” story for messages – the ability to specify static headers that will be appended to all messages being sent (useful for things like security tokens), as well as per message headers. So, we want to refactor all the header management out to its own component independent of the UnicastBus class.

So, here’s the issue. So far, users have specified “.UnicastBus()” as a part of the fluent code-configuration, and shouldn’t have to change that – they shouldn’t need to know that header management is now a separate component. But then how can the new component bootstrap itself into the startup, such that it gets all the dependency injection facilities of the rest of the framework? Remember that the component doesn’t know which container technology is being used (since the user can swap it out) or when the container has been set.

The solution

The only part of the framework that knows about when all DI configuration is set is the configuration component, thus it will have to be the one that invokes the new component (without knowing about it). Introduce an interface (say INeedInitialization) and scan all the types loaded looking for classes which implement that type, register them into the container, and invoke them. Have the new component implement that interface, and in its initialization have it hook into the events and/or pipelines of other parts of the system.

Other uses

One historically problematic area in NServiceBus has been people forgetting to call “.LoadMessageHandlers()”. This can now be wired in automatically by a class in the UnicastBus component via the same mechanism.

A new feature coming in the next version is the “data bus”, a component which will allow sending large quantities of data through the bus without going through the messaging pipelines. This will help people get around the 4MB limit of MSMQ and, even more importantly, the much smaller 8KB limit of Azure. We will be able to introduce the functionality transparently with the same mechanism.

As an extension point, developers can now enrich the NServiceBus framework with their own capabilities and make those available via the contrib project to the community at large. This is better than the IWantToRunAtStartup interface that was only available for those using the generic host (which excluded web apps) and gives a consistent extensibility story for all uses.


Extensibility has always been a challenge when writing object-oriented code and dependency injection techniques have helped, but sometimes you need a bit more to take things to the next level while maintaining a backwards-compatible API.

Like I said, not a ground-shaking topic but something quite necessary in creating loosely-coupled frameworks and applications. Once you know it’s there, it isn’t really a big deal. If you didn’t know to do it, you may have been contorting your codebase in all kinds of ways to try to achieve similar things.

If you want to take a look at the code, you can find the SVN repository here: https://nservicebus.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/nservicebus/trunk/

Don’t Create Aggregate Roots

Monday, June 29th, 2009


My previous post on Domain Events left some questions about how aggregate roots should be created unanswered. It would actually be more accurate to say how aggregate roots should *not* be created. It turns out that this is one of the less intuitive parts of domain-driven design and has been the source of many arguments on the matter. Let’s start with the wrong way:

   1:  using (ISession s = sf.OpenSession())
   2:  using (ITransaction tx = s.BeginTransaction())
   3:  {
   4:      Customer c = new Customer();
   5:      c.Name = "udi dahan";
   7:      s.Save(c);
   8:      tx.Commit();
   9:  }

I understand that the code above is representative of how much code is written when using an object-relational mapper. Many would consider this code to follow DDD principles – that Customer is an aggregate root. Unfortunately – that is not the case. The code above is missing the real aggregate root.

There’s also the inevitable question of validation – if the customer object isn’t willing to accept a name with a space in it, should we throw an exception? That would prevent an invalid entity from being saved, which is good. On the other hand, exceptions should be reserved for truly exceptional occurrences. But if we don’t use exceptions, using Domain Events instead, how do we prevent the invalid entity from being saved?

All of these issues are handled auto-magically once we have a true aggregate root.

Always Get An Entity

Let’s start with the technical guidance – always get an entity. At least one. Also, don’t add any objects to the session or unit of work explicitly – rather, have some other already persistent domain entity create the new entity and add it to a collection property.

Looking at the code above, we see that we’re not following the technical guidance.

But the question is, which entity could we possibly get from the database in this case? All we’re doing is adding a customer.

And that’s exactly where the technical guidance leads us to the business analysis that was missing in this scenario…

Business Analysis

Customers don’t just appear out of thin air.

Blindingly obvious – isn’t it.

So why would we technically model our system as if they did? My guess is that we never really thought about it – it wasn’t our job. So here’s the breaking news – if we want to successfully apply DDD we do need to think about it, it is our job.

Going back to the critical business question:

Where do customers come from?

In the real world, they stroll into the store. In our overused e-commerce example, they navigate to our website. New customers that haven’t used our site before don’t have any cookies or anything we can identify them with. They navigate around, browsing, maybe buying something in the end, maybe not.

Yet, the browsing process is interesting in its own right:

  • Which products did they look at?
  • Did they use the search feature?
  • How long did they spend on each page?
  • Did they scroll down to see the reviews?

If and when they do finally buy something, all that history is important and we’d like to maintain a connection to it.

Actually, even before they buy something, what they put in their cart is the interesting piece. The transition from cart to checkout is another interesting piece. Do they actually complete the checkout process, or do they abandon it midway through?

Add to that when we ask/force them to create a user/login in our system.

Are they actually a customer if they haven’t bought anything?

We’re beginning to get an inkling that almost every activity that results in the creation of an entity or storing of additional information can be traced to a transition from a previous business state.

In any transition, the previous state is the aggregate root.

In the beginning…

Let’s start at the very beginning then – someone came to our site. Either they navigated here from some other web page, they clicked on an email link someone sent them, or they typed in our URL. This can be designed as follows:

   1:  using (ISession s = sf.OpenSession())
   2:  using (ITransaction tx = s.BeginTransaction())
   3:  {
   4:     var referrer = s.Get<Referrer>(msg.URL);
   5:     referrer.BroughtVisitorWithIp(msg.IpAddress);
   7:     tx.Commit();
   8:  }

And our referrer code could look something like this:

   1:  public void BroughtVisitorWithIp(string ipAddress)
   2:  {
   3:     var visitor = new Visitor(ipAddress);
   4:     this.NewVisitors.Add(visitor);
   5:  }

This follows the technical guidance we saw at the beginning.

It also allows us to track which referrer is bringing us which visitors, through tracking those visitors as they become shoppers (by putting stuff in their cart), finally seeing which become customers.

We can solve the situation of not having a referrer by implementing the null object pattern which is well supported by all the standard object-relational mappers these days.

How it works internally

When we call a method on a persistent entity retrieved by the object-relational mapper, and the entity modifies its state like when it adds a new entity to one of its collection properties, when the transaction commits, here’s what happens:

The mapper sees that the persistent entity is dirty, specifically, that its collection property was modified, and notices that there is an object in there that isn’t persistent. At that point, the mapper knows to persist the new entity without us ever having to explicitly tell it to do so. This is sometimes known as “persistence by reachability”.

Where validation happens

Let’s consider the relatively trivial rule that says that a user name can’t contain a space.

Also, keep in mind that a registered user is the result of a transition from a visitor.

Here’s *one* way of doing that:

   1:  public class Visitor
   2:  {
   3:     public void Register(string username, string password)
   4:     {
   5:        if (username.Contains(" "))
   6:        {
   7:           DomainEvents.Raise<UsernameCantContainSpace>();
   8:           return;
   9:        }
  11:        var user = new User(username, password);
  12:        this.RegisteredUser = u;
  13:     }
  14:  }

This actually isn’t representative of most of the rules that will be found in the domain model, but it illustrates a way of preventing an entity from being created without our service layer needing to know anything. All the service layer does is get the visitor object and call the Register method.

Validation of string lengths, data ranges, etc is not domain logic and is best handled elsewhere (and a topic for a different post). The same goes for uniqueness.


The most important thing to keep in mind is that if your service layer is newing up some entity and saving it – that entity isn’t an aggregate root *in that use case*. As we saw above, in the original creation of the Visitor entity by the Referrer, the visitor class wasn’t the aggregate root. Yet, in the user registration use case, the Visitor entity was the aggregate root.

Aggregate roots aren’t a structural property of the domain model.

And in any case, don’t go saving entities in your service layer – let the domain model manage its own state. The domain model doesn’t need any references to repositories, services, units of work, or anything else to manage its state.

If you do all this, you’ll also be able to harness the technique of fetching strategies to get the best performance out of your domain model by representing your use cases as interfaces on the domain model like IRegisterUsers (implemented by Visitor) and IBringVisitors (implemented by Referrer).

And spending some time on business analysis doesn’t hurt either – unless customers really do fall out of the sky in your world 🙂

The Fallacy Of ReUse

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

This industry is pre-occupied with reuse.

There’s this belief that if we just reused more code, everything would be better.

Some even go so far as saying that the whole point of object-orientation was reuse – it wasn’t, encapsulation was the big thing. After that component-orientation was the thing that was supposed to make reuse happen. Apparently that didn’t pan out so well either because here we are now pinning our reuseful hopes on service-orientation.

Entire books of patterns have been written on how to achieve reuse with the orientation of the day.
Services have been classified every which way in trying to achieve this, from entity services and activity services, through process services and orchestration services. Composing services has been touted as the key to reusing, and creating reusable services.

I might as well let you in on the dirty-little secret:

Reuse is a fallacy

Before running too far ahead, let’s go back to what the actual goal of reuse was: getting done faster.

That’s it.

It’s a fine goal to have.

And here’s how reuse fits in to the picture:

If we were to write all the code of a system, we’d write a certain amount of code.
If we could reuse some code from somewhere else that was written before, we could write less code.
The more code we can reuse, the less code we write.
The less code we write, the sooner we’ll be done!

However, the above logical progression is based on another couple of fallacies:

Fallacy: All code takes the same amount of time to write

Fallacy: Writing code is the primary activity in getting a system done

Anyone who’s actually written some code that’s gone into production knows this.

There’s the time it takes us to understand what the system should do.
Multiply that by the time it takes the users to understand what the system should do 🙂
Then there’s the integrating that code with all the other code, databases, configuration, web services, etc.
Debugging. Deploying. Debugging. Rebugging. Meetings. Etc.

Writing code is actually the least of our worries.
We actually spend less time writing code than…

Rebugging code

Also known as bug regressions.

This is where we fix one piece of code, and in the process break another piece of code.
It’s not like we do it on purpose. It’s all those dependencies between the various bits of code.
The more dependencies there are, the more likely something’s gonna break.
Especially when we have all sorts of hidden dependencies,
like when other code uses stuff we put in the database without asking us what it means,
or, heaven forbid, changing it without telling us.

These debugging/rebugging cycles can make stabilizing a system take a long time.

So, how does reuse help/hinder with that?

Here’s how:

Dependencies multiply by reuse

It’s to be expected. If you wrote the code all in one place, there are no dependencies. By reusing code, you’ve created a dependency. The more you reuse, the more dependencies you have. The more dependencies, the more rebugging.

Of course, we need to keep in mind the difference between…

Reuse & Use

Your code uses the runtime API (JDK, .NET BCL, etc).
Likewise other frameworks like (N)Hibernate, Spring, WCF, etc.

Reuse happens when you extend and override existing behaviors within other code.
This is most often done by inheritance in OO languages.

Interestingly enough, by the above generally accepted definition, most web services “reuse” is actually really use.

Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the code we’re using and reusing to see where we get the greatest value:

The value of (re)use

If we were to (re)use a piece of code in only one part of our system, it would be safe to say that we would get less value than if we could (re)use it in more places. For example, we could say that for many web applications, the web framework we use provides more value than a given encryption algorithm that we may use in only a few places.

So, what characterizes the code we use in many places?

Well, it’s very generic.

Actually, the more generic a piece of code, the less likely it is that we’ll be changing something in it when fixing a bug in the system.

That’s important.

However, when looking at the kind of code we reuse, and the reasons around it, we tend to see very non-generic code – something that deals with the domain-specific behaviors of the system. Thus, the likelihood of a bug fix needing to touch that code is higher than in the generic/use-not-reuse case, often much higher.

How it all fits together

Goal: Getting done faster
Via: Spending less time debugging/rebugging/stabilizing
Via: Having less dependencies reasonably requiring a bug fix to touch the dependent side
Via: Not reusing non-generic code

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use generic code / frameworks where applicable – absolutely, you should.
Just watch the number of kind of dependencies you introduce.

Back to services

So, if we follow the above advice with services, we wouldn’t want domain specific services reusing each other.
If we could get away with it, we probably wouldn’t even want them using each other either.

As use and reuse go down, we can see that service autonomy goes up. And vice-versa.
Luckily, we have service interaction mechanisms from Event-Driven Architecture that enable use without breaking autonomy.
Autonomy is actually very similar to the principle of encapsulation that drove object-orientation in the first place.
Interesting, isn’t it?

In summary

We all want to get done faster.

Way back when, someone told us reuse was the way to do that.

They were wrong.

Reuse may make sense in the most tightly coupled pieces of code you have, but not very much anywhere else.

When designing services in your SOA, stay away from reuse, and minimize use (with EDA patterns).

The next time someone pulls the “reuse excuse”, you’ll be ready.

Further Reading


Monday, January 26th, 2009

I finally got around to listening to the alt.net podcast on domain driven design and heard Rob Conery telling about his experiences with DDD. I’ve met a fair amount of developers that went through a similar process and thought that I could help fix some of the common misconceptions that pop up when developers start down the DDD path.


Factory methods on repositories

In the podcast, Rob describes an ecommerce application with orders, customers, products – all the stuff you’ve come to expect. In his pre-DDD design, the order class had multiple constructors representing different rules. Feeling the pain in testing and maintainability, Rob looked to use DDD principles. What he did to get rid of these constructors was to make use of the repository by creating methods for the various cases, like OrderRepository.CreateOrderForGovernmentCustomer(/*data*/); .

While this is better than the multiple constructors, it still has a way to go. Analyzing what’s going on here we understand that the way the order is created is dependent upon who the user is. The rules dictating terms of payment are probably different for government customers. Not only that but we know that the order created needs to be connected to that user.

Aggregate Roots & Polymorphism

For all these reasons, it looks like user, or customer, is our aggregate root. Thus, rather than our service layer calling the above method on the repository, we first get the user object by id, then create the order like so:

IUser u = session.Get<IUser>(IdOfUserLoggedIn);
u.CreateOrder(/* data */);

This way, our service layer doesn’t need to perform all sorts of business logic (if the user is a gov’t user, do this, a corporate customer, do that, etc). All of that gets encapsulated by the domain. By leveraging some polymorphism, the session will return an instance of the correct class when we ask it for a user by id. Thus, logic relating to how gov’t users create orders is encapsulated in the GovernmentUser class.

I’ve found that this pattern of having polymorphic aggregate roots is very useful and broadly applicable.

Bounded Contexts

Further into the podcast, Rob talks about how separating his system into 2 bounded contexts simplified the code greatly. The understanding that accepting an order and fulfilling an order require different logic, different data, and thus, different domain model objects is DDD at its finest.

However, when talking about the total cost of the order, it wasn’t clear what was responsible for that. From a pure programming perspective, we might think that Total was simply a property on Order or, at most, a GetTotal() method. Yet by looking at what is involved in calculating the total of an order, a different picture emerges:

The total cost of an order obviously includes all relevant taxes. We need to take into account state and federal taxes, tax-free items at each level, etc. There’s a fair amount of logic here. Once we start to take into account promotions like “buy one, get one free”, things get even more involved. There are also cases where refunds are applied within the same order that impact the total and tax (no tax on refunds). Finally, when we include shipping charges, tax on shipping, and other rules between all of the above, it’s clear that if we put all of this in a single method, we’ve got ourselves a big bloated sack of … well, you get the picture.

Separating all of this logic into different bounded contexts makes sense.

That is, until you think about how you’re going to take these and stitch out of them a single result shown to the user. This is the advanced side of DDD and ties into SOA, so I’ll leave it for a different post.

In Closing

Working with DDD provides a great deal of value by tying our code much more closely to business concepts and encapsulating business rules in the domain model.

Starting down the DDD path is intuitive and the code that results (like u.CreateOrder) is very understandable. Yet, as more DDD principles like Bounded Contexts are put to use, developers often find themselves in unfamiliar, less-intuitive waters. This is to be expected.

Some developers (and vendors) look at DDD as nothing more than the domain model and repository patterns. The truth is that they’re just the beginning.

I hope that this post has given those of you just starting down the DDD path some feeling for how deep the rabbit hole goes, and I assure you that there are patterns in place to answer all your questions. While those beginning DDD often say that it gives names to things they’ve always been doing, or always wanted to do, I can assure you that the further down you go, that is less and less the case.

Be ready to have some basic architectural assumptions shaken 🙂

QCon London 2008 Recap

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Well QCon was a blast.

NServiceBus Tutorial

I gave a full day tutorial on nServiceBus and we had a full house! The tutorial was about 90% how to think about distributed systems, and 10% mapping those concepts onto nServiceBus. I made an effort to cram about 3 days of a 5 day training course I give clients into one day, but I think I was only about 85% successful. People didn’t have the time needed to let things really sink in and ask questions, but the lively forums and skype conversations available will probably do the trick.

Jim Webber after looking at the unit testing features of nServiceBus had this to say:

“Oh my God – you’ve created testable middleware! It’ll never catch on. The vendors won’t have it.”

To which I replied that several vendors were already coming on board with their own implementations of transports and saga persistence. I have absolutely no intention, desire, or (quite frankly) the ability to write an enterprise-class middleware runtime. All I hope to do with nServiceBus is to make it so that developers use what’s out there in one, middleware-product-agnostic way that will make their code more robust and flexible.

MEST & Mark – REST & Stefan

It was also great finally meeting the head MESTian, Mark Little, who also happens to work for Redhat as SOA Technical Development Manager and Director of Standards in the JBoss division. It was interesting to see the difference between how I went about messaging in nServiceBus (full peer-to-peer including pub/sub) whereas most of the Java world has the messaging infrastructure handled by something database-like in a deployment/networking kind of perspective. If that’s the way things are done, then I can definitely appreciate the advantages of Space-Based Architectures.

And I even got to steal Stefan Tilkov‘s RESTful ear for an hour or so before I had to jet back home. It looks like we MESTians and RESTians can be one big happy family. I’m guessing that our despise of WS connects us all at a deeper level 🙂

Core Design Principles

I also gave a talk about core design principles, “Intentions & Interfaces – making patterns concrete”, and it went over very well especially considering that that was the first time that I gave that talk. You can find the slides here. From the feedback I heard after the talk, I think many people were surprised how many different parts of a system can be designed this way, and how flexible it is without making the code any more complex. The message was this:

Make Roles Explicit

Despite its simplicity, that leads to IEntity, IValidator<T> where T : IEntity, (which I wrote about a year ago – generic validation) and with a bit of Service Locator capabilities, you can add a line of code to your infrastructure that will validate all entities before they’re sent from the client to the server.

It leads to IFetchingStrategy<T> for improved database loading performance (also a year old – better DDD implementation and the NHibernate implementation).

It’s also how nServiceBus does message handling – IMessage, IMessageHandler<T> where T: IMessage, ISaga<T> where T : IMessage.

San Francisco?

Just a quick shout to my readers in the San Francisco area, if you’d be interested in hearing these talks/tutorials, give the organizers of QCon a shout and they’ll bring me out. That’s actually what got me to London – one of the attendees of a talk I gave at Oredev in Sweden last November missed my tutorial there so he put in a request and that did it. (Thanks Jan, I appreciate it!)

If you’re in a different part of the world and you’d like to have me give one of these talks, or other ones (I have a fair amount of material on Domain Models/DDD and Occasionally Connected Smart Clients), I’d be happy to make the trip and see you there as well.


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Awesome. Just awesome.

We’d been meaning to delve into messaging at Eleutian after multiple discussions with and blog posts from Greg Young and Udi Dahan in the past. We weren’t entirely sure where to start, how to start, what tools to use, how to use them, etc. Being able to sit in a room with Udi for an entire week while he described exactly how, why and what he does to tackle a massive enterprise system was invaluable to say the least.

We now have a much better direction and, more importantly, have the confidence we need to start introducing these powerful concepts into production at Eleutian.”

Gad Rosenthal Gad Rosenthal, Department Manager at Retalix
“A thinking person. Brought fresh and valuable ideas that helped us in architecting our product. When recommending a solution he supports it with evidence and detail so you can successfully act based on it. Udi's support "comes on all levels" - As the solution architect through to the detailed class design. Trustworthy!”

Chris Bilson Chris Bilson, Developer at Russell Investment Group
“I had the pleasure of attending a workshop Udi led at the Seattle ALT.NET conference in February 2009. I have been reading Udi's articles and listening to his podcasts for a long time and have always looked to him as a source of advice on software architecture.
When I actually met him and talked to him I was even more impressed. Not only is Udi an extremely likable person, he's got that rare gift of being able to explain complex concepts and ideas in a way that is easy to understand.
All the attendees of the workshop greatly appreciate the time he spent with us and the amazing insights into service oriented architecture he shared with us.”

Alexey Shestialtynov Alexey Shestialtynov, Senior .Net Developer at Candidate Manager
“I met Udi at Candidate Manager where he was brought in part-time as a consultant to help the company make its flagship product more scalable. For me, even after 30 years in software development, working with Udi was a great learning experience. I simply love his fresh ideas and architecture insights.
As we all know it is not enough to be armed with best tools and technologies to be successful in software - there is still human factor involved. When, as it happens, the project got in trouble, management asked Udi to step into a leadership role and bring it back on track. This he did in the span of a month. I can only wish that things had been done this way from the very beginning.
I look forward to working with Udi again in the future.”

Christopher Bennage Christopher Bennage, President at Blue Spire Consulting, Inc.
“My company was hired to be the primary development team for a large scale and highly distributed application. Since these are not necessarily everyday requirements, we wanted to bring in some additional expertise. We chose Udi because of his blogging, podcasting, and speaking. We asked him to to review our architectural strategy as well as the overall viability of project.
I was very impressed, as Udi demonstrated a broad understanding of the sorts of problems we would face. His advice was honest and unbiased and very pragmatic. Whenever I questioned him on particular points, he was able to backup his opinion with real life examples. I was also impressed with his clarity and precision. He was very careful to untangle the meaning of words that might be overloaded or otherwise confusing. While Udi's hourly rate may not be the cheapest, the ROI is undoubtedly a deal. I would highly recommend consulting with Udi.”

Robert Lewkovich, Product / Development Manager at Eggs Overnight
“Udi's advice and consulting were a huge time saver for the project I'm responsible for. The $ spent were well worth it and provided me with a more complete understanding of nServiceBus and most importantly in helping make the correct architectural decisions earlier thereby reducing later, and more expensive, rework.”

Ray Houston Ray Houston, Director of Development at TOPAZ Technologies
“Udi's SOA class made me smart - it was awesome.

The class was very well put together. The materials were clear and concise and Udi did a fantastic job presenting it. It was a good mixture of lecture, coding, and question and answer. I fully expected that I would be taking notes like crazy, but it was so well laid out that the only thing I wrote down the entire course was what I wanted for lunch. Udi provided us with all the lecture materials and everyone has access to all of the samples which are in the nServiceBus trunk.

Now I know why Udi is the "Software Simplist." I was amazed to find that all the code and solutions were indeed very simple. The patterns that Udi presented keep things simple by isolating complexity so that it doesn't creep into your day to day code. The domain code looks the same if it's running in a single process or if it's running in 100 processes.”

Ian Cooper Ian Cooper, Team Lead at Beazley
“Udi is one of the leaders in the .Net development community, one of the truly smart guys who do not just get best architectural practice well enough to educate others but drives innovation. Udi consistently challenges my thinking in ways that make me better at what I do.”

Liron Levy, Team Leader at Rafael
“I've met Udi when I worked as a team leader in Rafael. One of the most senior managers there knew Udi because he was doing superb architecture job in another Rafael project and he recommended bringing him on board to help the project I was leading.
Udi brought with him fresh solutions and invaluable deep architecture insights. He is an authority on SOA (service oriented architecture) and this was a tremendous help in our project.
On the personal level - Udi is a great communicator and can persuade even the most difficult audiences (I was part of such an audience myself..) by bringing sound explanations that draw on his extensive knowledge in the software business. Working with Udi was a great learning experience for me, and I'll be happy to work with him again in the future.”

Adam Dymitruk Adam Dymitruk, Director of IT at Apara Systems
“I met Udi for the first time at DevTeach in Montreal back in early 2007. While Udi is usually involved in SOA subjects, his knowledge spans all of a software development company's concerns. I would not hesitate to recommend Udi for any company that needs excellent leadership, mentoring, problem solving, application of patterns, implementation of methodologies and straight out solution development.
There are very few people in the world that are as dedicated to their craft as Udi is to his. At ALT.NET Seattle, Udi explained many core ideas about SOA. The team that I brought with me found his workshop and other talks the highlight of the event and provided the most value to us and our organization. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to recommend him.”

Eytan Michaeli Eytan Michaeli, CTO Korentec
“Udi was responsible for a major project in the company, and as a chief architect designed a complex multi server C4I system with many innovations and excellent performance.”

Carl Kenne Carl Kenne, .Net Consultant at Dotway AB
“Udi's session "DDD in Enterprise apps" was truly an eye opener. Udi has a great ability to explain complex enterprise designs in a very comprehensive and inspiring way. I've seen several sessions on both DDD and SOA in the past, but Udi puts it in a completly new perspective and makes us understand what it's all really about. If you ever have a chance to see any of Udi's sessions in the future, take it!”

Avi Nehama, R&D Project Manager at Retalix
“Not only that Udi is a briliant software architecture consultant, he also has remarkable abilities to present complex ideas in a simple and concise manner, and...
always with a smile. Udi is indeed a top-league professional!”

Ben Scheirman Ben Scheirman, Lead Developer at CenterPoint Energy
“Udi is one of those rare people who not only deeply understands SOA and domain driven design, but also eloquently conveys that in an easy to grasp way. He is patient, polite, and easy to talk to. I'm extremely glad I came to his workshop on SOA.”

Scott C. Reynolds Scott C. Reynolds, Director of Software Engineering at CBLPath
“Udi is consistently advancing the state of thought in software architecture, service orientation, and domain modeling.
His mastery of the technologies and techniques is second to none, but he pairs that with a singular ability to listen and communicate effectively with all parties, technical and non, to help people arrive at context-appropriate solutions. Every time I have worked with Udi, or attended a talk of his, or just had a conversation with him I have come away from it enriched with new understanding about the ideas discussed.”

Evgeny-Hen Osipow, Head of R&D at PCLine
“Udi has helped PCLine on projects by implementing architectural blueprints demonstrating the value of simple design and code.”

Rhys Campbell Rhys Campbell, Owner at Artemis West
“For many years I have been following the works of Udi. His explanation of often complex design and architectural concepts are so cleanly broken down that even the most junior of architects can begin to understand these concepts. These concepts however tend to typify the "real world" problems we face daily so even the most experienced software expert will find himself in an "Aha!" moment when following Udi teachings.
It was a pleasure to finally meet Udi in Seattle Alt.Net OpenSpaces 2008, where I was pleasantly surprised at how down-to-earth and approachable he was. His depth and breadth of software knowledge also became apparent when discussion with his peers quickly dove deep in to the problems we current face. If given the opportunity to work with or recommend Udi I would quickly take that chance. When I think .Net Architecture, I think Udi.”

Sverre Hundeide Sverre Hundeide, Senior Consultant at Objectware
“Udi had been hired to present the third LEAP master class in Oslo. He is an well known international expert on enterprise software architecture and design, and is the author of the open source messaging framework nServiceBus. The entire class was based on discussion and interaction with the audience, and the only Power Point slide used was the one showing the agenda.
He started out with sketching a naive traditional n-tier application (big ball of mud), and based on suggestions from the audience we explored different solutions which might improve the solution. Whatever suggestions we threw at him, he always had a thoroughly considered answer describing pros and cons with the suggested solution. He obviously has a lot of experience with real world enterprise SOA applications.”

Raphaël Wouters Raphaël Wouters, Owner/Managing Partner at Medinternals
“I attended Udi's excellent course 'Advanced Distributed System Design with SOA and DDD' at Skillsmatter. Few people can truly claim such a high skill and expertise level, present it using a pragmatic, concrete no-nonsense approach and still stay reachable.”

Nimrod Peleg Nimrod Peleg, Lab Engineer at Technion IIT
“One of the best programmers and software engineer I've ever met, creative, knows how to design and implemet, very collaborative and finally - the applications he designed implemeted work for many years without any problems!

Jose Manuel Beas
“When I attended Udi's SOA Workshop, then it suddenly changed my view of what Service Oriented Architectures were all about. Udi explained complex concepts very clearly and created a very productive discussion environment where all the attendees could learn a lot. I strongly recommend hiring Udi.”

Daniel Jin Daniel Jin, Senior Lead Developer at PJM Interconnection
“Udi is one of the top SOA guru in the .NET space. He is always eager to help others by sharing his knowledge and experiences. His blog articles often offer deep insights and is a invaluable resource. I highly recommend him.”

Pasi Taive Pasi Taive, Chief Architect at Tieto
“I attended both of Udi's "UI Composition Key to SOA Success" and "DDD in Enterprise Apps" sessions and they were exceptionally good. I will definitely participate in his sessions again. Udi is a great presenter and has the ability to explain complex issues in a manner that everyone understands.”

Eran Sagi, Software Architect at HP
“So far, I heard about Service Oriented architecture all over. Everyone mentions it – the big buzz word. But, when I actually asked someone for what does it really mean, no one managed to give me a complete satisfied answer. Finally in his excellent course “Advanced Distributed Systems”, I got the answers I was looking for. Udi went over the different motivations (principles) of Services Oriented, explained them well one by one, and showed how each one could be technically addressed using NService bus. In his course, Udi also explain the way of thinking when coming to design a Service Oriented system. What are the questions you need to ask yourself in order to shape your system, place the logic in the right places for best Service Oriented system.

I would recommend this course for any architect or developer who deals with distributed system, but not only. In my work we do not have a real distributed system, but one PC which host both the UI application and the different services inside, all communicating via WCF. I found that many of the architecture principles and motivations of SOA apply for our system as well. Enough that you have SW partitioned into components and most of the principles becomes relevant to you as well. Bottom line – an excellent course recommended to any SW Architect, or any developer dealing with distributed system.”

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