Per Brage's Blog

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Misconceptions about domain events

There have been a lot of posts around the web, even for years now, trying to explain domain events. More often than not, I see people fail at understanding what domain events are. I guess it is often developers that blog about it, and when they hear domain events, they inherently thinks of system events.

Domain events has nothing to do with system events, event sourcing, any technical patterns or architectural pattern like CQRS. Domain events are something that actually happens in your customers business, not in your software. I think it is about time people understand that domain driven design is more about modeling complex behaviors in a business, and not so much about actual development (especially not building frameworks). The development in domain driven design is an iterative approach, where you continuously test the knowledge you gain from your domain experts through discussions and modeling. Repeating this, trying to reach an agreement with your domain experts is what will bring clarity to your model, which will also pave your way towards a supple design. This is part of something that Eric calls the Whirlpool, which I guess could be a blog post on its own.

The domain event pattern was not included in the blue bible, but it is definitely a major building block in domain driven design. Here is an excerpt from the domain event pattern, as defined by Eric Evans.

“Model information about activity in the domain as a series of discrete events. Represent each event as a domain object. These are distinct from system events that reflect activity within the software itself, although often a system event is associated with a domain event, either as part of a response to the domain event or as a way of carrying information about the domain event into the system.

A domain event is a full-fledged part of the domain model, a representation of something that happened in the domain. Ignore irrelevant domain activity while making explicit the events that the domain experts want to track or be notified of, or which are associated with state change in the other model objects.” – Eric Evans

Think of domain events as a log, or history table of things that have happened. A domain event is implemented more or less the same way as a value object, but typically without any behavior. An event is something that has already happened, and therefore cannot be changed, hence they are just like value objects, immutable! Do you often change things that happened in your past? If so, could you drop me a mail and enlighten me?


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