How to Build Microservices with Onion Architecture: Hands-On Experience

How to Build Microservices with Onion Architecture: Hands-On Experience

At the center part of the Onion Architecture, the domain layer exists; this layer represents the business and behavior objects. The idea is to have all of your domain objects at this core. Besides the domain objects, you also could have domain interfaces. Domain objects are also flat as they should be, without any heavy code or dependencies. The Onion.Factory sample is a very simple Domain Driven Design application which follows the onion architecture pattern. The idea is that the domain model behind it represents a factory which produces onions (what a coincidence).

onion software architecture

It helps developers create applications that are more flexible, testable, and easier to evolve over time. In this article, we will delve into the key concepts of Onion Architecture and provide an example folder structure that illustrates its implementation. The core of the business logic should be free (in theory at least) from any of the technical, and
framework-related problems, allowing for easy testing and rapid development. Drilling down deeper into the domain layer makes this issue more apparent. The LayerProductionApplicationService uses a set of Domain Services.

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Not to mention that the time required to introduce the
change was smaller, and the estimates were more precise and predictable. If we apply the principles of the Onion Architecture to the layered architecture, we need to turn the layer diagram upside down. Which leads us to the ultimate benefit of this architecture. Upon first sight the layer model seems straightforward and easy to adopt. Unfortunately developers often take the layering literally. As a result, if done well, the onion architecture significantly reduce the amount of refactoring by separating application and infrastructural concerns.

onion software architecture

Showcasing how the Polysemy library can be used to implement a REST application conforming to the guidelines of the Clean Architecture model. ContainerNinja is a boilerplate template project to demonstrate building a multi-container Full Stack application with ASP.NET Core (.NET 6) Web API following Clean Architecture, and Angular. React + TypeScript app built using the clean architecture principles in a more functional way. It also gives the application the pleasant ability to be able to run without the need for real infrastructure nor delivery mechanisms as they can be swapped by mocks, which is great for testing. No, Onion Architecture is a language- and framework-agnostic pattern that can be implemented using any programming language or framework. But it does not quite solve the validation problem, especially if you need to take information from a database or from another microservice.

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With onion architecture, there is only an object model at the lowest level, which does not depend on the type of database. The actual type of database and the way of storing data is determined at the upper infrastructure level. Onion architecture consists of several concentric layers interacting with each other towards the core, which is the domain. The architecture does not depend on the data layer, as in a traditional three-tier architecture; it depends on real domain models. The popularity of microservices is growing due to the range of benefits they offer to developers and businesses. In this article, I will tell you about my experience of using onion architecture with a harmonized combination of DDD, ASP.NET Core Web API and CQRS for building microservices.

  • Development efforts should start from designing the domain-code and not the data-access, the necessary plumbing should be an implementation detail.
  • These services are responsible for interacting with the external world and do not solve any domain problem.
  • The obvious advantage of the Onion architecture is that our controller’s methods become very thin.
  • Use a facade to provide a common entry point for multiple endpoints (RESTful API, SOAP and direct function call) if they need to consume a service provided by the application layer.
  • The purpose of the Presentation layer is to represent the entry point to our system so that consumers can interact with the data.
  • As engineers we need to apply critical thinking to determine whether or not it will overall benefit the task at hand.

The infrastructure and user interface layers depend on the core layer. We can see in that simple example that refactoring from a layered architecture to an onion architecture is not enough in order to get a true onion architecture. The newly introduced Core still has a dependency outgoing. In order to get rid of this dependency we would need to introduce a small abstraction (interface) defined by the needs of the Core.

Application Structure & Layers

The Infrastructure layer can also be easily scaled by adding more servers or resources to handle the increased load. Onion Architecture provides flexibility in the implementation of the application. The implementation of the Infrastructure layer can be easily changed without affecting the Domain layer or the User Interface layer. This provides flexibility in the choice of technologies and platforms used in the implementation of the application. Because the business has no notion of the outside world — for example, it doesn’t know its data is stored in a database — the outside world can never contaminate the domain. This way, you are able to keep the core of the application relatively simple; focused on business-specific operations without having to account for endless “what-if’s”.

onion software architecture

However, it’s up to the architect community to consider and argue in the discussion on whether or not to apply the architecture. By doing dependency injection in all the code, everything becomes easier to test. If you have a repository that expects a PostgreSQL client, the main should instantiate it and pass it to the repository during its initialization. The application’s entrypoint (usually, the main) should be responsible for instantiating all necessary dependencies and injecting them into your code. The inner layers shouldn’t know if your application is being exposed through an API, through a CLI, or whatever.

I’m going to show you a simple way of testing API contracts using Postman and Node.js. You can set this up very quickly.

In order to be able to create layers a factory responsible for creating layers must be created first. In order to analyze our sample application, we use a tool called Structure101 Studio. Structure101 Studio is a commercial tool which helps to visualize and organize large code bases in various programming languages. When we analyze the sample application with Structure101 Studio we see that the application is well structured. It contains no namespace or class tangles and no fat namespaces or classes.

In order to be able to create onion, a factory responsible for creating onions must be created first. Most of the traditional architectures raise fundamental issues of tight coupling and separation of concerns. Onion Architecture was introduced by Jeffrey Palermo to provide a better way to build applications in perspective of better onion software architecture testability, maintainability, and dependability. Onion Architecture addresses the challenges faced with 3-tier and n-tier architectures, and to provide a solution for common problems. Onion architecture layers interact to each other by using the Interfaces. C# programmers are drawn to Onion Architecture due to the dependency flows.

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You will see the the Domain Model/Core layer is referenced across multiple layers, and that’s fine, to a certain degree. We are also able to write Unit Tests for our business logic whilst not coupling our tests to implementation either. This layer is the bridge between external infrastructure and the domain layers. The domain layers often need information or functionality in order to complete business functionality, however they should not directly depend on these. Instead, the application layer needs to depend on the the contracts defined in the Domain Services layer. No direction is provided by the Onion Architecture guidelines about how the layers should be implemented.

onion software architecture

Keep the API small and you’ll be able find many flavors that suit your needs and be able to switch at any time. So long as whatever the flavor of the month is can satisfy those needs the app doesn’t care what it is. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search.

Part 2 — Code Structure & the DB Model

The biggest offender is the coupling of the UI and business logic to the data access. The UI cannot function if the business logic is not available. The business logic in return cannot function if the data access is not available.

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