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2015, Tuesday November 17

Benefits of interface callbacks instead of class messages

If you compare with existing client/server SOA solutions (in Delphi, Java, C# or even in Go or other frameworks), mORMot's interface-based callback mechanism sounds pretty unique and easy to work with.

Most Events Oriented solutions do use a set of dedicated messages to propagate the events, with a centralized Message Bus (like MSMQ or JMS), or a P2P/decentralized approach (see e.g. ZeroMQ or NanoMsg). In practice, you are expected to define one class per message, the class fields being the message values. You would define e.g. one class to notify a successful process, and another class to notify an error. SOA services would eventually tend to be defined by a huge number of individual classes, with the temptation of re-using existing classes in several contexts.

Our interface-based approach allows to gather all events:

  • In a single interface type per notification, i.e. probably per service operation;
  • With one method per event;
  • Using method parameters defining the event values.

Since asynchronous notifications are needed most of the time, method parameters would be one-way, i.e. defined only as const - in such case, an evolved algorithm would transparently gather those outgoing messages, to enhance scalability when processing such asynchronous events. Blocking request may also be defined as var/out, as we will see below, inWorkflow adaptation.

Behind the scene, the framework would still transmit raw messages over IP sockets (currently over a WebSockets connection), like other systems, but events notification would benefit from using interfaces, on both server and client sides.
We will now see how...

Continue reading...

2015, Monday June 1

Updated Slides about ORM SOA MVC SOLID DDD

One year ago, we published a set of slides about the main concepts implemented by our framework.
Mainly about ORM (and ODM), NoSQL, JSON, SOA, MVC (and MVVM), SOLID, DDD, CQRS and some patterns like Stubs, Mocks, Factory, Repository, Unit-Of-Work.
Worth a look, if you want to find out the benefits of the latest software development techniques.
They try to open the landscape of any Delphi developer (probably with a mostly RAD and OOP background) to some new areas.

I just updated the slides from our public GoogleDrive folder.
They now reflect the latest state of the framework (e.g. ORM real-time synchronization, asynchronous callbacks, DDD CQRS services...).
They have also been polished after several public presentations, since I used them as base for trainings I made for some European companies.

If you want to go further, or have some more enlightenment, ensure you took a look at our framework Documentation, which would detail all those patterns, and how mORMot may help implementing them for your projects!

Feedback is welcome on our forum, as usual!

2015, Monday May 18

CQRS Persistence Service of any DDD object with mORMot

We introduced DDD concepts some time ago, in a series of articles in this blog.
At that time, we proposed a simple way of using mORMot types to implement DDD in your applications.
But all Domain Entitities being tied to the framework TSQLRecord class did appear as a limitation, breaking the Persistence Ignorance principle, since it couples the DDD objects to the framework implementation details.

We introduced a new mORMotDDD.pas unit, which is able to easily create CQRS Persistence services for any plain Delphi class (the famous PODOs - Plain Old Delphi Objects).
No need to inherit from TSQLRecord, or pollute your class definition with attributes!

For instance, a TUser class may be persisted via such a service:

type
  IDomUserCommand = interface(IDomUserQuery)
    ['{D345854F-7337-4006-B324-5D635FBED312}']
    function Add(const aAggregate: TUser): TCQRSResult;
    function Update(const aUpdatedAggregate: TUser): TCQRSResult;
    function Delete: TCQRSResult;
    function Commit: TCQRSResult;
  end;

Here, the write operations are defined in a IDomUserCommand service, which is separated (but inherits) from IDomUserQuery, which is used for read operations.
Separating reads and writes is a powerful pattern also known as CQRS, i.e. Command Query Responsibility Segregation, which we followed when defining our persistence services.
The framework make it pretty easy to create such services for storing any kind of class type in any SQL or NoSQL engine, with almost no code to write.
Last but not least, using such interface-based services for data persistence will allow to stub or mock the data access layer, making unit testing straightforward: you would not fear to write TDD code any more!

Please refer to our updated documentation for this unique and powerful feature.
You may take a look at the corresponding dddDomUserTypes.pas, dddDomUserCQRS.pas, and dddInfraRepoUser.pas units, detailed as sample reference.
Feedback is welcome in our forum, as usual!

2015, Sunday May 3

SOLID Design Principles

I've just updated the documentation part about the SOLID Design Principles.
The former blog article (almost 4 years old!) sounds like a bit deprecated now...
This is why I would extract here an updated version of this material.

Ensure you checked the corresponding part of the mORMot documentation, which is the updated reference, and probably the easiest to read - including links to all the other documentation.

The acronym SOLID is derived from the following OOP principles (quoted from the corresponding Wikipedia article):

  • Single responsibility principle: the notion that an object should have only a single responsibility;
  • Open/closed principle: the notion that "software entities ... should be open for extension, but closed for modification";
  • Liskov substitution principle: the notion that "objects in a program should be replaceable with instances of their subtypes without altering the correctness of that program” - also named as "design by contract";
  • Interface segregation principle: the notion that "many client specific interfaces are better than one general purpose interface.";
  • Dependency inversion principle: the notion that one should "Depend upon Abstractions. Do not depend upon concretions.". Dependency injection is one method of following this principle, which is also called Inversion Of Control (aka IoC).

If you have some programming skills, those principles are general statements you may already found out by yourself. If you start doing serious object-oriented coding, those principles are best-practice guidelines you would gain following.

They certainly help to fight the three main code weaknesses:

  • Rigidity: Hard to change something because every change affects too many other parts of the system;
  • Fragility: When you make a change, unexpected parts of the system break;
  • Immobility: Hard to reuse in another application because it cannot be disentangled from the current application.

Continue reading...

2015, Saturday January 10

mORMot under Linux thanks to FPC

You can use the FreePascal Compiler (FPC) to compile the mORMot framework source code, targetting Windows and Linux.

Linux is a premium target for cheap and efficient server Hosting. Since mORMot has no dependency, installing a new mORMot server is as easy as copying its executable on a blank Linux host, then run it. No need to install any framework nor runtime. You could even use diverse operating systems (several Linux or Windows Server versions) in your mORMot servers farm, with minimal system requirements, and updates.

We will now see how to write your software with Linux-compiling in mind, and also give some notes about how to install a Linux Virtual Machine with Lazarus on your Windows computer, compiling both FPC and Lazarus from their SVN latest sources!

Continue reading...

2014, Friday April 18

Introducing mORMot's architecture and design principles

We have just released a set of slides introducing 

  • ORM, SOA, REST, JSON, MVC, MVVM, SOLID, Mocks/Stubs, Domain-Driven Design concepts with Delphi, 
  • and showing some sample code using our Open Source mORMot framework.

You can follow the public link on Google Drive!

This is a great opportunity to discovers some patterns you may not be familiar with, and find out how mORMot try to implement them.
This set of slides may be less intimidating than our huge documentation - do not be terrified by our Online Documentation!
The first set of pages (presenting architecture and design principles) is worth reading.

Feedback is welcome on our forum, as usual.

2013, Thursday March 7

64 bit compatibility of mORMot units

I'm happy to announce that mORMot units are now compiling and working great in 64 bit mode, under Windows.
Need a Delphi XE2/XE3 compiler, of course!

ORM and services are now available in Win64, on both client and server sides.
Low-level x64 assembler stubs have been created, tested and optimized.
UI part is also available... that is grid display, reporting (with pdf export and display anti-aliasing), ribbon auto-generation, SynTaskDialog, i18n... the main SynFile demo just works great!

Overall impression is very positive, and speed is comparable to 32 bit version (only 10-15% slower).

Speed decrease seems to be mostly due to doubled pointer size, and some less optimized part of the official Delphi RTL.
But since mORMot core uses its own set of functions (e.g. for JSON serialization, RTTI support or interface calls or stubbing), we were able to release the whole 64 bit power of your hardware.

Delphi 64 bit compiler sounds stable and efficient. Even when working at low level, with assembler stubs.
Generated code sounds more optimized than the one emitted by FreePascalCompiler - and RTL is very close to 32 bit mode.
Overall, VCL conversion worked as easily than a simple re-build.
Embarcadero's people did a great job for VCL Win64 support, here!

Continue reading...

2013, Saturday January 5

Domain-Driven-Design and mORMot

Implementing Domain-Driven-Design (DDD) is one goal of our mORMot framework.

We already presented this particular n-Tier architecture.

It is now time to enter deeper into the material, provide some definition and reference.
You can also search the web for reference, or look at the official web site.
A general presentation of the corresponding concepts, in the .NET world, was used as reference of this blog entry.

Stay tuned, and ride the mORMot!

Continue reading...

2012, Thursday October 18

Interfaces are not evil; or are Delphi-ers the new Vampires?

A very interesting comment by mpv in our forum highlighted some points about potential interface (ab)use:

IMHO: Idea is good, but "the devil is in the details". To use mocking I must use interfaces. When I use interfaces I lost control on code, because I don't see implementation. Debugging an optimization became very hard. Especially if a beginner developer read something like GOF (Gang Of Four) and wherever necessary and where not use design templates like Visitor, Decorator and so on, and in debugging I don't understand at all what class actually implement passed interface. As for me, this is a biggest problem for .NET framework - developers use interfaces, don't look on implementation (and often don't have it in sources at all), do not learn by reading someone else's code and therefore produce monkey-code. This is only IMHO...

Could sounds rude, and like a trolling subject, but I perfectly understand this point of view.
Introducing stubs and mocks in mORMot was not the open door to all problems.. but,on the contrary, to help write robust, efficient, and maintainable code.
It does not mean that using interfaces and C#/Java is the root of all evils and code inefficiency, but that it may lead into problems.

Continue reading...

2012, Sunday October 14

Advanced mocks and stubs

Let's see some advanced topics about mORMot's mocking and stubbing features:

  • How to handle complex values in parameters / arguments or results, like record;
  • Stubbing via a custom delegate or callback;
  • Calls tracing.

Continue reading...

Interfaces in practice: dependency injection, stubs and mocks

In order to fulfill the SOLID principles, two features are to be available when handling interfaces:

  • Dependency injection; 
  • Stubbing and mocking of interfaces for proper testing.

We will show now how mORMot provides all needed features for such patterns, testing a simple "forgot my password" scenario: a password shall be computed for a given user name, then transmitted via SMS, and its record shall be updated in the database.

Continue reading...

Stubs and Mocks for Delphi with mORMot

Our mORMot framework is now able to stub or mock any Delphi interface.

As usual, the best way to explain what a library does is to look at the code using it.
Here is an example (similar to the one shipped with RhinoMocks) of verifying that when we execute the "forgot my password" scenario, we remembered to call the Save() method properly:

procedure TMyTest.ForgotMyPassword;
var SmsSender: ISmsSender;
    UserRepository: IUserRepository;
begin
  TInterfaceStub.Create(TypeInfo(ISmsSender),SmsSender).
    Returns('Send',[true]);
  TInterfaceMock.Create(TypeInfo(IUserRepository),UserRepository,self).
    ExpectsCount('Save',qoEqualTo,1);
  with TLoginController.Create(UserRepository,SmsSender) do
  try
    ForgotMyPassword('toto');
  finally
    Free;
  end;
end;

And... that's all, since the verification will take place when IUserRepository instance will be release.

If you want to follow the "test spy" pattern (i.e. no expectation defined a priori, but manual check after the execution), you can use:

procedure TMyTest.ForgotMyPassword;
var SmsSender: ISmsSender;
    UserRepository: IUserRepository;
    Spy: TInterfaceMockSpy;
begin
  TInterfaceStub.Create(TypeInfo(ISmsSender),SmsSender).
    Returns('Send',[true]);
  Spy := TInterfaceMockSpy.Create(TypeInfo(IUserRepository),UserRepository,self);
  with TLoginController.Create(UserRepository,SmsSender) do
  try
    ForgotMyPassword('toto');
  finally
    Free;
  end;
  Spy.Verify('Save');
end;

This is something unique with our library: you can decide if you want to use the classic "expect-run-verify" pattern, or the somewhat more direct "run-verify" / "test spy" pattern.
With mORMot, you pick up your mocking class (either TInterfaceMock or TInterfaceMockSpy), then use it as intended. You can even mix the two aspects in the same instance! It is just a matter of taste and opportunity for you to use the right pattern.

Continue reading...