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Archive for the ‘TDD’ Category



On Design for Testability

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

keeping balanceAlmost at every conference, event, training, or consulting engagement someone asks for my opinion on the whole design for testability thing. I’m not quite sure why I haven’t blogged on this topic, especially at the time that a lot of the other bloggers were weighing in, but better late than never.

Before getting into that, I want to start with a slightly broader scope of discussion.

You see, I get asked about “best practices” on all sorts of things. And I try not to be the kind of consultant that responds with “it depends”, but the context of the question often makes the answer irrelevant. And the unspoken context of a best-practice question is:

Given infinite time and budget

The biggest problem that I see with well-intentioned, best-practices-following developers and architects is that they don’t ask the question “is this the right thing for us to be focusing on right now?” Understandably, that is a difficult question to answer – but it needs to be asked, since you don’t have infinite time or budget to do everything according to best practices (assuming those even exist).

About testing

The biggest issue I have with the “design for testability” topic is the extremely narrow view it takes of the word “testability”, usually in the form of more code written by a developer which invokes the production code of the system, also known as “unit tests”.

There are many different kinds of testing – unit, integration, functional, load, performance, exploratory, etc… where some may be automated and others not. Should we not discuss what “design for testability” means for not-just-unit-testing?

And what’s the point of testing anyway?

It’s not to find bugs.

Research has shown that testing (of all kinds) is not the most effective way of finding bugs. I don’t have the reference handy but I’m pretty sure that it’s from Alistair Cockburn’s work. Code reviews are (on average) about 60% more effective.

Don’t get me wrong – testing can provide indications that the software has bugs in it, but not necessarily where in the code those bugs are.

The purpose of testing is to provide quantitative and qualitative information about the system that can help various stakeholders in their decision-making processes. The relevance of that information indicates the quality of the testing. Here are some examples:

  • The system supports 100 concurrent users, with the expected user-type distribution (X% role A, Y% role B, etc), performing expected use-case distributions, and collaboration scenarios.
  • Time to proficiency for new users in role A is expected to be 3 days
  • Alternate #2 of use case #12 fails on step #3

As you can see, the relevance of the above information is dependent on what decisions the various stakeholders need to make. The bullet on load can help us decide if more machines are needed or if developers need to tune the performance of the systems. The bullet on time to proficiency can help us decide if larger investment in usability is required. Information like the last bullet can be used in conjunction with the first two to decide on the timing and type of a release.

The timeliness of this relevant information is critical to the success of a project.

Choosing which and how much of the various testing activities to perform when is something that needs to be revisited several times throughout the lifetime of a project, taking into account the current risks (threats and probabilities) and time and resource investment to mitigate them.

Let me reiterate – we’re not going to have enough time to do everything.

On iterations

If the only part of your organization that is doing iterations are your developers, you’re not agile.

In order to capitalize on the information that testers are providing, you need them in your iterations.

The same goes for the other roles involved in the project – business analysts, DBAs, sysadmins, etc.

I know that 99% of organizations aren’t structured in a way to do this.

I never said doing this would be easy.

On design

Figuring out what kind of design and how much to do when is just as important, and just as hard. Design for testability is one part of that, but not the only one, or necessarily the most important one at any point of time.

Within that design for testability topic is the “design for unit-testing” sub-topic which seems to be the popular one. Before getting into the design aspects of it, let’s take a closer look at the unit-testing side of things.

On unit-testing

The assumption is that having more unit tests will lead to a code-base with less bugs, thus requiring shorter time to get the system into production, which will pay back the time it took to write those unit tests to begin with.

In practice, what tends to happen is that as development progresses, testing code breaks as the structure of the production code changes. Now one of two things happens – either the testing code is removed or rewritten. In either case, we didn’t get the return on investment we expected on the first bit of testing code. Unfortunately, rare is the case where the relevant people in the organization understand why, resulting in the same situation repeating itself over and over again.

Those projects would have been better off without unit testing, though the organization as a whole might have used those experiences to learn and improve. It’s been my experience that if the organization wasn’t conscious enough in the context of the project to notice the situation, it is unlikely to do so at higher levels.

On fragile unit tests

The reason that a unit test ends up being rewritten (or removed) is that its code was coupled to the production code in such a way that it broke when the production code changed. This tendency to break (fragility) is a critical property of a unit test. A fragile unit test will slow down a developer doing work on some existing code – it actually makes the system less maintainable.

For a unit test code to be stable (not fragile) it needs to be coupled to stable properties of the production code. The question of whether the production code is designed in such a way that it has stable properties – is a design question. Is it a unit? If not, you will not be able to write a unit-test against it.

And anyway, who said that every class is a unit, or should be a unit? Domain models (when done right) are good examples of a unit, yet the classes that make them up may not be units. Unit-testing should only be attempted with things which are units.

I think too much weight is put on whether a dependency of a class is a concrete or interface type, and not nearly enough on the nature of the dependency. I wouldn’t blame the hammer for pounding my thumb, and by the same token I think that blame should not be directed towards tools like those from TypeMock.

On tools

There is so much more depth to both design and testability that needs to be more broadly understood. No tool has yet been created to handle either design or testing in such a way that humans can give up responsibility for the outcome.

Over the years I’ve noticed that tools are most significant when used by skilled practitioners, which makes sense in retrospect. Giving a novice carpenter a laser-guided saw probably won’t significantly change the outcome of their work. Ultimately, the skilled practitioners are the ones that create tools – not the novices. And no tool, no matter how advanced, will make a novice perform at levels like the skilled practitioner.

In the case of a project too big for a single skilled practitioner to complete in the time required (or at all), the balance of importance shifts away from tools to the project management topics described above.

In summary

I hope that this post has shed some light on the context in which decisions with respect to testing need to be made. Design is one activity that can support certain kinds of testing, but not the only one, or even the most important one for the given type of testing necessary at that time in the project.

Design is hard. Project management is hard. Testing is hard.

Getting the right mix of people that together have enough experience and skills in these activities isn’t easy.

Don’t expect that sprinkling some interfaces in your code base will be enough.
That doesn’t count much in the way of design, just as writing code in a testing namespace doesn’t count much in the way of testability.

Looking forward to hearing your comments.



YAGNI – Once Bitten, Twice Shy?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

yagni_once_bitten_twice_shy It’s one of the things that sometimes drives me mad about the YAGNI philosophy of Agile.

We need to stop throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Jay really liked that statement with relation to my previous post “Scalability – you wish you’re gonna need it“, so I thought I’d put up a logo for this movement. Anyone feeling like joining in, leave a comment, link, or whatever.

I understand that we don’t need to over-engineer everything, putting in every possible kind of extensibility point, so I accept that part of YAGNI. That is not a license to not think about the extensibility points you do need.

<Remarks>

This is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post, and I do not want the pendulum to swing to far back the other way. But I do think it’s time it took a step back from the over-zealous “we’ll TDD our way there” thinking. Maybe Ron can pull it off. I’ve yet to see anyone else succeed.

</Remarks>



Performant and Explicit Domain Models

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Some Technical Difficulties

Ayende and I had an email conversation that started with me asking what would happen if I added an Order to a Customer’s “Orders” collection, when that collection was lazy loaded. My question was whether the addition of an element would result in NHibernate hitting the database to fill that collection. His answer was a simple “yes”. In the case where a customer can have many (millions) of Orders, that’s just not a feasible solution. The technical solution was simple – just define the Orders collection on the Customer as “inverse=true”, and then to save a new Order, just write:

session.Save( new Order(myCustomer) );

Although it works, it’s not “DDD compliant” :)

In Ayende’s post Architecting for Performance he quoted a part of our email conversation. The conclusion I reached was that in order to design performant domain models, you need to know the kinds of data volumes you’re dealing with. It affects both internals and the API of the model – when can you assume cascade, and when not. It’s important to make these kinds of things explicit in the Domain Model’s API.

How do you make “transparent persistence” explicit?

The problem occurs around “transparent persistence”. If we were to assume that the Customer object added the Order object to its Orders collection, then we wouldn’t have to explicitly save orders it creates, so we would write service layer code like this:

using (IDBScope scope = this.DbServices.GetScope(TransactionOption.On))
{
IOrderCreatingCustomer c = this.DbServices.Get<IOrderCreatingCustomer>(msg.CustomerId);
c.CreateOrder(message.OrderAmount);

scope.Complete();
}

On the other hand, if we designed our Domain Model around the million orders constraint, we would need to explicitly save the order, so we would write service layer code like this:

using (IDBScope scope = this.DbServices.GetScope(TransactionOption.On))
{
IOrderCreatingCustomer c = this.DbServices.Get<IOrderCreatingCustomer>(msg.CustomerId);
IOrder o = c.CreateOrder(message.OrderAmount);
this.DbServices.Save(o);

scope.Complete();
}

But the question remains, how do we communicate these guidelines to service layer developers from the Domain Model? There are a number of ways, but it’s important to decide on one and use it consistently. Performance and correctness require it.

Solution 1: Explicitness via Return Type

The first way is a little subtle, but you can do it with the return type of the “CreateOrder” method call. In the case where the Domain Model wishes to communicate that it handles transparent persistence by itself, have the method return “void”. Where the Domain Model wishes to communicate that it will not handle transparent persistence, have the method return the Order object created.

Another way to communicate the fact that an Order has been created that needs to be saved is with events. There are two sub-ways to do so:

Solution 2: Explicitness via Events on Domain Objects

The first is to just define the event on the customer object and have the service layer subscribe to it. It’s pretty clear that when the service layer receives a “OrderCreatedThatRequiresSaving” event, it should save the order passed in the event arguments.

The second realizes that the call to the customer object may come from some other domain object and that the service layer doesn’t necessarily know what can happen as the result of calling some method on the aggregate root. The change of state as the result of that method call may permeate the entire object graph. If each object in the graph raises its own events, its calling object will have to propagate that event to its parent – resulting in defining the same events in multiple places, and each object being aware of all things possible with its great-grandchild objects. That is clearly bad.

What [ThreadStatic] is for

So, the solution is to use thread-static events.

[Sidebar] Thread-static events are just static events defined on a static class, where each event has the ThreadStaticAttribute applied to it. This attribute is important for server-side scenarios where multiple threads will be running through the Domain Model at the same time. The easiest thread-safe way to use static data is to apply the ThreadStaticAttribute.

Solution 3: Explicitness via Static Events

Each object raises the appropriate static event according to its logic. In our example, Customer would call:

DomainModelEvents.RaiseOrderCreatedThatRequiresSavingEvent(newOrder);

And the service layer would write:

DomainModelEvents.OrderCreatedThatRequiresSaving +=
delegate(object sender, OrderEventArgs e) { this.DbServices.Save(e.Order); };

The advantage of this solution is that it requires minimal knowledge of the Domain Model for the Service Layer to correctly work with it. It also communicates that anything that doesn’t raise an event will be persisted transparently behind the appropriate root object.

Statics and Testability

I know that many of you are wondering if I am really advocating the use of statics. The problem with most static classes is that they hurt testability because they are difficult to mock out. Often statics are used as Facades to hide some technological implementation detail. In this case, the static class is an inherent part of the Domain Model and does not serve as a Facade for anything.

When it comes to testing the Domain Model, we don’t have to mock anything out since the Domain Model is independent of all other concerns. This leaves us with unit testing at the single Domain Class level, which is pretty useless unless we’re TDD-ing the design of the Domain Model, in which case we’ll still be fiddling around with a bunch of classes at a time. Domain Models are best tested using State-Based Testing; get the objects into a given state, call a method on one of them, assert the resulting state. The static events don’t impede that kind of testing at all.

What if we used Injection instead of Statics?

Also, you’ll find that each Service Layer class will need to subscribe to all the Domain Model’s events, something that is easily handled by a base class. I will state that I have tried doing this without a static class, and injecting that singleton object into the Service Layer classes, and in that setter having them subscribe to its events. This was also pulled into a base class. The main difference was that the Dependency Injection solution required injecting that object into Domain Objects as well. Personally, I’m against injection for domain objects. So all in all, the static solution comes with less overhead than that based on injection.

Summary

In summary, beyond the “technical basics” of being aware of your data volumes and designing your Domain Model to handle each use case performantly, I’ve found these techniques useful for designing its API as well as communicating my intent around persistence transparency. So give it a try. I’d be grateful to hear your thoughts on the matter as well as what else you’ve found that works.

Related posts:



Interfaces solve visibility and testing issues

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Jimmy’s recent post called out some of the insights on the advantages of Ruby from Niclas’ keynote at DevSummit 2007. Jimmy writes:

In Ruby it’s easy to redefine the visibility of a method from private to public for testing purposes. This was just one small detail in his talk of course, but I started to think about how much pain I quite often go through regarding this in legacy code.

Let me just start out by saying that dealing with legacy code is far from easy. However, when writing new code, or as a part of refactoring that legacy, adding interfaces to your design can help you get around those visibility and testing issues.

For instance, if you only let “client” code access the interface, and not the implementation (probably using some kind of dependency injection), then you could leave all sorts of methods public on your concrete class without worry that the client will call them since the interface doesn’t expose them. Now that the methods on the concrete class are public, you can easily test that class.

The way to package your code to make sure this occurs follows a very simple design principle. This is much easier to put in practice on new development, but you’ll find that it isn’t that hard for legacy either. Since legacy code often doesn’t make use of interfaces, and the implementation is already packaged, and your new client code will already be separately packaged, you’re 90% there!

If you can change the legacy code, you’re actually 95% there. Just create a new package for the interface that the client code will use. Then change the legacy code to implement that interface – since the methods will be pretty much the same, it’s not that much work.

If you can’t change the legacy code, create a “wrapper” class that implements the interface and delegates the calls to the legacy code.

Finally, let me sum up by saying that I think Ruby is great. However, I think that often many advantages are attributed to anything new that may have already been possible/easy with what we already have today. Sometimes, the new stuff helps raise awareness on important issues – and then we can have great discussions on how to solve those issues with today’s (yesterday’s ?) technology :)



Domain Model Pattern

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

When implementing a domain model, often object-relational mapping technologies are used. Like many tools, with their use comes the danger of abuse – abuse to the point of invalidating the benefits of the pattern itself.

From some pointers about how to use (and not to use) these tools, see why object-relational mapping sucks.

Martin Fowler’s has this to say about the Domain Model Pattern:

At its worst business logic can be very complex. Rules and logic describe many different cases and slants of behavior, and it’s this complexity that objects were designed to work with. A Domain Model creates a web of interconnected objects, where each object represents some meaningful individual, whether as large as a corporation or as small as a single line on an order form.

In short, using Object-Oriented techniques to handle the complexity.

A more comprehensive discussion about what happens when it is not used can be found under the Anemic Domain Model Anti-Pattern:

The basic symptom of an Anemic Domain Model is that at first blush it looks like the real thing. There are objects, many named after the nouns in the domain space, and these objects are connected with the rich relationships and structure that true domain models have. The catch comes when you look at the behavior, and you realize that there is very little behavior on these objects. Indeed often these models come with design rules that say that you are not to put any domain logic in the the domain objects. Instead there are a set of service objects which capture all the domain logic. These services live on top of the domain model and use the domain model for data.

The fundamental horror of this anti-pattern is that it’s so contrary to the basic idea of object-oriented design; which is to combine data and process together. The anemic domain model is really just a procedural style design…

In terms of Domain-Driven Design, this pattern is also known as Domain Layer.

Domain Models do a lot for encapsulating Business Rules, thus making them amenable to automated testing. This hinges on keeping the Domain Model independent of things related to Data Access.

It is therefore almost required to use some kind of Object/Relational Mapping tool to make it possible to persist objects belonging to the domain model to databases and other kinds of storage.

The use of DataSets in .NET is often a sign of the Anemic Domain Model Anti-Pattern.

One thing to keep in mind when working on a domain model is that you probably won’t get it “right” the first time, and will have re-work the division of responsibility a couple of times. Techniques like Test-Driven Development help out immensely for that.



Self-Documenting, Test-Driven Alien Artifacts

Monday, April 16th, 2007

How much, and what kind of documentation do we need to create even if we have “self-documenting code”? Or is that kind of code enough all by itself? I for one yearn for the day where the code really will be enough, and I think that Scott and Ayende do too. First of all, I think that as time progresses, the size of systems that the average developer works on is increasing substantially. And the larger a system is, the more we find a kind of code/design dialect that developers use to talk about that system. I think that these dialects are significantly different between framework/open source code, and application code. So, when a new developer comes in, do we tell them to “just read the code”? Or if the application has gone into production some time ago and now needs to be enhanced but the original team is long gone, what can be done?


What I usually suggest (and practice) is to have some kind of documentation explaining “language” of the system – what things go together, how, and why; and just as importantly, what things must be kept apart. This can be a Software Architecture and Design document, or even videos of the design sessions where things were first discussed. The relevant requirements should be a part of this as well. We need to know that the reason asynchronous messaging was used was for the strenuous scalability requirements, otherwise we might start adding the high-productivity Visual Studio Web Services we like so much.


Continuous integration is a boon to projects who use them. But developers who are only familiar with building solutions in Visual Studio may not be used to working that way, keeping code checked out for weeks at a time.


Test-Driven Development and Architecture will help those who know about it. We should probably write something up about how the system should be enhanced. Side-effect or not, developers and testers will need to know how we test the system – what tools are used in which way and at which stage of the development lifecycle. We could reference existing methodologies as well as in what ways we deviate from them and why.


What sustainable business value do we provide by leaving behind us alien artifacts and practices? I’m not saying not to use state-of-the-art designs, techniques, and practices. On the contrary, I think that they are the key to sustainable business value. Necessary, but not sufficient. Documentation, of whatever flavor you find most suitable to each specific thing you are documenting, should be considered by the team as a whole, and the conclusions presented to stakeholders. The famous Chrysler C3 project’s long-term business value is shaky as the result of those stakeholders decision that documentation wasn’t necessary – in no way was the Agile process faulty in that respect.


Finally, you may be surprised the holes you find in your own thinking when forced to write down and explain to someone just coming in “how we do things around here”, I know I was. I can tell you that in the cases where I did that exercise, several stupid, costly mistakes were avoided. Fleshing out your thinking isn’t necessarily big design up front (BDUF), it’s just smart.



Paratechnological value

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Technological churn – it’s a killer. It appears that as time goes by, the deluge just increases. I almost went into management because of it. Well, to be more precise, I do (kinda) manage, but I mean that I almost left the whole technology/engineering side of things. Luckily there’s more to software than that. Specifically the things around technology that aren’t technology dependent – paratechnological (from paralegal) if you will.

The most interesting thing is that the knowledge investment you make in paratechnology has a (much) longer lifespan than that in technology directly. Those of us who have perfected our skills in VB6 found that .NET obseleted much of that. The same is true for Microsoft’s Web Service Enhancements, EJBs, etc. Even the languages themselves are changing substantially – as are their runtimes. However, object-orientation seems to be holding its own well into its 3rd decade. I suspect Domain-Driven Design (DDD) to enjoy a long life as well. Beyond just being a lifetime issue, these paratechnological entities just seem to build on each other more and more. In order to understand higher order patterns, lower one need to be understood first. These patterns increase the scale of the problems that can be solved repeatably. 

It has been my experience that those developers with similar experience-in-years, but only technological knowledge, are less productive than their peers with more paratechnological knowledge. I measure productivity in terms of number of feature points per unit of time. I understand that this is biased against infrastructure developers in application development teams – but I haven’t figured out how to measure them yet (at least, not well enough to say anything about it).

Therefore, it is my thesis that developers should spend at least the same amount of time investing in paratechnological learning as technological learning. It is my suggestion that a 3-to-1 ratio would be even better – as in only a quarter of your time on technological study. I submit that the on-the-job work done with a given technology, including the figuring out how to do something that you haven’t done before, is enough. When I’m talking about “study”, I’m referring to courses, conferences, books read (not when looking sometime up). 

For me, the way that I find out (most) of what I need to know about a technology (not necessarily new), is to grill an expert on it. For instance, at TechEd Developers Barcelona 2006, I had the good fortune to sit with the Workflow Foundation guys for at least an hour, the WCF guys for about 3 hours total, WPF for half an hour, and the CAB guys for almost 4 hours – not all in one sitting :) Anyway, it was mostly me asking how to solve thorny issues I’m having difficulty with in my projects, and them trying to explain to me, in a way I’d understand, that most people don’t have my problems. Personally, I think that, if that’s true, “most people” just haven’t noticed yet :) There were also numerous new ways of doing things that I didn’t consider to be an issue, so I tried to focus my learning on other things.

And I guess that that’s my bottom line. When new technology comes along, you shouldn’t need to “start over”. The way that I design my systems, most technology is hidden away. WPF changes how my views are implemented – but that’s tucked behind an interface so that my supervising controllers don’t care. WCF changes how messages are transferred over the network, but that’s tucked away behind an “IBus” interface; message dispatch is also abstracted with “IMessageHandler” and “IMessage”.  By the way, I find WPF to be very interesting in improving the human-to-human interface between Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) professionals and developers. 

So… Invest wisely. Compound interest is your friend.



Design & Testability – Sense & Sensibility

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

A discussion has been growing (primarily) between the Israeli bloggers Eli Lopian, Roy Osherove, and Ayende Rahien (aka Oren Eini) around the issue of OO design and testability. Mark Seemann quoted me on the topic (although I don’t quite remember saying it – but my memory isn’t what it used to be) so I guess that I’m now compelled to join in.

First of all, let me say that design does not necessarily begin and end with OO. The quality of a given design needs to be measured against both functional and non-functional requirements. Beyond the original OO, other principles have emerged that positively affect design – Arnon blogged about these a while ago. The Single Responsibility Principle being one that keeps you thinking, “should that code go here?”. I also couldn’t design without leaning heavily on the Interface Segregation Principle and the Dependency Inversion Principle. Together with OO, I have found that these principles lead to more modular, flexible, loosely-coupled, and (yes) testable designs – all good things. Furthermore, we are continuing to uncover more areas where the original OO thinking does not serve us too well – distribution is a big one, so is persistence.

On the topic of unit testing, it is OK to do state-based testing instead of directly calling methods on the class under test. I find this happening quite often with my “controller” classes which do most of their work in private event handlers. I could make those methods public for testability’s sake, not that it would change the design much since no other class interacts directly with the controller. I prefer to activate the controller as it would in production, and that’s by having my mocks raise events. The assertions I make are done upon the state the controller changes  – in my (mock) repository. I believe that this style of testing does nothing to compromise the “unit-ness” of the tests and addresses many of the points Eli brought up in his post.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents and I hope they make sense, and bring some down-to-earth sensibility to those wondering “are we asking the right question?”.



Software Testing for Developers Whitepaper

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

After being invited to speak about Software Testing, as well as Software Version Control at the Prio Developers conference in Germany, I thought that I’d prepare for my presentation by first writing down how I learned about testing. This whitepaper is the result of that attempt and has been a great tool in getting the developers I work with to look at the world of software testing, as well as their own world from a new perspective.

Enjoy.



Behavior Specification, the next generation of unit testing

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

After practicing unit testing for over two years, refactoring (as in with unit tests) for about the same, and TDD for over a year, I’ve finally found out how it really should be done. I’m working on an article that’ll explain this in greater detail. The result is this:

Two assemblies, one for the interface, one for the implementation, “tests” go in the interface assembly. For example:

Interface project: Udi.Collections

File: IStack.cs

Content:

public interface IStack
    {
        void Push(object o);
        object Pop();

        int Count { get; }
    }

File: StackBehavior.cs

Content:

public class StackBehavior : BehaviorSpecifier<IStack>
    {
        [Behavior]
        public void First()
        {
            int count = this.thing.Count;

            object o = 1;

            this.thing.Push(o);

            Assert.AreEqual(count + 1, this.thing.Count);

            object result = this.thing.Pop();

            Assert.AreEqual(o, result);
            Assert.AreEqual(count, this.thing.Count);
        }
    }

Implementation Project: Udi.Collections.Implementation

File: Stack.cs

Content:

public class Stack : IStack
    {
        #region IStack Members

        public void Push(object o)
        {
            list.Add(o);
        }

        public object Pop()
        {
            object result = list[list.Count - 1];
            list.RemoveAt(list.Count - 1);

            return result;
        }

        public int Count
        {
            get
            {
                return list.Count;
            }
        }

        #endregion

        private IList<object> list = new List<object>();
    }

***

Then, right click on the implementation project, and select ‘Verify Behavior’. The results appear just like regular tests run with TestDriven.net.

Some reasons why this is better:

1. Tests (behaviors) are dependent only on the interface, which reduces the cases where developers will have to refactor test code as a result of implementation changes.
2. Should a new implementation come along, we can reuse the tests already written with zero effort.

If you’d like to give this a try (using .net 2.0), leave me a comment and I’ll send you the plugin for TestDriven.



   


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"Your blog and articles have been enormously useful in shaping, testing and refining my own approach to delivering on SOA initiatives over the last few years. Over and against a certain 3-layer-application-architecture-blown-out-to- distributed-proportions school of SOA, your writing, steers a far more valuable course."

Shy Cohen Shy Cohen, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
“Udi is a world renowned software architect and speaker. I met Udi at a conference that we were both speaking at, and immediately recognized his keen insight and razor-sharp intellect. Our shared passion for SOA and the advancement of its practice launched a discussion that lasted into the small hours of the night.
It was evident through that discussion that Udi is one of the most knowledgeable people in the SOA space. It was also clear why – Udi does not settle for mediocrity, and seeks to fully understand (or define) the logic and principles behind things.
Humble yet uncompromising, Udi is a pleasure to interact with.”

Glenn Block Glenn Block, Senior Program Manager - WCF at Microsoft
“I have known Udi for many years having attended his workshops and having several personal interactions including working with him when we were building our Composite Application Guidance in patterns & practices. What impresses me about Udi is his deep insight into how to address business problems through sound architecture. Backed by many years of building mission critical real world distributed systems it is no wonder that Udi is the best at what he does. When customers have deep issues with their system design, I point them Udi's way.”

Karl Wannenmacher Karl Wannenmacher, Senior Lead Expert at Frequentis AG
“I have been following Udi’s blog and podcasts since 2007. I’m convinced that he is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced people in the field of SOA, EDA and large scale systems.
Udi helped Frequentis to design a major subsystem of a large mission critical system with a nationwide deployment based on NServiceBus. It was impressive to see how he took the initial architecture and turned it upside down leading to a very flexible and scalable yet simple system without knowing the details of the business domain. I highly recommend consulting with Udi when it comes to large scale mission critical systems in any domain.”

Simon Segal Simon Segal, Independent Consultant
“Udi is one of the outstanding software development minds in the world today, his vast insights into Service Oriented Architectures and Smart Clients in particular are indeed a rare commodity. Udi is also an exceptional teacher and can help lead teams to fall into the pit of success. I would recommend Udi to anyone considering some Architecural guidance and support in their next project.”

Ohad Israeli Ohad Israeli, Chief Architect at Hewlett-Packard, Indigo Division
“When you need a man to do the job Udi is your man! No matter if you are facing near deadline deadlock or at the early stages of your development, if you have a problem Udi is the one who will probably be able to solve it, with his large experience at the industry and his widely horizons of thinking , he is always full of just in place great architectural ideas.
I am honored to have Udi as a colleague and a friend (plus having his cell phone on my speed dial).”

Ward Bell Ward Bell, VP Product Development at IdeaBlade
“Everyone will tell you how smart and knowledgable Udi is ... and they are oh-so-right. Let me add that Udi is a smart LISTENER. He's always calibrating what he has to offer with your needs and your experience ... looking for the fit. He has strongly held views ... and the ability to temper them with the nuances of the situation.
I trust Udi to tell me what I need to hear, even if I don't want to hear it, ... in a way that I can hear it. That's a rare skill to go along with his command and intelligence.”

Eli Brin, Program Manager at RISCO Group
“We hired Udi as a SOA specialist for a large scale project. The development is outsourced to India. SOA is a buzzword used almost for anything today. We wanted to understand what SOA really is, and what is the meaning and practice to develop a SOA based system.
We identified Udi as the one that can put some sense and order in our minds. We started with a private customized SOA training for the entire team in Israel. After that I had several focused sessions regarding our architecture and design.
I will summarize it simply (as he is the software simplist): We are very happy to have Udi in our project. It has a great benefit. We feel good and assured with the knowledge and practice he brings. He doesn’t talk over our heads. We assimilated nServicebus as the ESB of the project. I highly recommend you to bring Udi into your project.”

Catherine Hole Catherine Hole, Senior Project Manager at the Norwegian Health Network
“My colleagues and I have spent five interesting days with Udi - diving into the many aspects of SOA. Udi has shown impressive abilities of understanding organizational challenges, and has brought the business perspective into our way of looking at services. He has an excellent understanding of the many layers from business at the top to the technical infrstructure at the bottom. He is a great listener, and manages to simplify challenges in a way that is understandable both for developers and CEOs, and all the specialists in between.”

Yoel Arnon Yoel Arnon, MSMQ Expert
“Udi has a unique, in depth understanding of service oriented architecture and how it should be used in the real world, combined with excellent presentation skills. I think Udi should be a premier choice for a consultant or architect of distributed systems.”

Vadim Mesonzhnik, Development Project Lead at Polycom
“When we were faced with a task of creating a high performance server for a video-tele conferencing domain we decided to opt for a stateless cluster with SQL server approach. In order to confirm our decision we invited Udi.

After carefully listening for 2 hours he said: "With your kind of high availability and performance requirements you don’t want to go with stateless architecture."

One simple sentence saved us from implementing a wrong product and finding that out after years of development. No matter whether our former decisions were confirmed or altered, it gave us great confidence to move forward relying on the experience, industry best-practices and time-proven techniques that Udi shared with us.
It was a distinct pleasure and a unique opportunity to learn from someone who is among the best at what he does.”

Jack Van Hoof Jack Van Hoof, Enterprise Integration Architect at Dutch Railways
“Udi is a respected visionary on SOA and EDA, whose opinion I most of the time (if not always) highly agree with. The nice thing about Udi is that he is able to explain architectural concepts in terms of practical code-level examples.”

Neil Robbins Neil Robbins, Applications Architect at Brit Insurance
“Having followed Udi's blog and other writings for a number of years I attended Udi's two day course on 'Loosely Coupled Messaging with NServiceBus' at SkillsMatter, London.

I would strongly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in how to develop IT systems which provide immediate and future fitness for purpose. An influential and innovative thought leader and practitioner in his field, Udi demonstrates and shares a phenomenally in depth knowledge that proves his position as one of the premier experts in his field globally.

The course has enhanced my knowledge and skills in ways that I am able to immediately apply to provide benefits to my employer. Additionally though I will be able to build upon what I learned in my 2 days with Udi and have no doubt that it will only enhance my future career.

I cannot recommend Udi, and his courses, highly enough.”

Nick Malik Nick Malik, Enterprise Architect at Microsoft Corporation
You are an excellent speaker and trainer, Udi, and I've had the fortunate experience of having attended one of your presentations. I believe that you are a knowledgable and intelligent man.”

Sean Farmar Sean Farmar, Chief Technical Architect at Candidate Manager Ltd
“Udi has provided us with guidance in system architecture and supports our implementation of NServiceBus in our core business application.

He accompanied us in all stages of our development cycle and helped us put vision into real life distributed scalable software. He brought fresh thinking, great in depth of understanding software, and ongoing support that proved as valuable and cost effective.

Udi has the unique ability to analyze the business problem and come up with a simple and elegant solution for the code and the business alike.
With Udi's attention to details, and knowledge we avoided pit falls that would cost us dearly.”

Børge Hansen Børge Hansen, Architect Advisor at Microsoft
“Udi delivered a 5 hour long workshop on SOA for aspiring architects in Norway. While keeping everyone awake and excited Udi gave us some great insights and really delivered on making complex software challenges simple. Truly the software simplist.”

Motty Cohen, SW Manager at KorenTec Technologies
“I know Udi very well from our mutual work at KorenTec. During the analysis and design of a complex, distributed C4I system - where the basic concepts of NServiceBus start to emerge - I gained a lot of "Udi's hours" so I can surely say that he is a professional, skilled architect with fresh ideas and unique perspective for solving complex architecture challenges. His ideas, concepts and parts of the artifacts are the basis of several state-of-the-art C4I systems that I was involved in their architecture design.”

Aaron Jensen Aaron Jensen, VP of Engineering at Eleutian Technology
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.”

Consult with Udi

Guest Authored Books
Chapter: Introduction to SOA    Article: The Enterprise Service Bus and Your SOA

97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know



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