Architectural Design Patterns 7 – Domain-Driven Design

Architectural Design Patterns 7 – Domain-Driven Design

Domain-Driven Design, or DDD for short, isn’t about code at first. It’s about understanding the main business inside out, and then designing software that speaks the business’s language. Think about a hospital system. Before we write code, we would talk about patients, doctors, treatments, and appointments. By diving deep into the “domain” or the core of the business, we create software that feels like it was tailor-made for it.

DDD is super useful for businesses with unique rules and ways of doing things. Let’s take insurance as an example. They’ve got tons of rules on who gets covered, how much they get, and under what conditions. DDD makes sense of all this and gives us a map to build the software.

When you use DDD, you get software that can change and grow with the business. It’s like a tree planted in the right soil. But nothing’s perfect. DDD means spending a lot of time up front just understanding the business. This can feel slow for teams who are eager to start coding. Another thing some folks point out is that DDD has its own jargon. Words like “aggregates” and “entities” might sound fancy. But once everyone knows what they mean, it helps the team speak the same language and avoid mix-ups.

Now, why do many teams go for DDD? It’s simple. By understanding the problem first, they save time later. Less going back and fixing things. DDD is also like a bridge between the tech team and the business folks. Both sides understand each other better.

A real-life example might make this clearer. Let’s say we’re building a system for a library. The main challenge is keeping track of books, especially when they’re borrowed or returned late. With DDD, we start by talking to librarians. We learn about how they classify books, how they handle late fees, and how they track which member borrowed which book. From this chat, we gather terms like “book”, “member”, “due date”, and “late fee”. These terms become the building blocks of our software. So, when a member borrows a book, our system knows to set a “due date”. If the book comes back after this date, the system calculates a “late fee”. By focusing on the library’s real challenges, our software feels like a natural extension of the library.

The strength of DDD is its focus on real-world problems. It’s like a tailor-made suit for the business. The weakness is that it needs a lot of chatting and understanding before any code gets written. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, but for many projects, it fits just right.

Suleyman Cabir Ataman, PhD

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Suleyman Cabir Ataman

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