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Final thoughts on S#arp Lite


This is a review of the S#arp Lite project, the version from Nov 4, 2011.

This project is significantly better than the S#arp Arch project that I reviewed a while ago, but that doesn’t mean that it is good. There is a lot to like, but frankly, the insistence to again abstract the data access behind complex base classes and repositories makes things much harder in the longer run.

If you are writing an application and you find yourself writing abstractions on top of CUD operations, stop, you are doing it wrong.

I quite like S#arp approach for querying, though. You expose things directly, and if it is ugly, you just wrap it in a dedicated query object. That is how you should be handling things.

Finally, whenever possible, push things to the infrastructure, it is usually pretty good and that is the right level of handling things like persistence, validation, etc. And no, you don’t have to write that, it is already there.

A lot of the code in the sample project was simply to manage persistence and validation (in fact, there was an entire project for that) that could be safely deleted in favor of:

public class ValidationListener : NHibernate.Event.IPreUpdateEventListener, NHibernate.Event.IPreInsertEventListener
    public bool OnPreUpdate(PreUpdateEvent @event)
        if (!DataAnnotationsValidator.TryValidate(@event.Entity)) 
            throw new InvalidOperationException("Updated entity is in an invalid state");

        return false;

    public bool OnPreInsert(PreInsertEvent @event)
        if (!DataAnnotationsValidator.TryValidate(@event.Entity))
            throw new InvalidOperationException("Updated entity is in an invalid state");

        return false;

Register that with NHibernate, and it will do that validation work for you, for example. Don’t try too hard, it shouldbe simple, if it ain’t, you are either doing something very strange or you are doing it wrong, and I am willing to bet on the later.

To be clear, the problems that I had with the codebase were mostly with regards to the data access portions. I didn’t have any issues with the rest of the architecture.


Published at DZone with permission of Ayende Rahien, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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