Home > Articles > Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Rule: Use Eventual Consistency Outside the Boundary

There is a frequently overlooked statement found in the [Evans] Aggregate pattern definition. It bears heavily on what we must do to achieve model consistency when multiple Aggregates must be affected by a single client request:

  • Any rule that spans AGGREGATES will not be expected to be up-to-date at all times. Through event processing, batch processing, or other update mechanisms, other dependencies can be resolved within some specific time. [Evans, p. 128]

Thus, if executing a command on one Aggregate instance requires that additional business rules execute on one or more other Aggregates, use eventual consistency. Accepting that all Aggregate instances in a large-scale, high-traffic enterprise are never completely consistent helps us accept that eventual consistency also makes sense in the smaller scale where just a few instances are involved.

Ask the domain experts if they could tolerate some time delay between the modification of one instance and the others involved. Domain experts are sometimes far more comfortable with the idea of delayed consistency than are developers. They are aware of realistic delays that occur all the time in their business, whereas developers are usually indoctrinated with an atomic change mentality. Domain experts often remember the days prior to computer automation of their business operations, when various kinds of delays occurred all the time and consistency was never immediate. Thus, domain experts are often willing to allow for reasonable delays–a generous number of seconds, minutes, hours, or even days–before consistency occurs.

There is a practical way to support eventual consistency in a DDD model. An Aggregate command method publishes a Domain Event that is in time delivered to one or more asynchronous subscribers:

public class BacklogItem extends ConcurrencySafeEntity  {
    ...
    public void commitTo(Sprint aSprint) {
        ...
        DomainEventPublisher
            .instance()
            .publish(new BacklogItemCommitted(
                    this.tenantId(),
                    this.backlogItemId(),
                    this.sprintId()));
    }
    ...
}

Each of these subscribers then retrieves a different yet corresponding Aggregate instance and executes its behavior based on it. Each of the subscribers executes in a separate transaction, obeying the rule of Aggregates to modify just one instance per transaction.

What happens if the subscriber experiences concurrency contention with another client, causing its modification to fail? The modification can be retried if the subscriber does not acknowledge success to the messaging mechanism. The message will be redelivered, a new transaction started, a new attempt made to execute the necessary command, and a corresponding commit made. This retry process can continue until consistency is achieved, or until a retry limit is reached.6 If complete failure occurs, it may be necessary to compensate, or at a minimum to report the failure for pending intervention.

What is accomplished by publishing the BacklogItemCommitted Domain Event in this specific example? Recalling that BacklogItem already holds the identity of the Sprint it is committed to, we are in no way interested in maintaining a meaningless bidirectional association. Rather, the Event allows for the eventual creation of a CommittedBacklogItem so the Sprint can make a record of work commitment. Since each CommittedBacklogItem has an ordering attribute, it allows the Sprint to give each BacklogItem an ordering different from those of Product and Release, and that is not tied to the BacklogItem instance’s own recorded estimation of BusinessPriority. Thus, Product and Release hold similar associations, namely, ProductBacklogItem and ScheduledBacklogItem, respectively.

Whiteboard Time

  • Return to your list of large-cluster Aggregates and the two or more modified in a single transaction.
  • Describe and diagram how you will break up the large clusters. Circle and note each of the true invariants inside each of the new small Aggregates.
  • Describe and diagram how you will keep separate Aggregates eventually consistent.

This example demonstrates how to use eventual consistency in a single Bounded Context, but the same technique can also be applied in a distributed fashion as previously described.

Ask Whose Job It Is

Some domain scenarios can make it very challenging to determine whether transactional or eventual consistency should be used. Those who use DDD in a classic/traditional way may lean toward transactional consistency. Those who use CQRS may tend toward eventual consistency. But which is correct? Frankly, neither of those tendencies provides a domain-specific answer, only a technical preference. Is there a better way to break the tie?

Cowboy Logic

LB: “My son told me that he found on the Internet how to make my cows more fertile. I told him that’s the bull’s job.”

Discussing this with Eric Evans revealed a very simple and sound guideline. When examining the use case (or story), ask whether it’s the job of the user executing the use case to make the data consistent. If it is, try to make it transactionally consistent, but only by adhering to the other rules of Aggregates. If it is another user’s job, or the job of the system, allow it to be eventually consistent. That bit of wisdom not only provides a convenient tie breaker, but it helps us gain a deeper understanding of our domain. It exposes the real system invariants: the ones that must be kept transactionally consistent. That understanding is much more valuable than defaulting to a technical leaning.

This is a great tip to add to the Aggregate Rules of Thumb. Since there are other forces to consider, it may not always lead to the final choice between transactional and eventual consistency but will usually provide deeper insight into the model. This guideline is used later in the chapter when the team revisits their Aggregate boundaries.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020