In this article, let's learn about
Architecture Test using
WebAPI in ASP.NET Core.
Note: If you have not done so already, I recommend you read the article on Request Endpoint Response (REPR) pattern in ASP.NET WEB API.
Table of Contents
- Why Architecture Test ?
- What is Architecture Test ?
- Implementing Architecture Test
In the realm of software development, maintaining a robust and consistent architecture is paramount. As projects expand, ensuring that the structural integrity of the codebase remains intact becomes increasingly challenging. Even as of writing this I joined a project which was started six months ago with Clean Architecture in mind, but now it's follows a name sake Clean Architecture and the architecture is already eroding. The codebase is riddled with inconsistencies, and the architecture is far from the initial vision. This is because of pressure and deadline and on the other hand new junior developers joining the team. This is a common problem in software development.
This is where
architecture tests also knows as
fitness test or
fitness functions come into play, serving as vigilant gatekeepers, preserving the essence of your software
blueprint. In this blog post, we will delve deep into
NetArchTest, a powerful tool designed to validate your
software's architectural design, exploring its significance, implementation, advantages, and more.
Why Architecture Test ?
Before we explore the intricacies of
NetArchTest, it's crucial to understand the 'why' behind its adoption.
NetArchTest project allows you create tests that
enforce conventions for class design, naming
and dependency in .Net code bases. These can be used with any unit test framework and incorporated into a build pipeline. It uses
a fluid API that allows you to string together readable rules that can be used in test assertions.
There are plenty of static analysis tools that can evaluate application structure, but they are aimed more at enforcing generic best practice rather
application-specific conventions. The better tools in this space can be press-ganged into creating custom
rules for a specific architecture, but the intention here is to incorporate rules into a test suite and
create a self-testing
Software architecture, akin to a well-thought-out
blueprint, is essential for a robust system. However, as
deadlines loom and pressure mounts, corners might be cut, leading to architectural erosion. NetArchTest acts as a
safeguard, ensuring that your architecture doesn't crumble under the weight of compromises. By automating the verification process, it guarantees that
your software adheres to the predefined architectural patterns and rules, even amidst rapid development cycles.
What is Architecture Test ?
NetArchTest is a sophisticated library that empowers developers to write architecture tests effortlessly. By
leveraging NetArchTest, developers can
enforce architectural rules and validate design decisions. The library
scans the imported namespaces of your types, allowing you to
define both positive and negative
conditions for your architecture. Whether you're aiming to enforce dependencies between layers, validate design rules, or
maintain design integrity, NetArchTest provides a simple and effective mechanism to achieve these goals.
Implementing Architecture Test
Implementing NetArchTest in your project is seamless. Start by creating a
new test project within your development
environment. Then, install the
NetArchTest.Rules NuGet package, which equips you with the necessary boilerplate
code to initiate your tests. The library's core revolves around the
Types class, enabling you to load and filter
types based on various criteria. Once your types are selected, you can define rules using
ShouldNot conditions, ensuring that your architecture aligns with your predefined specifications.
Code Sample - Architecture Test to Enforce REPR Pattern in Endpoints
Code Sample - Architecture Test to Enforce Clean Architecture
Code Sample - Architecture Test to Enforce rules for Commands and Queries
Here are some design rules that you can enforce:
- Services must be internal
- Entities and Value objects must be sealed
- Controllers can't depend on repositories directly
- Command (or query) handlers must follow a naming convention
The advantages of Architecture tests are as follows,
Maintain Design Integrity: NetArchTest acts as a guardian, preserving the consistent design and structure of your software as it evolves over time. It prevents architectural drift, ensuring that your initial vision remains intact.
Early Issue Detection: By catching architectural discrepancies early in the development process, NetArchTest prevents potential complications that might arise due to structural flaws. Early detection translates to easier debugging and resolution.
Improved Collaboration: Clear architectural rules and automated tests make it easier for developers to comprehend the system's design. This shared understanding fosters smoother collaboration, particularly in large teams or when onboarding new members.
Quality Assurance: A robust architecture is the cornerstone of high-quality software. NetArchTest contributes significantly to the overall quality and reliability of your software by validating structural decisions and enforcing design rules.
NetArchTest emerges as a
proactive measure, ensuring that the
backbone of your software remains resilient and consistent. By automating the verification of architectural
patterns and design rules, it not only saves time but also prevents potential headaches in the long run. As software projects grow in complexity,
embracing tools like NetArchTest becomes essential,
safeguarding your architectural vision and bolstering the
reliability of your software systems. So, the next time you embark on a development journey, consider NetArchTest as your loyal sentinel, guarding
your software's architectural integrity with unwavering vigilance.