Event Sourcing, CQRS and Laravel

by scazz
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This post runs through the basics of creating an event sourced/CQRS system with PHP and Laravel. It assumes familiarity with the command bus design pattern and events (publishing events to an array of listeners). Laracasts have you covered if you need to brush up! It also assumes you have some familiarity with the concept of CQRS. If not, I highly recommend two talks: Practical Event Sourcing by Mathias Verraes and CQRS and Event sourcing by Greg Young.

Please don't use this code for your projects! It's a learning platform to uncover the ideas behind CQRS. It's not robust, it's poorly tested and I'm rarely coding to interfaces which will make it harder to swap parts out. A much better example of a CQRS package you can use is Qandidate Lab's Broadway. It's decoupled, clean code but some of the abstractions make it hard to follow if you've never seen an event sourced system.

Finally, this code is coupled to Laravel's Events and Command Bus. I wanted to see what the code would look like with Laravel (it's my framework of choice for smaller agency projects), but looking back I should have created my own implementations. I hope people will be able to follow along, even if they don't use a framework.

The code is on github: https://github.com/scazz/cqrs-tutorial.git, and the tutorial takes you through the code, commit by commit. Hopefully this will make it easy to follow along!

We will be building the start of a booking system for a surf school. It will allow clients to book onto lessons. Our domain rules for this process are:

  • A lesson must have at least one client
  • No more than 3 clients per lesson

One of the exciting things about CQRS and Event Sourced systems is creating read models specific to each metric you require from the system. You can find examples projecting read models into ElasticSearch and Greg Young has a DSL for Complex Event Processing built into his event store. But, in an effort to reduce the learning curve, our read projection will be a standard SQL database you would use with Eloquent. We will end up with one table for lessons, and one for clients.

Event Sourcing also gives you the ability to process the events off-line. This post will keep as close to "traditional" development models as possible (again to reduce complexity) and our read projections will be updated in real time, as soon as events are persisted into the event store.

Project Set up and first test

Following along? $> git checkout c60aa7b

Start a new laravel 5 project

$> laravel new cqrs-tutorial

And the first thing we need is a test. We're just going to stick with an integration test to assert that booking a lesson for a client results in that lesson being created in our Eloquent model.

``` use Illuminate\Foundation\Bus\DispatchesCommands;

class CQRSTest extends TestCase {

use DispatchesCommands;

 * Assert the BookLesson Command creates a lesson in our read projection
 * @return void

public function testFiringEventUpdatesReadModel()
$testLessonId = '123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440000';
$clientName = "George";
$lessonId = new LessonId($testLessonId);

	$command = new BookLesson($lessonId, $clientName);

	$this->assertEquals( Lesson::find($testLessonId)->clientName, $clientName );


We provide the ID for our new lesson up front, create a command to book a new lesson and tell Laravel to dispatch the command. We want a new entry to be created in the lessons table, which we can read with an Eloquent model. We will be needing a database, so fill in your .env file as required.

Each event logged to our event store is attached to an Aggregate Root (which we will just call an Entity - the abstraction for learning purposes just adds to the confusion). This ID is a universally unique ID. The event store doesn't care if the event is to be applied to a Lesson or a Client, it just knows it's attached to an ID.

<a name="missing-classes"></a>
### Follow the test ###

<blockquote><code class="hljs">Following along?
  $> git checkout 284da0f9

Being driven by our test errors, we can create our missing classes. First we create a LessonId class, followed by the BookLesson command (don't worry about the handle method yet, just keep following the test). The Lesson class is a read model outside of the Lesson namespace - it will only ever be a read model - no domain logic will reside in here. Finally, we have to create a migration for the lessons table.

I'm using an assertion library to keep the code clean. You can grab it with:

<blockquote><code class="hljs">$> composer require beberlei/assert

<div class="code-snippit-filename">app/School/Lesson/LessonId.php</div>
lessonId = $lessonId; } /** * @return string */ public function __toString() { return $this->lessonId; } } ```
``` lessonId = $lessonId; } /** * @return LessonId */ public function getLessonId() { return $this->lessonId; } public function handle() { //TODO: handle dispatched command } } ```
``` database/migrations/createlessontable.php ``` string('id'); // uuid }); } /** * Reverse the migrations. * * @return void */ public function down() { Schema::drop('lesson'); } } ``` ### Booking a lesson using events - an overview ###
Following along? $> git checkout bd4e01a4
Let's take a look at the process this command should initiate: 1. Validation: imperative commands can fail, events are past tense and must not. 2. Generate a new LessonWasBooked event 3. Update the Lesson's state. (The write model needs to be aware of the model's state so it can perform validation) 4. Add this event to a stream of uncommitted events stored on the lesson write model 5. Persist the uncommitted events stream to the event store 6. Fire the LessonWasBooked event globally to inform all read projectors they should update the lessons table So first, we need to create a write model for the lesson. We use a static factory method, Lesson::bookClientOntoNewLesson(). This generates a new LessonWasOpened event, applies the event to itself (just sets it's ID), adds the new event to the uncommitted events list in the form of a DomainEventMessage (the event, plus some meta data which we will use when persisting to the event store). It repeats the process to add a client to the event. When applying the ClientWasBookedOntoLesson event, the write model doesn't keep a track of the client names, just how many clients are booked in. The write model doesn't need to care about client names to protect invariants. The applyLessonWasOpened and applyClientWasBookedOntoLesson methods might seem a little weird at the moment. They will be used later when we need to replay old events to build up the write model's state, It's a tricky concept to explain so here is some code to help outline the process. Later, we will extract out the code handling uncommittedEvents and domain event message creation.
``` openLesson( $lessonId ); $lesson->bookClient( $clientName ); return $lesson; } private function openLesson( LessonId $lessonId ) { /* here we would check any invarients - but we don't have any to protect, so we can just generate the events */ $event = new LessonWasOpened( $lessonId); $this->applyLessonWasOpened($event); $this->uncommittedEvents[] = DomainEventMessage::recordNow( $this->lessonId, $event ); } private function applyLessonWasOpened( $event ) { $this->lessonId = $event->lessonId; $this->numberOfClients = 0; } public function bookClient( $clientName ) { if ($this->numberOfClients >= 3) { throw new Exception("Too many clients"); } $event = new ClientBookedOntoLesson( $this->lessonId, $clientName); $this->applyClientBookedOntoLesson( $event ); $this->uncommittedEvents[] = DomainEventMessage::recordNow( $this->lessonId, $event ); } /* * Here, we only keep track of the number of clients - * this is the only thing the write model cares about * * If a domain rules was "no clients can have the same name", * we would need to keep a track of client names. */ private function applyClientBookedOntoLesson( $event ) { $this->numberOfClients++; } } ``` ### Extracting CQRS components and refactoring the write model ###
Following along? $> git checkout 9c148fe
We can extract the CQRS components out from our write model - the parts of the class dealing with uncommitted events. We can also clean up the API for an event sourced entity by creating a protected function called apply() which takes an event, calls the appropriate applyEventName() method and appends a new DomainEventMessage to the uncommitted events list. The extracted class is an implementation detail of CQRS, and doesn't contain any domain logic so we can create a new namespace: App\CQRS:
``` handle( $event ); $this->uncommittedEvents[] = DomainEventMessage::recordNow( $this->getEntityId(), $event ); } public function getUncommittedDomainEvents() { return $this->uncommittedEvents; } private function handle( $event ) { $method_name = $this->getApplyMethodName($event); if (! method_exists($this, $method_name)) { return; } $this->$method_name($event); } private function getApplyMethodName($event) { $className = get_class($event); $classParts = explode('\\', $className); $methodName = end($classParts); return 'apply'. $methodName; } } ``` To get the code to run, we need to add a DomainEventMessage class, which is just a simple DTO:
``` id = $id; $this->event = $event; $this->dateTime = $dateTime; } public static function recordNow($id, $event ) { return new DomainEventMessage($id, $event, new DateTime()); } /** * @return DateTime */ public function getDateTime() { return $this->dateTime; } /** * @return mixed */ public function getEvent() { return $this->event; } /** * @return mixed */ public function getId() { return $this->id; } } ``` ### Persisting events to an event store ###
Following along? $> git checkout 92ee32e
So, we have a system which generates events for every write and uses the events to recorded changes necessary to prevent invariants. The next step is to persist these events to the EventStore. First, we need an event store. Keeping things simple, we'll use an Eloquent model, just a simple SQL table with fields for: * UUID (so we know which entity to apply the event to) * event_payload (a serialized message containing everything we need to rebuild the event) * recordedAt - a timestamp so we know when the event occurred If you check the code, you'll see I've created two commands to create and destory our event store table: * php artisan eloquenteventstore:create (App\CQRS\EloquentEventStore\CreateEloquentEventStore) * php artisan eloquenteventstore:drop (App\CQRS\EloquentEventStore\DropEloquentEventStore) (not forgetting to add these to App\Console\Kernel.php so they're loaded) There are two very good reasons not to use an SQL table as your event store: it's not an append-only model (events should be immutable) and SQL is not a great temporal query language. We're coding to an interface, so it will be straight forward to swap the event store in a later blog post. We will use a repository to handle the saving of events. Whenever save() is called for a write model, we persist the list of uncommittedEvents to the event store. To store events, we need to a way to serialize/deserialize them. We can create a Serializer to handle this. We will need meta data, such as the event class (eg App\School\Lesson\Events\LessonWasOpened) and the event payload (data needed to reconstruct the event). All will then be JSON encoded and then written to our database, along with the entity UUID and timestamp. As soon each event is persisted, we will want our read models to update, so the repository will fire each event after saving. The Serializer will be responsible for recording the event class, whilst the event is responsible for the serializing of its payload. A fully serialized event will look something like: ``` { class: "App\\School\\Lesson\\Events\\", event: $event->serialize() } ``` Since all events will need a serialize and deserialize method, we can create a SerializableEvent interface, and start type hinting :) Update our LessonWasOpened event:
``` class LessonWasOpened implements SerializableEvent { public function serialize() { return array( 'lessonId'=> (string) $this->getLessonId() ); } } ``` Create the LessonRepository. We can refactor and extract generic CQRS stuff later.
``` eventStoreRepository = new EloquentEventStoreRepository( new EventSerializer() ); } public function save(Lesson $lesson) { /** @var DomainEventMessage $domainEventMessage */ foreach( $lesson->getUncommittedDomainEvents() as $domainEventMessage ) { $this->eventStoreRepository->append( $domainEventMessage->getId(), $domainEventMessage->getEvent(), $domainEventMessage->getRecordedAt() ); Event::fire($domainEventMessage->getEvent()); } } } ``` If you run the integration test again, then check the domain_events SQL table, you should see two events in the database. ### Listing to events and updating read models ###
Following along? $> git checkout e202739
Our final step to get our test to pass: listening for the broadcasted events and updating the Lesson read model projection. The broadcasted Lesson events will be caught by a LessonProjector, which applies the neccessary changes to a LessonProjection (just an Eloquent model of the lessons table):
``` id = $event->getLessonId(); $lessonProjection->save(); } public function applyClientBookedOntoLesson( ClientBookedOntoLesson $event ) { $lessonProjection = LessonProjection::find($event->getLessonId()); $lessonProjection->clientName = $event->getClientName(); $lessonProjection->save(); } public function subscribe(Dispatcher $events) { $fullClassName = self::class; $events->listen( LessonWasOpened::class, $fullClassName.'@applyLessonWasOpened' ); $events->listen( ClientBookedOntoLesson::class, $fullClassName.'@applyClientBookedOntoLesson' ); } } ```
``` app/Providers/EventServiceProvider.php ``` public function boot(DispatcherContract $events) { parent::boot($events); Event::subscribe( new LessonProjector() ); } ``` If you run the test, you'll see that there is an SQL error:
Unknown column 'clientName' in 'field list'
Once we create a migration to add clientName to the lessons table, our test should pass :). We have implemented basic CQRS functionality: commands create events which are used to generate read models. ### Improving the read model with relationships ###
Following along? $> git checkout 3a70e75e
We've reach a mile stone, but we're not there yet! The read model only has support for one client (we specified 3 in our domain rules). The changes we make to the read model are fairly straight forward; we just create a Client projection model and ClientProjector which catches the ClientBookedOntoLesson event. First, let's update our test to reflect the changes we want to see in our read model:
``` public function testFiringEventUpdatesReadModel() { $testLessonId = '123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440000'; $clientName = "George"; $lessonId = new LessonId($testLessonId); $command = new BookLesson($lessonId, $clientName); $this->dispatch($command); $lesson = Lesson::find($testLessonId); $this->assertEquals( $lesson->id, $testLessonId ); $client = $lesson->clients()->first(); $this->assertEquals($client->name, $clientName); } ``` The updated projector, read model and migrations are on github - it's basic laravel stuff. It highlights how easy it is to change your read models. Everything up to the event store remains the same. Smoke testing is something we get for free with an event sourced system - if we change our read model projector, we have a listen of every event that has ever happened in our system. We replay these events using the new projector, check for exceptions and compare the output with the old projections. If the system has been live for some time, we will have a comprehensive list of events to test our projectors with. ### Loading lessons ###
Following along? $> git checkout a10888e
Our write model currently has no way of loading the state of existing. If we want to add a second client to a lesson, we could just create a second ClientWasAddedToLesson event but we wouldn't be able to protect against invariants. To explain what I mean, let's write a second test simulating booking two clients into a lesson.
``` public function testLoadingWriteModel() { $testLessonId = '123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440001'; $lessonId = new LessonId($testLessonId); $clientName_1 = "George"; $clientName_2 = "Fred"; $command = new BookLesson($lessonId, $clientName_1); $this->dispatch($command); $command = new BookClientOntoLesson($lessonId, $clientName_2); $this->dispatch($command); $lesson = Lesson::find($testLessonId); $this->assertClientCollectionContains($lesson->clients, $clientName_1); $this->assertClientCollectionContains($lesson->clients, $clientName_2); } private function assertClientCollectionContains(Collection $clients, $nameToFind) { $attributeArray = []; foreach( $clients as $object ) { $attributeArray[] = $object->name; } $this->assertTrue( in_array($nameToFind, $attributeArray), "Could not find client named: ${nameToFind}" ); } ``` We need a way for our write model to "load" an entity that already has events applying to it in the event store. We can achieve this by replaying every event which refers to the entity's UUID. The basic process is: 1. Get all relevant event messages from the event store 2. For each message, recreate the appropriate event 3. Create a new entity write model and replay each event At the moment, our tests throws exceptions so we start by creating the required BookClientOntoLesson command, using the BookLesson command as a template. The handle method will look like:
``` public function handle(LessonRepository $repository) { /** @var Lesson $lesson */ $lesson = $repository->load($this->lessonId); $lesson->addClient($this->clientName); $repository->save($lesson); } ``` Add the load event in the lesson repository:
``` public function load(LessonId $id) { $events = $this->eventStoreRepository->load($id); $lesson = new Lesson(); $lesson->initializeState($events); return $lesson; } ``` The repository's load function returns an array recreated events. It does this by first finding the event messages in the event store, then delegating to the Serializer to turn each event message into an event. The Serializer created the messages from events, so we need to add a deserialize() method to reverse the process. You'll remember the Serializer delegated to each event to manage the serialzing of event data (eg client name). We'll do the same when reversing the process so our SerializableEvent interface should be updated with a deserialize() method. Let's take a look at the code to explain things better. First the EventStoreRepository's load function:
``` public function load($uuid) { $eventMessages = EloquentEventStoreModel::where('uuid', $uuid)->get(); $events = []; foreach($eventMessages as $eventMessage) { /* We serialized our event into an event_payload, so we need to deserialize before returning */ $events[] = $this->eventSerializer->deserialize( json_decode($eventMessage->event_payload) ); } return $events; } ``` With the corresponding deserialize function in the eventSerializer:
``` public function deserialize( $serializedEvent ) { $eventClass = $serializedEvent->class; $eventPayload = $serializedEvent->payload; return $eventClass::deserialize($eventPayload); } ``` Finally, the static factory deserialize() method in LessonWasOpened (we need to add this method to every event)
``` public static function deserialize($data) { $lessonId = new LessonId($data->lessonId); return new self($lessonId); } ``` Now we have an array of all previous events, we just replay them against our Entity write model to initialize state:
``` public function initializeState($events) { foreach( $events as $event ) { $this->handle($event); } } ``` And rerun our test - we're back to Green! ### Protecting against invariants ###
Following along? $> git checkout eabe2cf
We don't actually have a test here to ensure we're enforcing our domain rules, so let's write one:
``` public function testMoreThan3ClientsCannotbeAddedToALesson() { $testLessonId = '123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440002'; $lessonId = new LessonId($testLessonId); $this->dispatch( new BookLesson($lessonId, "bob") ); $this->dispatch( new BookClientOntoLesson($lessonId, "george") ); $this->dispatch( new BookClientOntoLesson($lessonId, "fred") ); $this->setExpectedException( TooManyClientsAddedToLesson::class ); $this->dispatch( new BookClientOntoLesson($lessonId, "emma") ); } ``` You'll notice that we only need a lessonId - this test re-initializing the lesson's state with each command. ### Generating UUIDs ###
Following along? $> git checkout eeeac9e
At the moment, we're just passing in hand crafted UUIDs when really we want to generate these automatically. I'm going to use the Ramsy\UUID package, so let's install that with composer:
$> composer require ramsey/uuid
And update our tests to use the new package:
``` public function testEntityCreationWithUUIDGenerator() { $lessonId = new LessonId( (string) \Rhumsaa\Uuid\Uuid::uuid1() ); $this->dispatch( new BookLesson($lessonId, "bob") ); $this->assertInstanceOf( Lesson::class, Lesson::find( (string) $lessonId) ); } ``` ### "Enforcing" Read Model immutability ###
Following along? $> git checkout 5e62320
Currently, a new developer to a project could look at the code, see App\School\ReadModels which contains a set of Eloquent models and use these models to write changes to the lessons table. We can stop this by creating an ImmutableModel class which extends the Eloquent Model class and overrides the save method:
Created 4 years ago | Updated 8 months ago


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