DDD and the Anemic Domain Model

Every month we get together with the team to work on new technology or just occupy ourselves with tech related topics in general. In order to come up with topics to cover, we surveyed ourselves to determine what we would like to take a deeper dive into.

The last few meetups we picked frameworks such as Flutter, to build things we don’t get a chance to in our normal contexts. This time we wanted to look in detail at architecture, and more specifically the practices of domain driven design (and the polar opposite of this, the anemic domain model).

What exactly is an Anemic Domain Model? Do we think it’s a bad thing, because we have experienced this or just because Martin Fowler has told us so? What is the added value of domain driven design? Some of the questions we were hoping to see answered during the day.

We looked for inspiration in the form of easily digestible Youtube content (can’t go wrong there), where we watched a talk about applying Domain Driven Design in your REST API designs, to give us some much needed guidance and direction (for speed and efficiency always prefer a playback speed of at least 1.5x).

During the video we were trying to get to grips with the basic ideas behind DDD. We all knew about the concepts, have applied them in some way or form but never really questioned ourselves whether it brought the expected value. At the same time, we also wanted to see if we could find applications for the Anemic Domain Model, and if we still felt that this was a good choice after getting a better idea of DDD.

It was a great afternoon. As true architects we came to a common understanding that in the end, the answer was really simple: “it depends”. Every style has its applications, and depending on the type of application you are building and how much business logic is involved, each can have their place. We did learn some more on DDD and how to apply it more effectively in our projects.

As is rapidly becoming a tradition, we could not end the day without enjoying some good food. Architecture does help you work up a serious appetite! This time we went to an old water tower in Utrecht, to be exact a place called WT Urban Kitchen. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner there, combined with a spectacular view of the Utrecht skyline. We couldn’t have finished the day any better. So, if you like tech, architecture, fine dining at fantastic locations — make sure you get in touch with us, so you can join us at our next meetup!

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