Everything Gets an Id

Vigil Journey

There can be a lot of issues with figuring out how to identify an object, especially as I try to track it across various services, platforms, persistance strategies, and even entire systems. For a while, I played around with just having every object contain its own identification field. However, it was painful having to remember to put the same and correct field(s) on every entity. I stumbled upon a blog post (which I cannot find anymore), which talked about pulling the key out into its own class, and have everything inherit from there. I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of a super-base-class, but I think it at least gives me a good place to isolate the key into a globally consistent way.

Globally Unique Identifier

Having the identifier at the time of initialization turned out to save all kinds of problems for me. When persisting to a database, I no longer have to wait to select the inserted record to find its identity. I can pass entities between services, pass the key to another service, or check on queues by that Guid.

IKeyIdentity Interface

By abstracting the key to an interface, I can decide later if and how I would like to change it. This will limit the places that are impacted if I need to change out the type of the Id, or add more fields. Also, by having methods use an interface instead of a concrete class, it becomes much easier to mock this when testing. Faking an interface is much easier than building entire test classes.

using System;

namespace Vigil.Domain
{
    public interface IKeyIdentity
    {
        Guid Id { get; }
    }
}

KeyIdentity Interface

This is the basic implementation of the IKeyIdentity interface. It follows the ValueObject convention, making the Guid immutable, but also adds the ability to compare any two objects by their Guid.

using System;
using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;
using System.Diagnostics.Contracts;

namespace Vigil.Domain
{
    public class KeyIdentity : IEquatable<KeyIdentity>, IKeyIdentity
    {
        public static KeyIdentity NewIdentity()
        {
            return new KeyIdentity();
        }

        [Key]
        public Guid Id { get; protected set; }

        protected KeyIdentity()
        {
            Id = Guid.NewGuid();
        }

        protected KeyIdentity(Guid id)
        {
            Id = id;
        }

        public override bool Equals(object obj)
        {
            if (ReferenceEquals(null, obj))
            {
                return false;
            }
            if (ReferenceEquals(this, obj))
            {
                return true;
            }
            if (obj.GetType() != GetType())
            {
                return false;
            }
            return Equals((KeyIdentity)obj);
        }

        public bool Equals(KeyIdentity other)
        {
            if (other == null)
            {
                return false;
            }
            return Equals(other.Id, Id);
        }

        public static bool operator ==(KeyIdentity left, KeyIdentity right)
        {
            return Equals(left, right);
        }
        public static bool operator !=(KeyIdentity left, KeyIdentity right)
        {
            return !Equals(left, right);
        }

        public override int GetHashCode()
        {
            return Id.GetHashCode();
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            return Id.ToString();
        }

        [ContractInvariantMethod]
        private void ObjectInvariant()
        {
            Contract.Invariant(Id != Guid.Empty);
        }
    }
}