Using MicroORM for read layer in CQRS

cqrs dapper massive


Folks, Im considering using a microORM such as for the read access component of a CQRS application (Asp.Net MVC), with Entity Framework being used for manipulating the domain.

This is CQRS light, I am not using event sourcing etc. I have seen it mentioned several times that the read only model in CQRS should be light/simpleas possible querying the data layer, possible using something like That implies potentially hardcoding SQL Query strings in our code or in some XML file. How should I go about justifying this approach where we have to maintain the domain mappings on one side and SQL statements on another?

Has anyone used MicroORM's in a CQRS solution in this way? Thanks Mick

Accepted Answer

Yes, absolutely you can use Dapper, PetaPoco, Massive, Simple.Data, or any other micro ORM you would like. In the past we have used NHibernate to solve the problem but it was a 10,000 lbs. gorilla compared to what we needed.

One thing that we really liked about Simple.Data and Petapoco in our evaluation of those libraries was that they each could adapt your queries to different database engines (including Mongo) with minimal tweaking necessary, whereas Dapper was basically one big bunch of SQL strings--it was "stringly typed". Don't get me wrong, Dapper's great and is very, very fast and will absolutely work great. Just evaluate your functional and non-functional requirements before committing.

Here are the relative number of downloads using NuGet for each of the primary micro ORMs (as of about 1/1/2012). For us, having a good community with lots of downloads is always a must in order to help iron out issues when the arise:

  • 5568 Simple.Data
  • 4990 Petapoco
  • 4913 Dapper
  • 2203 Massive
  • 1152 OrmLite

Lastly, one thing you may want to investigate is your reasoning behind SQL altogether for your read models. If your domain is publishing events (regardless of event sourcing), and you're writing to simple, flat/non-relational view models, you may be able to get away with something as simple as JSON files that are pushed to the browser which the browser then interprets and uses to populate your HTML templates. There's all kinds of options that are available, you just need to determine what works best in your scenario.

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Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
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Is this KB legal? Yes, learn why