In the previous post I discussed the various approaches for modelling account operations. The outcome of this discussion was the insight that, when using event sourcing, aggregates are the derived concept with the primary concept being the domain invariants. I used money transfer as an example. As Maksim pointed out, in such scenario usually there is another invariant which was missing in my model

The balance of an account should not be less than zero

It is clear that this invariant cannot be satisfied by our Transaction aggregate. We must re-introduce the Account as an aggregate. By the way, what do you think about the new requirement? It is pretty specific, isn’t it? This might be a sign that we are missing a more general concept in the model. How about this

Account can reject participation in a transaction

This is called in Domain-Driven Design a refactoring towards deeper insight. Because of on it we can implement now all kinds of accounts, e.g. credit-only accounts, debit-only accounts (useful on system boundary), credit card accounts (accounts which balance cannot be positive) and many more and we have much better understanding of the domain concepts.

Let’s try to sketch the event-command chain for a successful transaction that would honor both consistency requirements

  1. Transfer command creates new instance of a Transaction aggregate. As a result, a Prepared event is emitted.
  2. Account receptor reacts on the Prepared event emitting two commands, one for each account involved in a transaction: PrepareDebit and PrepareCredit
  3. Destination Account processes PrepareCredit command based on its internal state and rules. In case of normal (non-negative balance) account, it does nothing. As a result, CreditPrepared event is emitted.
  4. Source Account processes PrepareDebit command based on its internal state and rules. In case of normal (non-negative balance) account, it decrements the available funds value. As a result, DebitPrepared event is emitted. Alternatively, DebitPreparationFailed event can be emitted if account rejects participating in the transaction.
  5. Transaction receptor reacts on CreditPrepared and DebitPrepared events by emitting appropriate notification commands.
  6. Transaction aggregate processes notification. If any account rejected the operation, it immediately emits TransactionCancelled event. Accounts which successfully prepared themselves for this transaction should react on this event by undoing any changes. When any account completes preparation, appropriate Confirmed event is emitted to update Transaction state. If both accounts confirmed, a pair of Debited/Credited events are emitted in addition to the Confirmed event. All three events are emitted in one transaction ensuring that funds transfer is done atomically.
  7. Account receptor reacts on Debited and Credited events by emitting appropriate notification commands.
  8. Destination Account processes the notification command based on its internal state and rules. In case of normal (non-negative balance) account, it increments both available funds and balance values.
  9. Source Account processes the notification command based on its internal state and rules. In case of normal (non-negative balance) account, it decrements the value of balance.

The double entry accounting rule is satisfied by Transaction aggregate via emitting both Credited and Debited events in one transaction while veto requirement (a generalization of non-negative balance invariant) is satisfied by using a variation two-phase commit protocol. Despite the fact that the whole interaction is asynchronous (events causing commands to be sent to other aggregates) the externally visible state of the system is always consistent: either there are no entries or there is a pair of Credited and Debited entries. The consequence of eventual consistency is the fact that, in theory, if the settlement phase is lagging for some reason the available funds value is lower than it could be. It means that there might be some false positive rejections which is of course not a desirable thing. But this shows how important monitoring is in asynchronous systems.

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