Repositories

"Mediates between the domain and data mapping layers using a collection-like interface for accessing domain objects" (Martin Fowler).

Repositories, in practice, are used to perform database operations for domain objects (see Entities). Generally, a separated repository is used for each aggregate root or entity.

Generic Repositories

ABP can provide a default generic repository for each aggregate root or entity. You can inject IRepository<TEntity, TKey> into your service and perform standard CRUD operations. Example usage:

public class PersonAppService : ApplicationService
{
    private readonly IRepository<Person, Guid> _personRepository;

    public PersonAppService(IRepository<Person, Guid> personRepository)
    {
        _personRepository = personRepository;
    }

    public async Task Create(CreatePersonDto input)
    {
        var person = new Person { Name = input.Name, Age = input.Age };

        await _personRepository.InsertAsync(person);
    }

    public List<PersonDto> GetList(string nameFilter)
    {
        var people = _personRepository
            .Where(p => p.Name.Contains(nameFilter))
            .ToList();

        return people
            .Select(p => new PersonDto {Id = p.Id, Name = p.Name, Age = p.Age})
            .ToList();
    }
}

In this example;

  • PersonAppService simply injects IRepository<Person, Guid> in it's constructor.
  • Create method uses InsertAsync to save a newly created entity.
  • GetList method uses the standard LINQ Where and ToList methods to filter and get a list of people from the data source.

The example above uses hand-made mapping between entities and DTOs. See object to object mapping document for an automatic way of mapping.

Generic Repositories provides some standard CRUD features out of the box:

  • Providers Insert method to save a new entity.
  • Providers Update and Delete methods to update or delete an entity by entity object or it's id.
  • Provides Delete method to delete multiple entities by a filter.
  • Implements IQueryable<TEntity>, so you can use LINQ and extension methods like FirstOrDefault, Where, OrderBy, ToList and so on...
  • Have sync and async versions for all methods.

Basic Repositories

Standard IRepository<TEntity, TKey> interface extends standard IQueryable<TEntity> and you can freely query using standard LINQ methods. However, some ORM providers or database systems may not support standard IQueryable interface.

ABP provides IBasicRepository<TEntity, TPrimaryKey> and IBasicRepository<TEntity> interfaces to support such scenarios. You can extend these interfaces (and optionally derive from BasicRepositoryBase) to create custom repositories for your entities.

Depending on IBasicRepository but not depending on IRepository has an advantage to make possible to work with all data sources even if they don't support IQueryable. But major vendors, like Entity Framework, NHibernate or MongoDb already support IQueryable.

So, working with IRepository is the suggested way for typical applications. But reusable module developers may consider IBasicRepository to support a wider range of data sources.

Read Only Repositories

There are also IReadOnlyRepository<TEntity, TKey> and IReadOnlyBasicRepository<Tentity, TKey> interfaces for who only want to depend on querying capabilities of the repositories.

Generic Repository without a Primary Key

If your entity does not have an Id primary key (it may have a composite primary key for instance) then you cannot use the IRepository<TEntity, TKey> (or basic/readonly versions) defined above. In that case, you can inject and use IRepository<TEntity> for your entity.

IRepository<TEntity> has a few missing methods those normally works with the Id property of an entity. Because of the entity has no Id property in that case, these methods are not available. One example is the Get method that gets an id and returns the entity with given id. However, you can still use IQueryable<TEntity> features to query entities by standard LINQ methods.

Custom Repositories

Default generic repositories will be sufficient for most cases. However, you may need to create a custom repository class for your entity.

Custom Repository Example

ABP does not force you to implement any interface or inherit from any base class for a repository. It can be just a simple POCO class. However, it's suggested to inherit existing repository interface and classes to make your work easier and get the standard methods out of the box.

Custom Repository Interface

First, define an interface in your domain layer:

public interface IPersonRepository : IRepository<Person, Guid>
{
    Task<Person> FindByNameAsync(string name);
}

This interface extends IRepository<Person, Guid> to take advantage of pre-built repository functionality.

Custom Repository Implementation

A custom repository is tightly coupled to the data access tool type you are using. In this example, we will use Entity Framework Core:

public class PersonRepository : EfCoreRepository<MyDbContext, Person, Guid>, IPersonRepository
{
    public PersonRepository(IDbContextProvider<TestAppDbContext> dbContextProvider) 
        : base(dbContextProvider)
    {

    }

    public async Task<Person> FindByNameAsync(string name)
    {
        return await DbContext.Set<Person>()
            .Where(p => p.Name == name)
            .FirstOrDefaultAsync();
    }
}

You can directly access the data access provider (DbContext in this case) to perform operations. See entity framework integration document for more about custom repositories based on EF Core.

In this document