C# - Are Repositories Useful Without Domain Driven Design?

Mar 9, 2011

Assuming my application did not warrant a full blown DDD setup, would Repositories still be useful? I like the way they shield from implementation details (such as use of Entity Framework) underneath. However Repositories tend to be tied to Aggregate Roots (the concept is still a holy grail to me) by definition.

I suppose the question could also be put as such: if I have a typical 3-tier application, with a business layer facade consisting of "logical grouping" classes based on functionality (rather than aggregate roots as in DDD) such as TradingManager and ContactsManager, would it make sense to also create "logical grouping" repositories. Or perhaps a Data Access Object, which I believe is like a Repository without the aggregate root requirement. Of course I will still have a Model (EF POCOs) that will be passed up and down between the layers.

Also, is what I just described would be considered as a Transaction Script approach? It's certainly not DDD, and not Active Record. I'm not even sure if Active Record exists with EF4 like it does with Nhibernate.

I am trying to understand how others structure n-layered applications when they do not follow DDD.

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