Linq to SQL and the Repository Pattern

Earlier this month, I posted Entity Framework and the Repository Pattern. Mickey posted that code on GitHub, along with his own Linq to SQL implementation.

For those new to Git, here’s how you can get Mickey’s repository:

Mickey took the time to complete the story for me. I posted only enough code to make my point (which was, BTW, that the Repository Pattern takes more work than you might expect). Mikey reverse engineered the database that I used for my example, and even populated it with data from this blog. Wow!

Now let’s review his work.


image Mickey not only includes unit test (the motivation for my original post), but also integration tests. Just open the solution and hit Ctrl+R, A to run all tests. If you find that the tests don’t deploy the database file, double-click the Local.testsettings file and add the dbf to the Deployment section. I found that the tests passed before I turned on code coverage, but then I had to make this change.

I enabled code coverage and found that he achieves 92%-100% in all modules except for the generated code. The reason that it is not 100% is mostly due to the fact that my original tests didn’t add anything to the repository.

Two sets of data types

The goal of the original post was not persistence ignorance, it was testing. But persistence ignorance is often a reason for using the Repository Pattern. Mickey’s solution is not persistence ignorant, either.

If you look in the Data project, you will see NoteworthyEntitiesL2SModel.dbml and NoteworthyEntitiesEFModel.edmx. That is, he used both EF and L2S to generate models from the database. This created two separate sets of data types.

This division necessarily permeates the solution, since those generated data types are exposed from the repository. As a result, he has a separate memory provider for each data access technology. The EF memory provider expects ObjectContext and ObjectQuery. The L2S memory provider replaces those with DataContext and Table.

Both of the memory providers have unit tests. They distinguish between the two by namespace. EF and L2S use different strategies for naming associative tables, but other than that the code looks the same.

In practice, you will typically choose one data access technology, so this lack of persistence ignorance is not a problem. But if it bothers you, please look into POCO support for EF and L2S to see if there’s a way to remove the dependency upon the data access technology.

Thank you, Mickey

I am quite impressed with the effort that Mickey put into packaging this example and making it available to us. He took code that only worked on my machine and filled in the missing components so that we can all run the tests. And he took what was working for Entity Framework and ported it to Linq to SQL so that you have the choice. Now, either way you go, you can test your data services.

Thanks, man.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.