What's the added value of domain-driven design?

Niels van der Rest
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Domain-driven design consists of a range of techniques developers use to design software based on the client's domain. What are the benefits?

In essence, a software product is the translation of a solution to a client's problem. Unfortunately, crucial pieces of information tend to get lost in translation. Real complications usually arise several years after implementing the software, when it's difficult to discern the underlying issue – which is always rooted in the client's domain. Enter domain-driven design, a range of techniques developers use to design software based on the client's domain. Sounds good, but what exactly is the added value of this? We'll discuss it in this blog.

Client and developer: bridging the communication gap

Here's what often happens in software development: a client has come up with a certain solution to their problem and tells the development team to build up. Usually, however, developers don't know enough about the client's underlying issues or objectives. They either do what they're told, or they propose solutions based on their limited business knowledge. And although the client may be a domain expert, they don't think like a software developer, as they're unfamiliar with the scope of technology.

This creates a communication gap, which can be bridged using domain-driven design. How? Simple: the method utilizes the strengths of both sides. Through in-depth discussions, they get to the bottom of the problem so as to find a fruitful solution. It's key for developers to know the client's business goals. This way, they can use their technological expertise to come up with a truly appropriate solution.

Domain-driven design: some specifics

The key is to start with a clear translation of the client's domain to software. This allows the developer to discuss the software's domain logic with the client's stakeholder(s) to test whether it's correct – which shouldn't be difficult, as the code contains crucial information about the client's domain.

In this light, let's briefly dwell on the importance of communication in software development. Domain-driven design has several tools to facilitate communication, such as ubiquitous language, which allows you to unambiguously define terms whose meaning tends to depend on specific contexts. By eliminating ambiguity, you avoid confusion and create one common internal language. This might be challenging at first, but it ultimately makes communication much easier.

Going the extra mile

As VI Company operates in a niche market, we believe it's paramount that our developers possess extensive knowledge on the financial world. We collaborate with our clients and familiarize ourselves with their domain, so we fully understand their issues. Briefly put, we go the extra mile to come up with solutions that make a difference in the long term!

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