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Sunday, August 27, 2006

DIP: Dependency Inversion Principle

The Dependency Inversion Principle deals with how to correctly design classes such that their dependency on one another causes the least amount of work in case of a change. Uncle Bob's definition of DIP states:
  • High-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Both should depend on abstractions.
  • Abstractions should not depend on details. Details should depend on abstractions.
Essentially what this principle means is that in a tiered design, higher level modules and lower level modules should not directly depend on each other; instead they should only depend on abstractions. Moreover, abstractions should not have any knowledge of details (other classes in the system). This principle closely relates to some of the other design principles I discussed previously in that it yields a design that is highly decoupled ensuring that minor changes in one part of the application do not cause a domino effect in other parts of the application. Moreover such a design is extensible -- as new business entities are added, usually such as design scales well by requiring only new code to be added rather than existing code to be modified. ASP.NET 2.0's Provider Model is a great example of such a design that provides a default implementation for various sub-systems such as Membership, Personalization, Navigation, etc. but also allows developers to modify the default behavior by extending certain classes.

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