Change Tracking Service

Dealing with objects graphs can be complex and can get more complex as the graph evolves or gets bigger.

What we want to achieve in our software solutions is something like the following sample code:

var person = new Person();
person.FirstName = "first name value";
person.LastName = "last name value";
var address = new Address();
address.Street = "street address value";
person.Addresses.Add( address );

Given the above code snippet we have basically 2 requirements:

  • Know the state of the graph:

    • Is it changed?

    • Is there something that can be undone (backward changes)?

    • Is there something that can be redone (forward changes)?

  • Change the state of the graph:

    • Accept all changes at once;

    • Reject all changes at once;

    • Undo a single change;

    • Redo a single change;

But there is more, from the user perspective a single change can be reflected in more than one action, and thus change, in the code itself:

var order = new Order();
order.Customer = ... //reference to a customer object;
// --> begin of "atomic" operation
var item = new OrderItem();
item.ItemId = 123;
item.Quantity = 2;
order.Items.Add( item );
// --> end of "atomic" operation

In the above sample creating the order, setting property values, and adding it to the items collection, from the user perspective, are a single operation that matches the add to cart operation. In such a scenario an undo operation should rollback the entire set of changes to the new order item and the last add operation.

Given these requirements the next step is to rely on something that allows us to transparently handle the entire change tracking process, the first step is to understand what MementoEntity and MementoEntityCollection are.