Understanding CQRS Pattern: Pros, Cons, and a Spring Boot Example

JackyNote ⭐️
4 min readNov 6, 2023
CQRS Design Pattern

Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) is a powerful architectural pattern that separates the responsibility for handling commands and queries in a software system. By dividing these concerns, CQRS aims to improve scalability, maintainability, and flexibility. In this technical blog post, we’ll dive into the CQRS pattern, discuss its pros and cons, and provide a complete example using Spring Boot.

What is CQRS?

CQRS stands for Command Query Responsibility Segregation. It’s a pattern that separates the operations that read data (queries) from those that write data (commands). In a CQRS-based system, the following components are typically involved:

  • Command: Represents an action to change the system’s state. Commands are responsible for creating, updating, or deleting data.
  • Query: Represents an operation to retrieve data from the system. Queries are responsible for reading data without modifying it.
  • Command Handler: Processes and executes commands, making changes to the system’s state.
  • Query Handler: Handles queries by retrieving data from the system and returning it in a suitable format.

Pros of CQRS:

1. Scalability

CQRS allows you to scale read and write operations independently. This is particularly useful in systems where read and write loads are significantly different. You can allocate more resources to optimize query performance while keeping write operations efficient.

2. Flexibility

Since commands and queries are separated, you can optimize data storage and retrieval strategies independently. This flexibility is especially beneficial when working with various data storage technologies or optimizing performance.

3. Improved Maintainability

CQRS simplifies the codebase by segregating concerns. This separation results in cleaner, more maintainable code, as commands and queries don’t interfere with each other.

4. Enhanced Security

CQRS allows you to apply different security mechanisms to read and write operations. You can have stricter security controls on commands, ensuring that only authorized users can make changes.

Cons of CQRS:

1. Increased Complexity

Implementing CQRS can introduce additional complexity to your system. You need to manage the flow of data between command and query models, potentially duplicating data for different models.

2. Learning Curve

Developers not familiar with CQRS may face a learning curve when adopting the pattern. Understanding the concepts and implementing them correctly can be challenging.

3. Eventual Consistency

CQRS can lead to eventual consistency issues, where query models may not reflect the most recent changes made by commands immediately. Dealing with this inconsistency requires careful handling and synchronization.

CQRS in Spring Boot: A Simple Example

Let’s illustrate CQRS using a Spring Boot application for managing tasks. We’ll create a basic implementation with separate command and query models. You can expand this example for more complex scenarios.

Command Model:

@Entity
public class Task {
@Id
@GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.IDENTITY)
private Long id;
private String title;
private boolean completed;

// Constructors, getters, and setters
}

Command Model: CreateTaskCommand


public class CreateTaskCommand {
private String title;

// Getter and setter for title
}

Command Handler: TaskCommandHandler


@Service
public class TaskCommandHandler {
@Autowired
private TaskRepository taskRepository;

@Transactional
public Long handle(CreateTaskCommand command) {
Task task = new Task();
task.setTitle(command.getTitle());
task.setCompleted(false);
taskRepository.save(task);
return task.getId();
}
}

Query Model: TaskDTO

public class TaskDTO {
private Long id;
private String title;
private boolean completed;

// Constructors, getters, and setters
}

Query Handler: TaskQueryHandler


@Service
public class TaskQueryHandler {
@Autowired
private TaskRepository taskRepository;

public List<TaskDTO> getAllTasks() {
List<Task> tasks = taskRepository.findAll();
return tasks.stream()
.map(task -> new TaskDTO(task.getId(), task.getTitle(), task.isCompleted()))
.collect(Collectors.toList());
}
}

REST API: TaskController

@RestController
@RequestMapping("/tasks")
public class TaskController {
@Autowired
private TaskCommandHandler commandHandler;
@Autowired
private TaskQueryHandler queryHandler;

@PostMapping
public Long createTask(@RequestBody CreateTaskCommand command) {
return commandHandler.handle(command);
}
@GetMapping
public List<TaskDTO> getAllTasks() {
return queryHandler.getAllTasks();
}
}

This Spring Boot application illustrates the fundamental concepts of CQRS by separating command and query models and providing separate handlers for each. You can use POST requests to create tasks and GET requests to retrieve a list of tasks.

Let’s start to call API

You can use these cURL commands to interact with your Spring Boot application and verify that it correctly handles the CQRS operations.

Create a Task using cURL:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"title":"Task 1"}' <http://localhost:8080/tasks>

This command sends a POST request to create a new task with the title “Task 1.” Adjust the title as needed.

Retrieve All Tasks using cURL:

curl <http://localhost:8080/tasks>

This command sends a GET request to retrieve a list of all tasks.

CQRS is a powerful pattern that can be applied to more complex scenarios, such as event sourcing and distributed systems. While it has its advantages, it’s essential to consider the added complexity and eventual consistency when deciding whether to implement CQRS in your projects.

In summary, CQRS is a valuable pattern that can offer improved scalability, maintainability, and flexibility in your systems. By understanding its pros and cons and using a simple Spring Boot example, you can explore how CQRS can benefit your projects.

--

--

JackyNote ⭐️

🚀 Software Engineer | Full Stack Java 7 Years of Experience | Tech Enthusiast | Startup Lover | Founder of helik.co - URL Shorten | Coffee