Having Domain business logic in an application is the first step in building with a Clean Architecture. Now let’s take a look at incorporating the application and UI layers. Specifically, the addition of the ASP.NET Core framework.

In the previous post we established the Domain business logic using a .NET Standard Class Library. We were careful to not introduce any unnecessary dependencies. As we introduce the ASP.NET Core framework we need to ensure to keep this independence intact.

Adding the ASP.NET Core Framework

We are building a REST API using ASP.NET Core. Adding a new ASP.NET Core project to our solution can be done using the following script:

$projectName = "BookWarehouse"

md "$projectName\src\$projectName.Api"

cd "$projectName\src\$projectName.Api"
dotnet new webapi --no-restore
dotnet add reference "..\$projectName.Domain\$projectName.Domain.csproj"

cd ..\..\..\

md "$projectName\test\UnitTests.$projectName.Api"
cd "$projectName\test\UnitTests.$projectName.Api"
dotnet new xunit --no-restore
dotnet add reference "..\..\src\$projectName.Domain\$projectName.Domain.csproj"
dotnet add reference "..\..\src\$projectName.Api\$projectName.Api.csproj"

cd ..\..\
dotnet sln add ".\src\$projectName.Api\$projectName.Api.csproj"
dotnet sln add ".\test\UnitTests.$projectName.Api\UnitTests.$projectName.Api.csproj"

cd ..

So Far, So Good

Let’s assume the Warehouse API allows callers to retrieve all Bookshelf entities. We would expose an GET endpoint similar to this:

public class WarehouseController : ControllerBase
    private readonly Warehouse _warehouse;

    public WarehouseController(Warehouse warehouse)
        _warehouse = warehouse;

    public ActionResult<IEnumerable<BookShelf>> Get()
        return Ok(_warehouse.GetBookShelves());

This usage does not require the Domain to know anything about the application layer (i.e. the ASP.NET Core framework). To maintain this relationship we need to ensure that on business rules are not implemented in the ASP.NET project and that no user interface processing logic exists in the Domain project.

Wiring Up The Dependency Injection Container

ASP.NET Core has a built-in Dependency Injection Container which allows applications to compose objects are run-time. This permits the dependencies to be injected (typically through constructor parameters) into objects, rather than having them be aware of the implementation of these dependencies.

For example, if the code requires the WarehouseController to create its instance of the Warehouse object, we would introduce a new dependency that controller would need to manage. This is a poor design choice since the way a Warehouse object is created could depend on a connection to a database or configuration settings and now the controller would need to be aware of all these things. It is wiser to let the Dependency Injection Container to construct the Warehouse instance and pass it to the controller.

In the Startup class, there is a method where you can add this logic:

void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)

To add the Warehouse construction logic to the application, please add the following:


This will create a new instance of the Warehouse for each request made to the WarehouseController. It will use the default parameter-less constructor to create the Warehouse instance.

As the application evolves and database persistance is added, the logic to create the Warehouse is managed (centrally) in the DI Container, and not in the controllers that use the objects.

Where to Next

Adding the ASP.NET Core application is straightforward and doesn’t require the Domain business logic to be aware (dependent) on this new layer to the application. But what about persisting the data to a database? That will be the topic of our next port and will begin an interesting adventure with Entity Framework Core.