Implementing CQRS with MediatR - Part 2

You can find the source-code for this section of the article in this GitHub repository.

Installation and Setup

Initially, we create a new ASP.NET Core API project and install the MediatR package using the NuGet Package Manager:

Install-Package MediatR.Extensions.Microsoft.DependencyInjection

After installing, add this code to the ConfigureServices method in the Startup.cs file of your project to register the MediatR dependencies in your DI Container:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    // ...
    services.AddMediatR(cfg =>

* If you are using other DI Containers, you can register MediatR in your preferred container using the instructions from this link.


As mentioned in the previous post, in CQRS, the methods of the application are divided into Command and Query sections. In MediatR, an interface named IRequest has been created. All our Command/Query classes, which request the execution of a task, will inherit from this interface.

The reason for naming this interface IRequest is that we are creating a request to add a new customer, and another part of the application will be responsible for responding to this request.

IRequest has two overloads: generic and non-generic. The non-generic implementation is for requests that do not have a return response (usually commands), and we do not expect any response from them. The generic implementation specifies the type of response that will be returned after processing the request.

For instance, we intend to create a new customer in our application. The Customer class is defined as follows:

public class Customer
    public int Id { get; set; }

    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public string LastName { get; set; }

    public DateTimeOffset RegistrationDate { get; set; }

And the corresponding DTO is defined like this:

public class CustomerDto
    public int Id { get; set; }

    public string FirstName { get; set; }

    public string LastName { get; set; }

    public string RegistrationDate { get; set; }

Adding a customer is a Command because it adds a new record to the database and changes the state of the application. We create a new class named CreateCustomerCommand, inherit from IRequest, and set the return response type to CustomerDto:

public class CreateCustomerCommand : IRequest<CustomerDto>
    public CreateCustomerCommand(string firstName, string lastName)
        FirstName = firstName;
        LastName = lastName;

    public string FirstName { get; }

    public string LastName { get; }

The CreateCustomerCommand specifies its requirements through the constructor. To create a customer, the minimum required information is the Firstname and Lastname, and after passing the necessary values to the constructor of this class, the values are immutable due to being get-only.

Here, the concept of immutability is fully observed.



Every IRequest requires a handler to process it. In MediatR, the classes responsible for processing a IRequest inherit from the IRequestHandler interface and implement its Handle() method.

Continuing from the previous example, we create a class named CreateCustomerCommandHandler, inherit from IRequestHandler, and implement the logic for adding a customer to the database:

public class CreateCustomerCommandHandler : IRequestHandler<CreateCustomerCommand, CustomerDto>
    readonly ApplicationDbContext _context;
    readonly IMapper _mapper;

    public CreateCustomerCommandHandler(ApplicationDbContext context, IMapper mapper)
        _context = context;
        _mapper = mapper;

    public async Task<CustomerDto> Handle(CreateCustomerCommand createCustomerCommand, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
        Customer customer = _mapper.Map<Customer>(createCustomerCommand);

        await _context.Customers.AddAsync(customer, cancellationToken);
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync(cancellationToken);

        return _mapper.Map<CustomerDto>(customer);

The first generic parameter of IRequestHandler is the request itself, and the second parameter is the class that will be returned as the response after processing.

As you can see in this Handler, we use the Entity Framework’s DbContext to register information in the database and AutoMapper’s IMapper to map the CreateCustomerCommand to Customer.

Our AutoMapper profile settings are configured to set the Customer’s RegistrationDate to the current time during the CreateCustomerCommand mapping, and to display the RegistrationDate in a user-friendly format when mapping Customer to CustomerDto:

public class DomainProfile : Profile
    public DomainProfile()
        CreateMap<CreateCustomerCommand, Customer>()
            .ForMember(c => c.RegistrationDate, opt =>
                opt.MapFrom(_ => DateTimeOffset.Now));

        CreateMap<Customer, CustomerDto>()
            .ForMember(cd => cd.RegistrationDate, opt =>
                opt.MapFrom(c => c.RegistrationDate.ToShortDateString()));

Finally, by injecting the IMediator interface into our controller and sending a POST request to this action, we issue the customer creation request through the Send method:

public async Task<IActionResult> CreateCustomer([FromBody] CreateCustomerCommand createCustomerCommand)
    CustomerDto customer = await _mediator.Send(createCustomerCommand);
    return CreatedAtAction(nameof(GetCustomerById), new { customerId = customer.Id }, customer);

As you can see, here we have only sent the request, and the responsibility of finding the handler of this request is undertaken by the MediatR framework, and we have not directly called our handler anywhere (Hollywood Principle: Don’t Call Us, We Call You). HollywoodPrincipal

The implementation of a Query is exactly similar to a Command, and an example of it exists in the repository mentioned at the beginning of the article. In addition to the Send method, the IMediator interface has another method called Publish, which is responsible for raising events, which we will use in later articles.

A few points:

1- In naming Commands, the word Command is mentioned at the end of their name: CreateCustomerCommand

2- In naming Queries, the word Query is mentioned at the end of their name: GetCustomerByIdQuery

3- In naming Handlers, we use the combination of Command/Query + Handler: CreateCustomerCommandHandler, GetCustomerByIdQueryHandler

4- In this section, our requests entered their handlers without any validation, which is not the use-case in most applications. In the next section, we will automatically validate the parameters of our requests using Fluent-Validation.