New Features and Improvements in Marten 0.7

The Marten project was launched about 6 months ago as a proof of concept that we could really treat Postgresql as a document database, an event store, and a potential replacement for a problematic subsystem at work. Right now, Marten is starting to look like a potentially successful OSS project with an increasingly active and engaged community. If you’re interested in using Postgresql, Document Db, or event sourcing in .Net, you may want to check out Marten’s website or jump into the discussions in the Marten Gitter room.

Marten development has been proceeding much faster over the past couple weeks as a lot of useful feedback and pull requests are flowing in from early adopters and I’m able to dedicate quite a bit of time at work to Marten in preparation for us converting some of our applications over. Only a couple weeks after a pretty sizable v0.6 release, I was just able to upload a new Marten v0.7 nuget as well as publish updated documentation for the new changes.

While you can see the entire list of changes from the GitHub issue list for this milestone, the big, flashy changes are:

  1. After several related requests, the database connection is now “sticky” to an IDocumentSession and the underlying database connection is exposed off of the interface. Among other things, this change allows users to integrate Dapper usage inside the same transaction boundaries as Marten. This change also allows you to specify the isolation level of the underlying transaction. See the documentation for a sample usage of this new feature.
  2. You can opt into storing a hierarchy of document types as a single database table and logical document collection. See the documentation topic for information on using this feature.
  3. Batched queries for potentially improved performance if you need to make several database requests at one time.
  4. The results of Linq queries are integrated with Marten’s Identity Map features
  5. Improved Linq query support for child collections

In addition to the big ticket items above, Marten improved the internals of its asynchronous query methods (thanks to Daniel Marbach), the robustness of its decision making on when and when not to regenerate tables, and ability to use reserved Postgresql names as columns.

What’s next for Marten?

Right now the obvious consensus in the Marten community seems to be that we need to get serious with read side projection support, transformations, and some equivalent to RavenDb’s Include feature. Beyond that, I want to get some kind of instrumentation or logging story going and there’s a handful of “if only Marten had this *one* feature I could switch over” features in our issue list.

It’s not completely set yet, but the theoretical plans for the next v0.8 release are listed on GitHub.

If there’s any time soon, I’d like to restart some work on the event store half of Marten, but that has to remain a lower priority for me just based on what we think we need first at work.


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