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Domain-Driven Design Starter Modelling Process

Domain-Driven Design (DDD) is a concept framework rather than a design method. DDD, as in the books of Evans and Vernon, is a consistent set of concepts and terms, but it does not prescribe a specific process for arriving at a DDD-conformous design. This is where the DDD Starter Modelling Process comes in. It is a pragmatic, practicioners’ guide to approaching large software design tasks. It is not a rigid process, but rather a set of tools and methods that can be used in a flexible way, depending on the situation.

Using DDD Starter as Process Model in the DDD Master Course

Our process in the Digital Sciences Master course Domain-Driven Design of Large Software Systems will be roughly aligned to the Domain-Driven Design Starter Modelling Process which is a pragmatic, practicioners’ guide to approaching large software design tasks.

Process Model

(c) DDD Crew, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Here is how we will cover the phases listed in the above model in the DDD Master course.


In reality, as in this course, this phase usually happens before you start the project. It is about identifying the stakeholders, aligning with them on the goals of the project, and getting their buy-in. In addition, it is about identifying high-level use cases and the main actors involved.


This phase is for learning about the domain, and trying to pinpoint the essence of it in a semi-formalized way. The 1st subteam (EventStorming) is responsible for this phase. We will use EventStorming (see detailed info page).

Decompose / Strategize / Connect / Organize / Define

In the DDD course, we try to cover these phases jointly, by post-processing the EventStorming results and apply various specification methods. This is covered by the 2nd subteam (Bounded Context). The details can be found on this info page).

The goal is to identify bounded contexts, and their relationship with each other. This way, (largely) autonomous teams can each tackle a bounded context and further specify and implement it, without having to coordinate with other teams too much. The DDD Starter Modelling Process describes these phases as follows.


This phase involves breaking down a large system or problem space into smaller, more manageable parts. The aim is to identify distinct areas of functionality or concern, making it easier to tackle complexity. Here, we will try to work with the results of the EventStorming workshop, and draw (sub-)domain boundaries.


In this phase, the team evaluates the decomposed parts to determine which are core to the business and which are generic or supporting. By doing this, they can decide where to invest their efforts and resources for maximum business impact. The method we will use is Core Domain Charts


In this phase, the relationships between different bounded contexts are identified and defined. This involves specifying how they interact, communicate, and share data, ensuring that the overall system works cohesively. The method to use is Domain Message Flow Modelling.


This phase is about grouping related functionalities or concepts into bounded contexts. Bounded contexts are clear boundaries within which a particular model is defined and applicable, ensuring that terms and concepts have unambiguous meaning. As method, we will create a Context Map.


Here, the team delves deeper into each bounded context to create a detailed model. This includes defining entities, value objects, aggregates, and domain events, forming the foundation for the software design. The method to use here is Bounded Context Canvas.


In a full-fledged DDD project, this phase would be about starting the implementation. For time reasons, we will not do this. However, we will identify the main aggregates in each bounded context, and create a container-level model.

This phase will be covered by the 3rd subteam (Components) in the DDD course. The methods we will use in this phase are explained in detail in this info page:


There is a commented list of literature and online sources for DDD on this server. For the DDD Starter Modelling Process, the following sources are particularly relevant.