I have a training management and tracking system, with a high level structure as follows:
We have a Role1, e.g. Manager, Shift-boss, miner, etc. and a Candidate, training for that Role. The role has a list of courses and their subjects the candidate needs to complete to qualify for the role. Candidate has a TrainingHistory attribute, containing the courses and subjects they have completed, their results, and the date completed.
Now I see it as a TrainingHistoryCourse is-a Course, extended to add DateCompleted etc. but something is nagging at me to rather use something like a TrainingHistoryRecord that has-a Course. How can I further analyse this to determine which pattern to use?
Then, a Role has a list of RoleTask definitions that the Candidate must be observed practising, and a Candidate has a history of RoleTaskObservation objects recording their performance at these tasks. This is very similar to the course/subject requirement and history pattern for the candidate, except for one less hierarchical level, but, a RoleTaskObservation clearly does not have an is-a relationship with RoleTask, unless I block my nose and rather use ObservedRoleTask.
I would prefer to use the same pattern for both subject/course and task/observation structures, but I think that would force me to adopt a composition pattern for TrainingHistoryCourse. What is the wisdom here? Always inherit where possible and validated by a solid is-a association, or always favour composition wherever possible?
1 Client specified this to be called JobTitle, but he isn't writing the app, and a JobTitle is only one attribute of a Role. Authorization roles are handled by the DevExpress framework and its customization hooks, so there would be very little little confusion between a business Role in my domain objects and an authorization role in lower level, framework code.