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Dependency Injection System

branch: develop-2
README.md

Aura.Di

The Aura.Di package provides a dependency injection container system with the following features:

  • native support for constructor- and setter-based injection

  • lazy-loading of services

  • inheritable configuration of setters and constructor params

  • configuration of setters across interfaces and traits

When combined with factory classes, you can completely separate object configuration, object construction, and object usage, allowing for great flexibility and increased testability.

Fully describing the nature and benefits of dependency injection, while desirable, is beyond the scope of this document. For more information about "inversion of control" and "dependency injection" please consult http://martinfowler.com/articles/injection.html by Martin Fowler.

Foreword

Installation

This library requires PHP 5.3 or later, and has no userland dependencies.

It is installable and autoloadable via Composer as aura/di.

Alternatively, download a release or clone this repository, then require or include its autoload.php file.

Quality

Scrutinizer Code Quality Code Coverage Build Status

To run the PHPUnit tests at the command line, go to the tests directory and issue phpunit.

This library attempts to comply with PSR-1, PSR-2, and PSR-4. If you notice compliance oversights, please send a patch via pull request.

Community

To ask questions, provide feedback, or otherwise communicate with other Aura users, please join our Google Group, follow @auraphp on Twitter, or chat with us on #auraphp on Freenode.

Getting Started

You can instantiate a Container as follows:

<?php
use Aura\Di\Container;
use Aura\Di\Factory;

$di = new Container(new Factory());
?>

Setting Services

For the following examples, we will set a service that should return a database connection. The hypothetical database connection class is defined as follows:

<?php
namespace Example\Package;

class Database
{
    public function __construct($hostname, $username, $password)
    {
        // ... make the database connection
    }
}
?>

We will proceed from naive service creation to a more sophisticated idiom in four steps. Each of the variations is a valid use of the DI container with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Variation 1: Eager Loading

In this variation, we create a service by instantiating an object with the new operator.

<?php
$di->set('database', new \Example\Package\Database(
    'localhost', 'user', 'passwd'
));
?>

This causes the database object to be created at the time we set the service into the container. That means it is always created, even if we never retrieve it from the container.

Variation 2: Lazy Loading

In this variation, we create a service by wrapping it in a closure, still using the new operator.

<?php
$di->set('database', function () {
    return new \Example\Package\Database('localhost', 'user', 'passwd');
});
?>

This causes the database object to be created at the time we get the service from the container, using $di->get('database'). Wrapping the object instantiation inside a closure allows for lazy-loading of the database object; if we never make a call to $di->get('database'), the object will never be created.

Variation 3: Constructor Params

In this variation, we will move away from using the new operator, and use the $di->newInstance() method instead. We still wrap the instantiation in a closure for lazy-loading.

<?php
$di->set('database', function () use ($di) {
    return $di->newInstance('Example\Package\Database', array(
        'hostname' => 'localhost',
        'username' => 'user',
        'password' => 'passwd',
    ));
});
?>

The newInstance() method uses the Config object to reflect on the constructor method of the class to be instantiated. We can then pass constructor parameters based on their names as an array of key-value pairs. The order of the pairs does not matter; missing parameters will use the defaults as defined by the class constructor.

Variation 4: Class Constructor Params

In this variation, we define a configuration for the Database class separately from the lazy-load instantiation of the Database object.

<?php
$di->params['Example\Package\Database'] = array(
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'user',
    'password' => 'passwd',
);

$di->set('database', function () use ($di) {
    return $di->newInstance('Example\Package\Database');
});
?>

As part of the object-creation process, the Config examines the $di->params values for the class being instantiated. Those values are merged with the class constructor defaults at instantiation time, and passed to the constructor (again, the order does not matter, only that the param key names match the constructor param names).

At this point, we have successfully separated object configuration from object instantiation, and allow for lazy-loading of service objects from the container.

Variation 5: Call The lazyNew() Method

In this variation, we call the lazyNew() method, which encapsulates the "use a closure to return a new instance" idiom.

<?php
$di->params['Example\Package\Database'] = array(
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'user',
    'password' => 'passwd',
);

$di->set('database', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Database'));
?>

Variation 5a: Override Class Constructor Params

In this variation, we override the $di->params values that will be used at instantiation time.

<?php
$di->params['Example\Package\Database'] = array(
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'user',
    'password' => 'passwd',
);

$di->set('database', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Database', array(
    'hostname' => 'example.com',
));
?>

The instantiation-time values take precedence over the configuration values, which themselves take precedence over the constructor defaults.

Getting Services

To get a service object from the container, call $di->get().

<?php
$db = $di->get('database');
?>

This will retrieve the service object from the container; if it was set using a closure, the closure will be invoked to create the object at that time. Once the object is created, it is retained in the container for future use; getting the same service multiple times will return the exact same object instance.

Constructor Params Inheritance

For the following examples, we will add an AbstractModel class and two concrete classes called BlogModel and WikiModel. The idea is that all AbstractModel classes need a Database connection to interact with one or more tables in the database.

<?php
namespace Example\Package;

abstract class AbstractModel
{
    protected $db;

    public function __construct(Database $db)
    {
        $this->db = $db;
    }
}

class BlogModel extends AbstractModel
{
    // ...
}

class WikiModel extends AbstractModel
{
    // ...
}
?>

We will create services for the BlogModel and WikiModel, and inject the database service into them as part of the service definition. Using config inheritance provided by the DI container, we can define the database service injection through class configuration.

<?php
// default params for the Database class
$di->params['Example\Package\Database'] = array(
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'user',
    'password' => 'passwd',
);

// default params for the AbstractModel class
$di->params['Example\Package\AbstractModel'] = array(
    'db' => $di->lazyGet('database'),
);

// define the database service
$di->set('database', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Database'));

// define the blog_model service
$di->set('blog_model', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\BlogModel'));

// define the wiki_model service
$di->set('wiki_model', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\WikiModel'));
?>

We do not need to set the value of the 'db' param for the BlogModel and WikiModel directly. Instead, the params for the AbstractModel class are automatically inherited by the child BlogModel and WikiModel classes, so the 'db' constructor param for all Model classes automatically gets the 'database' service. (We can override that at instantiation time if we like.)

Note the use of the lazyGet() method. This is a special method intended for use with params and setters. If we used $di->get(), the container would instantiate the service at that time. However, using $di->lazyGet() allows the service to be instantiated only when the object being configured is instantiated. Think of it as a lazy-loading wrapper around the service (which itself may be lazy-loaded).

We do not need to write our classes in any special way to get the benefit of this configuration system. Any class with constructor params will be recognized by the configuration system, so long as we instantiate it via $di->newInstance()or $di->lazyNew().

Factories and Dependency Fulfillment

Creating a service for each of the model objects in our application can become tiresome. We may need to create other models, and we don't want to have to create a separate service for each one. In addition, we may need to create model objects from within another object. Finally, we don't want to create model objects until we actually need them. This is where we can make use of factories.

Below, we will define three new classes: a factory to create model objects for us, an abstract PageController class that uses the model factory, and a BlogController class that needs an instance of a blog model. We will populate the ModelFactory with a map of model names to factory objects that will create the mapped objects.

<?php
namespace Example\Package;

class ModelFactory
{
    // a map of model names to factory closures
    protected $map = array();

    public function __construct($map = array())
    {
        $this->map = $map;
    }

    public function newInstance($model_name)
    {
        $factory = $this->map[$model_name];
        $model = $factory();
        return $model;
    }
}

abstract class PageController
{
    protected $model_factory;

    public function __construct(ModelFactory $model_factory)
    {
        $this->model_factory = $model_factory;
    }
}

class BlogController extends PageController
{
    public function exec()
    {
        $blog_model = $this->model_factory->newInstance('blog');
        // ... get data from the blog model and return it ...
    }
}
?>

Now we can set up the DI container as follows:

<?php
// default params for database connections
$di->params['Example\Package\Database'] = array(
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'user',
    'password' => 'passwd',
);

// default params for the AbstractModel class
$di->params['Example\Package\AbstractModel'] = array(
    'db' => $di->lazyGet('database'),
);

// default params for the model factory
$di->params['Example\Package\ModelFactory'] = array(
    // a map of model names to model factories
    'map' => array(
        'blog' => $di->newFactory('Example\Package\BlogModel'),
        'wiki' => $di->newFactory('Example\Package\WikiModel'),
    ),
);

// default params for page controllers
$di->params['Example\Package\PageController'] = array(
    'model_factory' => $di->lazyGet('model_factory'),
);

// the database service; note that we can use lazyNew() and the
// container will do all the setup for us
$di->set('database', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Database'));

// the model factory service
$di->set('model_factory', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\ModelFactory'));
?>

When we create an instance of the BlogController and run it ...

<?php
$blog_controller = $di->newInstance('Example\Package\BlogController');
echo $blog_controller->exec();
?>

... a series of events occurs to fulfill all the dependencies in two steps. The first step is the instantiation of the BlogController:

  • The BlogController instance inherits its params from PageController

  • The PageController params get the 'model_factory' service

  • The ModelFactory params get the Database object, creating the database connection at that time

The second step is the invocation of ModelFactory::newInstance() within BlogController::exec():

  • BlogController::exec() invokes ModelFactory::newInstance()

  • ModelFactory::newInstance() creates a new class and passes in the Database object

At the end of all this, the BlogController::exec() method has been able to retrieve a fully-configured BlogModel object without having to specify any configuration locally.

Setter Injection

Until this point, we have been working via constructor injection. However, we can work via setter injection as well.

Given the following example class ...

<?php
namespace Example\Package;

class Foo {

    protected $db;

    public function setDb(Database $db)
    {
        $this->db = $db;
    }
}
?>

... we can define values that should be injected via setter methods:

<?php
// after construction, the Container will call Foo::setDb()
// and inject the 'database' service object
$di->setter['Example\Package\Foo']['setDb'] = $di->lazyGet('database');

// create a foo_service; on get('foo_service'), the Container will create the
// Foo object, then call setDb() on it per the setter specification above.
$di->set('foo_service', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Foo'));
?>

Note that we use lazyGet() for the injection. As with constructor params, we could tell the class to use a new Database object instead of the shared one in the Container:

<?php
// after construction, call Foo::setDb() and inject a service object.
// we override the default 'hostname' param for the instantiation.
$di->setter['Example\Package\Foo']['setDb'] = $di->lazyNew(
    'Example\Package\Database',
    array(
        'hostname' => 'example.com',
    )
);

// create a foo_service; on get('foo_service'), the Container will create the
// Foo object, then call setDb() on it per the setter specification above.
$di->set('foo_service', $di->lazyNew('Example\Package\Foo'));
?>

Setter configurations are inherited. If you have a class that extends Example\Package\Foo like so ...

<?php
namespace Example\Package;
class Bar extends Foo
{
    // ...
}
?>

... you do not need to add a new setter value for it; the Container reads all parent setters and applies them. (If you do add a setter value for that class, it will override the parent setter.)

Conclusion

If we construct our dependencies properly with params, setters, services, and factories, we will only need to get one object directly from DI container. All object creation will then happen through the DI container via factory objects and/or the Container object. We will never need to use the DI container itself in any of the created objects.

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