Inversion of control and Dependency Injection for node.js, javascript and typescript
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README.md

shelf-dependency

npm version

shelf-dependency is an Dependency Injection container for Node.js applications. It allows Dependency Injection and Inversion Of Control inside Javascript/Typescript classes (or constructor functions).

Features

  • easy and unobstrusive dependencies declaration
  • no decorators or special requirements
  • es6/es2015 class or constructor function (legacy class declaration)
  • support for standard require
  • easy unit testing for components
  • convention over configuration
  • resolve a list of components
  • resolve factory methods
  • Typescript declarations
  • register/unregister components with tags

This project is inspired by Castle Windsor.

Known limitations

  • dependencies are parsed using a very simple regex, this can potentially cause some function/class syntax to be unsupported (especially for future ecmascript implementation)
  • no default value parameters support (default values are ignored)
  • lambda function not supported (and potentially other unusual declaration)

Installation

Install shelf-dependency from npm:

npm install shelf-dependency --save

Basic usage

shelf-dependency can be used to automatically inject dependencies in your javascript component. A component is a javascript class (or function) and can contains one or more dependencies to other components as constructor arguments:

class Bar {
  constructor(readonly logger) {
  }

  helloBar() {
    this.logger.log("hello from bar");
  }
}

Declare shelf-dependency container that will contains all your components:

const ShelfDependency = require("shelf-dependency");
const container = new ShelfDependency.Container();

Register all components:

container.register("bar", Bar);
container.register("logger", console);

Resolve and use Bar component:

const foo = container.resolve("bar");
bar.helloBar();

register and resolve functions should be called only inside a composition root, usually the entry point of your application.

IMPORTANT: Components resolution is done by using a simple name convention, a dependency named car will be resolved using a component register as car (case insensitive).

See also:

Components

A component can be a class or an already instantiated object. Typescript or ES6 classes are supported.

Before ES6 classes should be created using the legacy function constructor syntax. If you don't know how to create a Javascript legacy class take a look at Mixu's Node book for a quick introduction.

Components are usually considered singleton, only one instance of a component will be created and every dependency on that component will receive the same instance. For transient components or to create more than one instance of a component see factoryFacility below.

Components names are case insensitive ('car' is equal to 'CAR') and every dots and dashes are removed ('socket.io' is resolved as 'socketio').

For class component you don't never have to instantiate directly the class (ie. calling 'new' on the constructor function). shelf-dependency will take care of creating it. This will allow to resolve all the constructor parameters with other registered components.

Here a sample Car component using Typescript:

export class Car {
  constructor(readonly engine, readonly logger) {
  }
  go() {
    this.engine.start();
    this.logger.log("car is started!");
  }
}

Here a sample Car component using plain ES5 Javascript:

function Car(engine, logger){
  this._engine = engine;
  this._logger = logger;
}
Car.prototype.go = function(){
  this._engine.start();
  this._logger.log("car is started!");
}
module.exports = Car;

In the above case shelf-dependency when instantiating Car class will pass on the constructor an instance of the engine and logger components. engine and logger parameters are called dependencies.

Component can also be object instance, the difference is that in this case is your responsability to create the object.

Container class

The Container class is where every components must be register and where you resolve your root component. The Container class has the following interface:

export class Container {
  register(name: string, component: any, options?: Partial<RegisterOptions>): void;
  registerProperties(obj: any): void;
  resolve(name: string): any;
  resolveNew(name: string, dependencies?: any): any;
  resolveAll(name: string): any[];
  unregister(name?: string, options?: Partial<UnregisterOptions>): void;
  use(facilityFunction: Facility): void;
}

Registering a component

A component can be registered by calling Container.register instance method.

var container = new ShelfDependency().Container;
container.register("car", Car);

If your components are declared inside private or public modules you can use the standard node.js require function:

container.register("car", require("./car.js"));

The name used when registering a component will be the same used when resolving it. Just remember that names are case insensitive and dots and dashes are removed by default. Also consider that usually component's dependencies are automatically resolved using function parameter names, so I suggest to don't use characters that are not allowed for parameters Javascript names.

You can register multiple components with the same name. In this case when resolving a single component (method resolve) the last one win, but you can get all the registered components by a given name using resolveAll method.

You can also register objects:

container.register("car", { name: "Ferrari" });

You can register transient components (each time is resolved a new instance is created) using

container.register("foo", Foo, { lifeStyle: ShelfDependency.LifeStyle.Transient });

Resolving a component

You can resolve a component by calling Container.resolve instance method explicitly or implicitly when declaring a constructor parameter (dependency). Usually the resolve method is only called inside the application entry point, where you need to create the roots components. Then each root component will have zero or more dependencies to other components that will call the resolve method automatically when instantiated.

Here we resolve the Car component explicitly:

var car = container.resolve("car");

When calling resolve method for classes the function constructor is called, so the above code is equivalent to:

var car = new Car();

If the constructor contains one or more parameters (dependencies), each parameters is resolved using the parameter name. The process is recursive.
If one component cannot be resolved an exception is throw.

Registering a component with tags

container.register("car", Ferrari, { tags: ["Ferrari", "italy"] });
container.register("car", Porsche, { tags: ["Porsche", "germany"] });
container.register("bicycle", Bianchi, { tags: ["Bianchi", "italy"] });

Registering a component with a static dependency

Sometime you need to pass options or other properties to component that aren't components. In this case you can explicitly pass a static dependency.

For example let's say that you have a Duck component that takes the name of the duck.

function Duck(name){
  this.name = name;
}

You can register the Duck component using this code:

container.register("duck", Duck, { dependsOn: { name: "Donald" } } );

Any dependency passed explicitly in this way has the precedence over standard components. I usually suggest to use this solution for configuration objects or other special dependencies.

Unregister a component

You can unregister a component by calling:

container.unregister("car");

This instruction deletes any reference to the specified component but doesn't have any effect on already resolved instances.

You can also unregister all components by tags:

container.unregister(undefined, { tags: ["myTag"] });

Resolve a list of components

When multiple components are registered with the same name, you can get the list of component by calling resolveAll:

function Ferrari(){
}
function Porsche(){
}
container.register("car", Ferrari);
container.register("car", Porsche);
var cars = container.resolveAll("car");

resolveAll gets an array of all the registered components, in the same order of the register calls. If no components are found an empty array is returned.

If you have a component that need to receive a list of other components of the same kind you can use the listFacility. See below.

Facilities

Facility are used to extend the default behavior of shelf-dependency. A facility can be registered using the use method. The facility function is called when a component cannot be resolved using the default mechanism.

Here an example:

function myFacility(shelf, name){
  // Write your custom facility code
  // return the resolved component or
  // null if the facility cannot resolve it.
}

container.use(myFacility);

There are some built-in facilities available:

  • requireFacility
  • listFacility
  • factoryFacility

requireFacility

requireFacility is used to automatically call Node.js require method when a component is not found.
This can be very useful to easy setup your project without requiring to manually register all the components.

function MySampleClass(http){
  this.http = http;
}

container.use(ShelfDependency.requireFacility);
container.register("MySampleClass", MySampleClass);

var cmp = container.resolve("MySampleClass");

assert.instanceOf(cmp, MySampleClass);
assert.equal(cmp.http, require("http"));

listFacility

listFacility is used to automatically resolve components that end with 'List' by calling resolveAll method instead of the standard resolve. This can be useful to get a list of components instead of only one for a given name.

function MyLogger1(){}
function MyLogger2(){}

function MySampleClass(loggerList){
  this._loggerList = loggerList;
}

container.use(ShelfDependency.listFacility);
container.register("logger", MyLogger1);
container.register("logger", MyLogger2);
container.register("MySampleClass", MySampleClass);

var cmp = container.resolve("MySampleClass");

assert.instanceOf(cmp, MySampleClass);
assert.equal(cmp._loggerList.length, 2);
assert.instanceOf(cmp._loggerList[0], MyLogger1);
assert.instanceOf(cmp._loggerList[1], MyLogger2);

factoryFacility

factoryFacility is used to create factory function that can be used to create new instances of a specific component. The factory dependency must end with 'Factory'. Factory method takes an optional object with additional dependencies. This facility can be useful to create multiple instance of a given component and to specify different dependencies for each instance.

function MyLogger(source){
  this.source = source;
}

function MySampleClass(loggerFactory){
  this._logger = loggerFactory({source: "mySource"});
}

container.use(ShelfDependency.factoryFacility);
container.register("logger", MyLogger);
container.register("MySampleClass", MySampleClass);

var cmp = container.resolve("MySampleClass");

assert.instanceOf(cmp, MySampleClass);
assert.instanceOf(cmp._logger, MyLogger);
assert.equal(cmp._logger.source, "mySource");

Other DI modules

License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Davide Icardi

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.