DependencyInjection in JavaScript
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DependencyInjection in JavaScript

DEPRECATED: This library only works with JOII 2.x.

The DependencyInjection package for JOII allows you to apply the IoC design pattern to your JavaScript projects. The package itself requires JOII to function, but it works flawlessly with native JavaScript functions. This means that you don't have to port your own project to JOII-classes in order for this to work.

The functionality in this library has a close resemblance to Symonfy2's DependencyInjection component and can roughly be used in the same way.

This library has three main components: ContainerBuilder, Container and Definition. These components are declared in the DependencyInjection namespace.

Basic Usage

// Create a Container instance
var container = new DependencyInjection.Container();

// Add a service and grab its definition.
var definition = container.register('my_service', SomeJavascriptFunction);

// Set constructor arguments
definition.setArguments(['first parameter', 2, 'third']);
definition.addArgument('And a fourth');

// Add method calls
definition.addMethodCall('someMethod', ['first parameter', 'second']);
// ...

// Set tags in case you want to find all services tagged with a certain tag.
definition.addTag('some-tag', ['optional arguments']);

The definition instantiates SomeJavascriptFunction as soon as its first called and does the following:

  • Arguments: 'first parameter', 2, 'third' are passed to the constructor
  • Methods: someMethod is executed with arguments: 'first parameter', 'second'

All this code might seem a lot of work if you have to do this for all your service definitions, but this is were the ContainerBuilder comes in. All code above does the exact same as the following:

// Create a ContainerBuilder
var builder = new DependencyInjection.ContainerBuilder();

// Fill the container using configuration:
    services: {
        my_service: {
            'class'     : SomeJavascriptFunction,
            'arguments' : ['first parameter', 2, 'third', 'and a fourth'],
            'calls'     : [
                ['someMethod', ['first parameter', 'second']]
            'tags'      : {
                'some-tag' : ['optional arguments']

A service can be grabbed from the container using the get method:

var myService = container.get('my_service');

All services are lazy loaded, meaning they'll only be instantiated when they're needed.

Passing dependencies

The whole purpose of DependencyInjection is to allow you passing of parameters and other services into another service. A Container holds a Parameter collection which is simply a key-value storage which you can use to store whatever you want.


Parameters can be passed to a service by omitting the parameter name with percent signs.

// Create a parameter
container.setParameter('foobar', 'Hello World');

// Pass the parameter to the definition.

As soon as the service is instantiated, the library will replace '%foobar%' with 'Hello World' before passing it as a constructor argument. The same is possible with method arguments.

Parameters can also be set using the configuration object passed to the ContainerBuilder:

    services: {
        service_a: {
            'class'     : SomeFunction,
            'arguments' : ['%foobar%']
    parameters: {
        foobar: 'Hello World'

note: loadConfiguration may be called multiple times.


A service can be referenced just like parameters, but instead of omitting the name with percent signs, the name needs to be prefixed with an at-sign @.

// Register a service
container.register('some_service', 'Some.Namespace.Service');

// Pass a reference to the service as a constructor argument

As soon as the service in the definition is instantiated, the dependency some_service will be instantiated first. Beware that the library takes circular references into account and will throw an exception when this occurs. For example:

    services: {
        service_a: {
            'class'     : SomeFunction,
            'arguments' : ['@service_b']
        service_b: {
            'class'     : AnotherFunction,
            'arguments' : ['@service_a']

var my_service = builder.getContainer().get('service_a');
// Exception: Service service_a has a circular reference to itself.

Service Class Declaration

As you might imagine, creating service definitions the way explained in the examples above, may cause one problem: You don't always have access to the scope of a function, or you want to load configuration from a JSON file. This means you can't simply pass the function itself to the class parameter.

But, where there is a problem, there is a solution. You can pass a string as a class (function) reference and the library will look in the global scope for that function.

Imagine we have a function which we want to register as a service in the following namespace: MyApplication.Providers.AuthenticationProvider, and we load our configuration from a closed scope, making it impossible to make a direct reference to that function.

Simply pass the name as a string.

container.register('authentication_provider', 'MyApplication.Providers.AuthenticationProvider');