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Generic .Net application boostrapper


A lightweight library that handles the startup of an application and abstracts the composite application as concept. It gives a reusable implementation of the Separate Configuration and Construction from Use principle.

The two most important steps performed at application startup are:

  • configure the Dependency Injection Container (DIC), and
  • initialize the Composite Application

Dependency Injection Support

AppBoot abstracts and hides the underlying Dependency Injection Container (DIC).

By doing this it enforces consistency on how dependency injection and service location are done in the entire application. It favors constructor dependency injection and encourages programming against interfaces.

It provides annotation based and convention based mechanisms for declaring interface implementations. It is extensible with new custom mechanisms for configuring the DIC.

Annotation Based Configuration

ServiceAttribute is used to decorate a type which should be registered into the DIC as implementation to the specified interface (or contract).

Declares PriceCalculator as 'default' implementation for IPriceCalculator:

[Service(typeof (IPriceCalculator), Lifetime.Instance)]
public class PriceCalculator : IPriceCalculator

public interface IPriceCalculator

Declares more implementations for an interface, with different contract names (named implementations):

[Service("Banned Customer Approval", typeof(IApprovalService))]
class BannedCustomer : IApprovalService
	public bool Approve(ApproveRequest approveRequest)
		if (IsBanned(approveRequest.Customer))
            return false;
		return true;

[Service("Price for Customer Approval", typeof(IApprovalService))]
class PriceForCustomer : IApprovalService
	public bool Approve(ApproveRequest approveRequest)
		// check if the order price is to high for the trust we have in this customer

// default implementation for IApprovalService which gets through DI all the others named implementations declared for it
class CompositeApprovalService : IApprovalService
	private readonly IApprovalService[] approvals;
    public CompositeApprovalService(IApprovalService[] approvals)
		this.approvals = approvals;

By using the annotations, you can specify on the implementation if its instances should be Singleton or a new instance should be created each time. It can be done by using Lifetime enum on the ServiceAttribute.

public enum Lifetime
	/// <summary>
	///     New instances are created each time a new object graph is created.
	///     During the scope of build-up of one object graph the created instances are reused.
	/// </summary>

	/// <summary>
	///     Always creates a new instance of this class when it is injected as a dependency.
	/// </summary>

	/// <summary>
	///     Lives on the application as a singleton instance
	/// </summary>

By doing this declaration close to the implementation class, it makes you more careful not to make stateful singletons, or if you do, to synchronize the access in multi-thread environments.

Convention Based Configuration

Configurations can also be done through conventions.

Registers UnitOfWork as 'default' implementation of IUnitOfWork interface:

conventions.ForType<UnitOfWork>().Export(x => x.AsContractType<IUnitOfWork>());

Registers all the types that inherit Repository class as implementations for the interfaces they implement, and which name ends with Repository:

conventions	.ForTypesDerivedFrom<Repository>()
			.ExportInterfaces(i => i.Name.EndsWith("Repository"));

Registers all the types that implement IApprovalService and are not named with Composite, as named implementations of this interface.

conventions	.ForTypesMatching(t =>  t.Implements<IApprovalService>() && 
	                   .Export(x => x.AsContractType<IApprovalService>()

Composite Application Support

AppBoot provides a simple definition of a modular application.

internal sealed class Application
	private readonly IEnumerable<IModule> modules;
	public Application(IModule[] modules)
		this.modules = modules.OrderByPriority();

	public void Initialize()
		foreach (IModule module in Modules)

public interface IModule
	void Initialize();

At application startup all the IModule implementations that were registered into the DIC are initialized.

This mechanism, even if it is very simple, it gives a great flexibility in deployment by configuring which modules are available. Multiple logical modules may be defined by implementing IModule, and based on the DIC configuration they are initialized at the application startup.

Getting Started

  • Remove any references to a Dependency Injection framework and use the AppBoot instead. Currently AppBoot uses Unity Container, but it may be configured to work with any other DIC
  • Use attribute annotations, convention based or a custom mechanism to define register interface implementation into the underlying DIC
  • Define logical modules that you want to be initialized at application startup