Dependency Injection Made Easy for Clojure
Latest commit 239ba93 Jan 21, 2017 @kumarshantanu add TODO items


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Dependency Injection Made Easy for Clojure.

Dime implements dependency injection/inversion by creating partially applied functions in an inexpensive (boiler-plate free), mostly automated manner.


Leiningen coordinates: [dime "0.4.0"]


Consider a contrived order posting implementation with a decoupled design as shown below. You are supposed to write code in a similar fashion (with metadata tags) in your application for automatic injection.

Annotated functions

Notice the meta data tags (:expose, :inject, :post-inject) used in the code.

;; ---------------- in namespace foo.db ----------------

(ns foo.db
    [dime.util :as du]))

(defn ^{:expose :connection-pool
        :post-inject du/post-inject-invoke}  ; execute fn to obtain connection-pool
  [^:inject db-host ^:inject db-port ^:inject username ^:inject password]

(defn ^{:expose :find-items} db-find-items
  [^:inject connection-pool item-ids]
  {:items item-ids})

(defn db-create-order
  [^:inject connection-pool order-data]
  {:created-order order-data})

;; ---------------- in namespace foo.service ----------------

(defn service-create-order
  [^:inject find-items ^:inject db-create-order user-details order-details]
  (let [item-ids   (find-items (:item-ids order-details))
        order-data {:order-data :dummy}]  ; prepare order-data
    (db-create-order order-data)))

;; ---------------- in namespace foo.web ----------------

(defn ^:expose find-user  ; vars must have at least one inject annotation to participate in dependency discovery

(defn web-create-order
  [^:inject find-user ^:inject service-create-order web-request]
  (let [user-details (find-user (:session web-request))
        order-details {:order :dummy-order}
        created-order (service-create-order user-details order-details)]
    {:response :dummy-response}))

Requiring namespaces

You would need the requires namespaces. See the snippet below:

(ns foo.init
    [dime.core :as di]
    [dime.var  :as dv]))

Dependency discovery

Discovering dependency graph is quite straightforward:

(def deps (dv/ns-vars->graph ['foo.db 'foo.service 'foo.web]))  ; scan namespaces for injectable vars

Dependency resolution

Prepare seed data and invoke dependency resolution:

(defn resolve-dependencies
  (let [seed {:db-host "localhost"
              :db-port 3306
              :username "dbuser"
              :password "s3cr3t"}
        ;; `inject-all` resolves/injects dependencies, returning keys associated with partial functions
        {:keys [web-create-order]} (di/inject-all deps seed)]
    ;; now `web-create-order` needs to be called with only `web-request`

Dependency graph visualization

If you are using Leiningen, you can use the lein-viz plugin for visualization of the dependency graph. The snippet below is an example for [lein-viz 0.3.0]:

;; assuming this is in foo.init namespace
(defn viz-payload
  {:graph-data  (di/attr-map graph :dep-ids)
   :node-labels (di/attr-map graph :impl-id)
   :node-shapes (di/attr-map graph #(when (:post-inj %) :rectangle))})

Install the plugin and run the following command to visualize the graph:

$ lein viz -s foo.init/viz-payload

How it works

  • The :inject meta data tag is required for all dependency arguments to be injected.
  • The defn var names are keywordized to form their injection names unless overridden by the :expose tag.
  • The :inject tags on defn arguments are matched against the :expose names of the defn vars.
  • Arguments marked with :inject are looked up in seed data first, followed by other dependencies.
  • The :pre-inject tag is used for custom processing before partial fn is created. By default, no processing is done.
  • The :post-inject tag is used for custom processing after partial fn is created. By default, no processing is done.

Injection options

dime.core/inject-all (and dime.core/inject) allows an option map argument to customize the runtime behavior.

  • Option :pre-inject-processor may be useful to deref the vars (for faster dispatch) before making a partial fn
  • Option :post-inject-processor may be useful to catch any exceptions arising from post-injection handlers


Copyright © 2016 Shantanu Kumar (,

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License either version 1.0 or (at your option) any later version.