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Type-checked, stand-alone service/configuration-container for PHP (5.3+)
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Stockpile provides a base-class for easy implementation of the service locator pattern, and provides simple means for implementing simple, efficient dependency injection.

⚠️ Service Locator is generally considered to be an anti-pattern - if you're looking for a modern DI container that does not encourage or optimize for that pattern, but still provides great IDE support, please check out Unbox.

Tested and designed for PHP 5.3 and up.

See "example.php" in the root-folder for an example of how to use this class.


The Container base class will parse @property annotations on your class - these provide design-time IDE support, while the type-hints and property-names in your class-level doc-block are also picked up and parsed by the base-class, which is then able to provide run-time type-checking and extra safety.

API Overview

The life-cycle of a Container class has two stages: it is initially open for registration and configuration, and then gets sealed (using the seal() method) prevent any further modifications. In other words, it is initially write-only, and then becomes read-only.

Configuration methods, available prior to calling seal():

register(string $name, Closure $init)   # register component creation function
unregister(string $name)                # unregister a component
configure(Closure|Closure[] $config)    # configure a registered component
shutdown(Closure $function)             # dispose of components after use
load(string $path)                      # load an external configuration file

Other methods, available at all times:

getRootPath()                           # get configuration files root path
invoke(callable $function, $params)     # invoke a function with components as arguments
isActive(string $name)                  # check if a component has been initialized
isDefined(string $name)                 # check if a component has been defined                 
isRegistered(string $name)              # check if a component has been registered

A "defined" component, is a property of your container that has been defined with an @property annotation. A "registered" component has been registered using the register() method, or has been initialized directly by setting the property. An "active" component has been initialized, e.g. by accessing the property after the container has been sealed.


By using this class as the base-class for the global point of entry for your application or module, your container will receive proper IDE-support and run-time type-checking e.g. for service interfaces and configuration values.

A basic container class migth look like this:

use mindplay\stockpile\Container;

 * @property string $db_username
 * @property string $db_password
 * @property-read PDO $db application-wide database connection
class MyApp extends Container

Usage of the class might be something like this:

$container = new MyApp(__DIR__ . '/config');

$container->load('default.php'); // load and execute "config/default.php"

Note that there is deliberately no support for configuration via nested arrays, XML/JSON/YAML data files, or any other schema-less means of configuration - these add complexity, they provide no support for design-time inspections in a modern IDE, they are unnecessary and provide no clear benefits.

Configuration Files

Your config/default.php being loaded in the example s simply a PHP script, which might look something like this:

/** @var MyApp $this */

$this->db_username = 'foo';
$this->db_password = 'bar';

Notice the @var type-hint, which provides design-time IDE support.

Once the container has been sealed, when the $db property is accessed for the first time, the registered creation function will be called. Arguments to this function correspond to property-names - you should type-hint these for IDE support, when possible; in this example both properties are strings.

Dependency Resolution

Asking for required components (via arguments to closures), enables the container to initialize dependencies (other components) in cascade. For example, let's say that several different components depend upon a cache component - here's an example of registering a view engine with a dependency a cache component:

    function (FileCache $cache) {
        // cache argument injected via $container->cache

        return new ViewEngine($cache, ...);

Layered Configuration

When configuration happens in layers (e.g. multiple configuration-files for different environments) you can further configure a named component, by using additional anonymous functions, with type-hints for IDE-support.

For example, to send a set names utf8 query to MySQL when the $db component gets initialized, you might add this:

    function (PDO $db) {
        $db->exec("set names utf8");


Once you're all done configuring your container, before you can start using the components, you need to seal it - this prevents any further attempts to make changes accidentally, and also verifies that the configuration of every defined component is complete.

$container->db_username = '...';
$container->db_password = '...';

$container->seal(); // prevent further changes (exception if incomplete)

Note that, if you have components that are deliberately absent, you must explicitly set these to null - this forces you to actively make decisions and leads to more self-documenting code.

Eager vs Lazy

You won't find an option to toggle eager/lazy loading of components - it is assumed you want everything to initialize as late as possible. If you do have a component that is available immediately, simply inject that component directly - for example:

$container->logger = new Logger(...); // eager construction, vs lazy register()


Very large applications (with many containers and lots of properties) may benefit from caching - the included benchmark demonstrates the benefit of this, showing a performance increase of ~ 3.5x, but don't overestimate the impact of this difference; for most applications, the difference in practice may be at the most a couple of milliseconds, since it's already pretty fast without caching.

To configure caching, you need to override the protected getCache() method - you might for example use a subfolder under a Container's root path:

class MyContainer extends Container
     * @return CacheProvider
    protected function getCache()
        return new FileCache($this->getRootPath() . '/cache');

Note that this folder must be writable by the web server's user account.

Advanced Use

For advanced uses, such as building a Container with specialized behavior (e.g. defining components by other means besides parsing @property annotations) an abstract base class AbstractContainer is available, with a bunch more protected API methods available. Explore on your own, if needed.

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