Delegate factories #4145

merged 6 commits into from Apr 15, 2013


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I've been working on this concept for some time, but this is basically a cleaned up version of #2995

Why do we need this?

The idea is to be able to build delegates of any existing service. This can be used to build "decorators" for service instantiation and for proxying.


Imagine that you have a DbConnection and a LoggedDbConnection object. A LoggedDbConnection wraps around a "real" DbConnection instance like following, but provides additional API that sends queries to a logger:

$connection = new LoggedDbConnection(new DbConnection());

Currently, our problem is that such a wrapper requires us to completely re-define the factory that instantiates DbConnection. There's no way to re-use logic from such a factory. We have to rewrite it and be aware of its internal logic:

    'db' => function ($sl) {
        // rewrite all ze logic here
        return new LoggedDbConnection($dbConnection);


We can proxy any service (with the assumption that we know its class name or implemented interface) and make it "lazy", so that its dependencies don't get instantiated when we request them. This allows us to build lightweight containers, as explained in Also, we don't have to worry about how the original service is instantiated, since the original factory is still existing.


In the following example, I've simply replaced the original service (instance of stdClass) with a new one that contains the original service in property tab:


use Zend\ServiceManager\ServiceManager;
use Zend\ServiceManager\ServiceLocatorInterface;
use Zend\ServiceManager\DelegateFactoryInterface;

require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

class FooDelegateFactory implements DelegateFactoryInterface
    public function createDelegateWithName(
        ServiceLocatorInterface $serviceLocator,
    ) {
        $foo      = new \stdClass();
        $foo->tab = $callback(); // php5.4, heh

        return $foo;

$serviceManager = new ServiceManager();
$serviceManager->setFactory('foo', function() {
    $foo = new \stdClass();
    $foo->bar = 'baz';

    return $foo;
$serviceManager->setService('foo-delegate-factory',new FooDelegateFactory());
$serviceManager->setDelegate('foo', 'foo-delegate-factory');

var_dump($serviceManager->get('foo')->tab->bar); // baz

Implementation flaws

  • Additional method call to doCreate, since I splitted create to allow this kind of behavior
  • doCreate is public, since I cannot use a closure and call ->bindTo($this) in PHP 5.3
  • It may not be clear at first, but the delegate factory is a service (which is a huge advantage, but is a bit different from what we're used to see)


A documentation PR has been provided at zendframework/zf2-documentation#825

This was referenced Mar 29, 2013
Ocramius commented Apr 3, 2013

Actually, the factory does not produce delegates, but delegators, as explained in I will change this after having prepared the docs PR.

@Ocramius Ocramius closed this Apr 12, 2013
@Ocramius Ocramius reopened this Apr 12, 2013

Good to go

prolic commented Apr 13, 2013

+1 on this!

@weierophinney weierophinney added a commit that referenced this pull request Apr 15, 2013
@weierophinney weierophinney Merge branch 'feature/4145' into develop
Close #4145
@weierophinney weierophinney merged commit b531502 into zendframework:develop Apr 15, 2013

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@Ocramius Ocramius deleted the Ocramius:feature/eager-services branch Mar 16, 2014
@weierophinney weierophinney added a commit to zendframework/zend-servicemanager that referenced this pull request May 15, 2015
@weierophinney weierophinney Merge pull request zendframework/zendframework#4145 from Ocramius/fea…

Delegate factories
@weierophinney weierophinney added a commit to zendframework/zend-servicemanager that referenced this pull request May 15, 2015
@weierophinney weierophinney Merge branch 'feature/4145' into develop 692b1d8
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