An indie Service Container implementation based on Laravel Container

3.1.0 2017-12-03 14:54 UTC

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Last update: 2021-04-29 00:32:22 UTC


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An indie Service Container implementation based on Laravel Container.



  • PHP 5.4+, PHP 7.0+
  • Automatic dependencies resolution
  • Dependency-injecting constructor calls
  • Dependency-injecting method calls



Use composer.

composer require rock-symphony/container:^2.0


Of course you can put services to container (->set()) and get them from it (->get()), as well as check if container has specific service (->has()).


use RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer;

$container = new ServiceContainer();

// Definition:
// Set a service instance to container
$container->set('acme', new AcmeService());

// Consumer:
// Check if there is a service binding for given service ID  
echo $container->has('acme') ? 'It has acme service' : 'wtf?';

// Get a service from container
$acme = $container->get('acme');

Using abstract interfaces

It's handy to bind services by their abstract interfaces to explicitly declare it's interface on both definition and consumer sides.

/** @var $container \RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
// Note we bind instance by it's **abstract** interface.
// This way you force consumers to not care about implementation details, but rely on interface. 
$container->set(\Psr\Log\LoggerInterface::class, $my_fancy_psr_logger_implementation);

// Consumer:
// Then you have a consumer that needs a logger implementation,
// but doesn't care on details. It can use any PSR-compatible logger.
$logger = $container->get(\Psr\Log\LoggerInterface::class);


Sometimes you may also want to bind the same service by different IDs. You can use aliases for that (->alias()):

/** @var $container \RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
$container->alias('logger', \Psr\Log\LoggerInterface::class);

// Consumer:
$logger = $container->get(\Psr\Log\LoggerInterface::class);
// ... or 
$logger = $container->get('logger'); // 100% equivalent

Binding to a resolver function

You can declare a service by providing a resolver closure function (->bindResolver()). Service container will call that function every time you resolve service.

/** @var $container \RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
$container->bindResolver('now', function () {
    return new DateTime();

// Consumer:
$now = $container->get('now'); // DateTime object
$another_now = $container->get('now'); // another DateTime object

echo $now === $another_now ? 'true' : 'false'; // == false

Deferred resolution service binding

You can defer service initialization until it is requested for the first time. A resolver function will be called just once and its result will be stored to service container.

It works similar to ->bindResolver(), but stores result after first invocation.

/** @var $container \RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
$container->bindSingletonResolver('cache', function () {
    return new MemcacheCache('');

// Consumer:
$cache = $container->get('cache'); // DateTime object
// do something with $cache

Extending a bound service

You can extend/decorate an existing service binding with ->extend() method.

use RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer;

/** @var $container ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
$container->deferred('cache', function () {
    return new MemcacheCache('');

// Wrap cache service with logging decorator
$container->extend('cache', function($cache, ServiceContainer $container) { 
    // Note: it's passing a service container instance as second parameter
    //       so you can get dependencies from it.
    return new LoggingCacheDecorator($cache, $container->get('logger'));

// Consumer:
$cache = $container->get('cache'); // DateTime object
// Uses cache seamlessly as before
// (implying that MemcacheCache and LoggingCacheDecorator have the same interface)

Isolated extension to service container

A use-case: you want to create a new container inheriting services from the existing one. But you don't want to re-define the services again, using the originally defined ones. Also you want to provide more services, without modifying the original container.

Think of it as JavaScript variables scopes: a nested scope inherits all the variables from parent scope. But defining new scope variables won't modify the parent scope. That's it.

$parent = new ServiceContainer();
$parent->set('configuration', $global_configuration);

$layer = new ServiceContainerLayer($existing_container);
$layer->set('configuration', $layer_configuration); 
$layer->bindResolver('layer_scope_service', ...);
// and so on

var_dump($parent->get('configuration') === $layer->get('configuration')); // "false"

Automatic dependency injection

Dependency-injecting construction

You can construct any class instance automatically injecting class-hinted dependencies from service container. It will try to resolve dependencies from container or construct them recursively resolving their dependencies.


// Class we need to inject dependencies into
class LoggingCacheDecorator {
    public function __construct(CacheInterface $cache, LoggerInterface $logger, array $options = []) {
        // initialize

/** @var $container RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */
// Definition:
$container->set(LoggerInterface::class, $logger);
$container->set(CacheInterface::class, $cache);

// Consumer:
$logging_cache = $container->construct(LoggingCacheDecorator::class);
// you can also provide constructor arguments with second parameter:
$logging_cache = $container->construct(LoggingCacheDecorator::class, ['options' => ['level' => 'debug']]);

Dependency-injecting method call

You can call any callable automatically injecting dependencies from service container. It's primarily intended, but not limited, to call application HTTP controllers.

/** @var $container RockSymphony\ServiceContainer\ServiceContainer */

class MyController {
    public function showPost($url, PostsRepository $posts, TemplateEngine $templates)
        // Warning! Pseudo-code :)
        $post = $posts->findPostByUrl($url);
        return $templates->render('post.html', ['post' => $post]); 
    public static function error404(TemplateEngine $templates)
        return $templates->render('404.html');
// 1) It can auto-inject dependencies into instance method callables.
//    In this case it will check container for PostsRepository and TemplateEngine bindings.
//    Or try to create those instances automatically.
//    Or throw an exception if both options are not possible.
$container->call([$container, 'showPost'], ['url' => '/hello-world']);

// 2) It can construct class and auto-inject dependencies into method call:
//    Here it will first construct a new instance of MyController (see `->construct()`)
//    And then follows the same logic as the call 1) above.
$container->call('MyController@showPost', ['url' => '/hello-world']); 
// ... or the same: 
$container->call('MyController', ['url' => '/hello-world'], 'showPost');

// 3) It can auto-inject dependencies into static method call: 
$container->call(['MyController', 'error404']);
// ... or the same:

// 4) It can auto-inject dependencies into closure function calls  
$container->call(function (PostsRepository $repository) {

Note: Service container only resolves class-hinted arguments (i.e. arguments explicitly type-hinted to a class). You should provide required scalar arguments with second argument. It will use default value for options arguments (if you don't specify them).


  1. Why not use Laravel Container?

We were using Laravel Container for our project internally. But it's a bad candidate to link it as library as:

  • It doesn't follow SemVer – BC breaks on every minor version bump
  • It has unneeded dependency to flooded illuminate/contracts
  • It's designed to be used as part of Laravel Framework, thus it's almost unusable as-a-library
  • You can use all laravel components only at certain version (i.e. all at 5.3; or all at 5.4; but not mixing)
  • If you want to move forward you are forced to upgrade to latest PHP version (i.e. container 5.4 requires PHP 7.0)
  • Bloated public API: 31 public API methods (vs 10 public methods in this library)
  • Questionable method naming: what's the difference between ->make() and ->build()?


This project is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.