3.1.6. Lazy Injection

Unlike the newInstance() and get() methods, calling one of the lazy*() methods on the Container will not lock the Container. Using lazy injection is the preferred and recommended way to defines object values for $params and $setters, and to define services. Lazy Instances

Thus far, we have used newInstance() to create objects through the Container. However, we usually don't want to create an object right at that moment when defining it. Instead, we almost always want to wait to create the object only at the time it is actually needed. Using lazyNew() instead allows us to defer object creation until it is needed as a dependency for another object.

$di->params['Example']['foo'] = $di->lazyNew('AnotherExample');

Now the AnotherExample object will only be instantiated when the Example object is instantiated. It will use the default AnotherExample injection values.

If we want to override the default $di->params values for a specific lazy instance, we can pass a $params array as the second argument to lazyNew() to merge with the default values. For example:

$di->set('service_name', $di->lazyNew(
        'bar' => 'alternative_bar_value',

This will leave the $foo parameter default in place, and override the $bar parameter value, for just that instance of the ExampleWithParams.

Likewise, we can note instance-specific setter values to use in place of the defaults. We do so via the third argument to $di->lazyNew(). For example:

$di->set('service_name', $di->lazyNew(
    [], // no $params overrides
        'setFoo' => 'alternative_foo_value',
)); Lazy Services Setting

As with object instances, we generally want to create a service instance only at the moment we get it, not at the moment we set it. To lazy-load a service, set the service using the lazyNew() method:

// set the service as a lazy-loaded new instance
$di->set('service_name', $di->lazyNew('Example'));

Now the service is created only when we we get() it, and not before. This lets us set as many services as we want, but only incur the overhead of creating the instances we actually use. Getting

Sometimes a class will need a service as one of its parameters. By way of example, the following class needs a database connection:

class ExampleNeedsService
    protected $db;
    public function __construct($db)
        $this->db = $db;

To inject a shared service as a parameter value, use $di->lazyGet() so that the service object is not created until the ExampleNeedsService object is created:

$di->params['ExampleNeedsService']['db'] = $di->lazyGet('db_service');

This keeps the service from being created until the very moment it is needed. If we never instantiate anything that needs the service, the service itself will never be instantiated. Getting-and-Calling

Sometimes it will be useful to retrieve the result of a method call to a shared service. To do so, use the lazyGetCall() method, passing the name of the service first, followed by the method name, and optionally followed by any arguments to the method.

$di->params['ExampleNeedsFactoriedObject']['object'] = $di->lazyGetCall('factory_service', 'newInstance'); Lazy Values

Sometimes we know that a parameter needs to be specified, but we don't know what it will be until later. Perhaps it is the result of looking up an API key from an environment variable. In these and other cases, we can tell a constructor parameter or setter method to use a "lazy value" and then specify that value elsewhere.

For example, we can configure the Example constructor parameters to use lazy values like so:

$di->params['Example']['foo'] = $di->lazyValue('fooval');
$di->params['Example']['bar'] = $di->lazyValue('barval');

We can then specify at some later time the values of fooval and barval using the $di->values array:

$di->values['fooval'] = 'lazy value for foo';
$di->values['barval'] = 'lazy value for bar';

Lazy values can be lazy themselves:

$di->values['fooval'] = $di->lazyGetCall('option_container', 'getFooOption'); Lazy Include and Require

Occasionally we will need to include a file that returns a value, such as data file that returns a PHP array:

// /path/to/data.php
return [
    'foo' => 'bar',
    'baz' => 'dib',
    'zim' => 'gir'

We could set a constructor parameter or setter method value to include "/path/to/data.php", but that would cause the file to be read filesystem at that moment, instead of at instantiation time. To lazy-load a file as a value, call $di->lazyInclude() or $di->lazyRequire() (depending on your preference for warning levels).

$di->params['Example1']['data'] = $di->lazyInclude('/path/to/data.php');
$di->params['Example2']['data'] = $di->lazyRequire('/path/to/data.php'); Lazy Array

Sometimes you'll be working with code that expects an array of objects. If you want the objects within the array to be lazy, you can use the $di->lazyArray() method. This will iterate through your array and resolve any lazy objects before returning the array.

$di->setters['Example']['addFoos'] = $di->lazyArray([

// Nesting Lazy Arrays
$di->setters['Example']['addBars'] = $di->lazyArray([
    $di->lazyArray(['name1', $di->lazyNew('FirstBar'), 'en']),
    $di->lazyArray(['name2', $di->lazyNew('SecondFoo'), 'es']),

LazyArray extends ArrayObject so if you need to modify the LazyArray after you've assigned it you can use any of the ArrayObject methods.

$di->setters['Example']['addFoos'] = $di->lazyArray([]);

// Append to array

// Get a copy of the internal array
$copy = $di->setters['Example']['addFoos']->getArrayCopy();

// Manipulate the array
array_unshift($copy, $di->lazyNew('FirstFoo'));

// Reassign with new array
$di->setters['Example']['addFoos'] = $di->lazyArray($copy); Lazy Callable

Sometimes you'll be working with code that deals with callables. This code may expect to invoke the callable once, or many times. If you wanted to use a service in this situation, you can use the lazyCallable method. This will produce a callable that will lazily resolve other lazies, and ensure that all calls to the service are made appropriately.

$di->params['Example']['foo'] = $di->lazyCallable($di->lazyGet('service_name'));
$di->params['Example']['bar'] = $di->lazyCallable([$di->lazyNew('ServiceClass'), 'methodName']); Generic Lazy Calls

It may be that we have a complex bit of logic we need to execute for a value. If none of the existing $di->lazy*() methods meet our needs, we can wrap an anonymous function or other callable in a lazy() call, and the callable's return will be used as the value.

$di->params['Example']['foo'] = $di->lazy(function () {
    // complex calculations, and then:
    return $result;

Note that this will work with any PHP callable, such as a static method:

// ServiceClass::staticMethod()
$di->set('service', $di->lazy(['ServiceClass', 'staticMethod']));

You can pass arguments to the callable like so:

// ServiceClass::staticMethod($arg1, $arg2, $arg3)
$di->set('service', $di->lazy(['ServiceClass', 'staticMethod'],

Lazies in the callable array, and in the arguments, will be resolved automatically.

// $serviceClass->methodName($configArray)
$di->set('service', $di->lazy([$di->lazyNew('ServiceClass'), 'methodName'],

You can also pass in lazies directly as the callable.

$di->set('service', $di->lazy($di->lazyNew('InvokableServiceClass'),

Beware of relying on generic Lazy calls too much; if we do, it probably means we need to separate our configuration concerns better than we are currently doing.