Dependency Injection Module


Dependency Injection re-designed: simpler, yet more powerful new principles

  • Extremely lightweight with lightning-fast runtime, no third-party dependencies
  • Entire runtime code of Injector consists of ~50 lines of code, and all dependencies graph preprocessing is performed at start-up time
  • Extensive use of Java8+ functional-style programming: for binding definitions, user-defined binding transformations and binding generators
  • Even more powerful: support of nested scopes, singletons and instance factories, modules, optimized multi-threaded and single-threaded injectors
  • All reflection is completely abstracted out in a separate module and is entirely optional
  • Completely transparent for introspection of its dependency graph and instances
  • Even more strict checks of dependency graph during start-up time
  • Has no dependencies on its own: can be used as a standalone component

DataKernel DI :: Basics

If you are familiar with common DI concepts, you can skip this part and go directly to DI internals or examples.

Dependency Injection, Keys, Bindings

  • Applications consist of components and each component has an inner id, which is called Key.
  • Key consists of Type type and nullable Name (useful when you need different implementations of the same Type):
public class Key<T> {
    final Type type;
    final Name name;
  • Application components can require some dependencies in order to be created.
  • DI takes care of supplying application components with these required objects.
  • In order to do it, DI needs to know what it needs to provide and how to use provided objects.
  • So, Binding has two corresponding attributes:
    • a set of needed for creation Set<Dependency> dependencies (POJO with Key)
    • compiler which will compile required instances
 public final class Binding<T> {
     final Set<Dependency> dependencies;
     final BindingCompiler<T> compiler;
  • Binding is like a “recipe” of how to create an instance of a component:
    • dependencies show what ingredients should be used
    • compiler knows how to cook them together
  • Now we need something that can use the recipe to cook the component properly, and here comes the Injector.


  • Provides all required dependencies for the component in a smart way.
  • Bindings are by default singletons - if an instance was created once, it won’t be recreated from scratch again. If it is needed for other bindings, Injector will take it from cache. You don’t need to apply any additional annotations for it.
  • To provide the requested key, Injector recursively creates all of its dependencies and falls back to injector of its parent scope if binding in its scope is not found.
 public class Injector {
     private final Injector parent;
     private final Trie<Scope, DependencyGraph> scopeTree;
     private final Map<Key<?>, CompiledBinding<?>> compiledBindings;
     private final Map<Key<?>, Integer> compiledIndexes;
     private final AtomicReferenceArray[] scopedInstances;
	private Injector(@Nullable Injector parent, Trie<Scope, DependencyGraph> scopeTree) {
		this.parent = parent;
		this.scopeTree = scopeTree;
		this.scopedInstances = parent == null ? new AtomicReferenceArray[1] : Arrays.copyOf(parent.scopedInstances, parent.scopedInstances.length + 1);
		this.scopedInstances[this.scopedInstances.length - 1] = new AtomicReferenceArray(scopeTree.get().instanceIndexes.size());
		this.compiledBindings = scopeTree.get().compiledBindings;
		this.compiledIndexes = scopeTree.get().instanceIndexes;

    public <T> T createInstance(Key<T> key) {
        CompiledBinding<?> binding = compiledBindings.get(key);
        if (binding != null) {
            return (T) binding.createInstance(scopedInstances, -1);
        throw DIException.cannotConstruct(key, null);
	public Injector enterScope(@NotNull Scope scope) {
	    return new Injector(this, scopeTree.get(scope));

Datakernel DI :: Internals


In short - scopes give us “local singletons” which live as long as the scope itself. In DataKernel DI scopes are a bit different from other DI frameworks:

  • The internal structure of the Injector is a prefix tree and the prefix is a scope.
  • The identifiers (or prefixes) of the tree are simple annotations.
  • Injector can enter the scope. This means you create an Injector and its scope will be set to the one that it’s entering.
  • This can be done multiple times, so you can have N injectors in certain scope.
 public class Injector {
	private final Trie<Scope, DependencyGraph> scopeTree;
     public Injector enterScope(Scope scope) {
         return new Injector(this, scopeTree.get(scope));


Dependency graph is hard to create directly, so we provide automatic graph transformation, generation and validation mechanisms with a simple yet powerful DSL.

All of those preprocessing steps are performed in start-up time by compiling modules:

  • each Module exports bindings which are combined with each other. If there are two or more bindings for any single key, they are reduced into one binding with user-provided Multibinder reduce function:
    • this simple solution makes it trivial to implement multibinder sets/maps or any app-specific multibinder
    • if no Multibinder is defined for particular key, exception is thrown
  • if dependency graph has missing dependencies, they are automatically generated with BindingGenerators:
    • BindingGenerators are user-defined and exported by Modules
    • there is an implicit DefaultModule with default BindingGenerator, which automatically provides required dependencies by scanning @Inject annotations of required classes
    • user-specified Modules can also export custom binding generators for special classes
    • you can opt-out of using DefaultModule and its default BindingGenerators
  • all bindings are transformed with user-provided BindingTransofmers:
    • to intercept/modify/wrap provided instances
    • to intercept/modify/wrap the dependencies of provided instances
  • Multibinders, BindingGenerators and BindingTransformers can be made with clean and extremely simple Java8+ functional DSL
  • resulting dependency graph is validated - checked for cyclic and missing dependencies, then compiled into a final scope tree and passed to Injector
public interface Module {
    Trie<Scope, Map<Key<?>, Set<Binding<?>>>> getBindings();
    Map<Integer, Set<BindingTransformer<?>>> getBindingTransformers();
    Map<Class<?>, Set<BindingGenerator<?>>> getBindingGenerators();
    Map<Key<?>, Multibinder<?>> getMultibinders();

It’s trivial to manually implement the Module interface, but it’s even easier to extend AbstractModule, which supports @Provides method scanning and the DSL for creating/transforming/generating bindings.


We’ve compared DataKernel DI to Guice and Spring in the same scenario, using JMH as the benchmark tool. We run benchmarks in AverageTime mode and made 20 measurements. All measurement results are represented in nanoseconds.

Score: 140.301; Error: ± 6.286; Units: ns/op;

Score: 733.046; Error: ± 27.344: Units: ns/op;

Score: 77191; Error: ± 322.6; Units: ns/op;

Benchmarks were launched on a machine with the following parameters: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic, Kernel: x86_64 Linux 4.15.0-55-generic, CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 @ 6x 4GHz [27.8°C].

You can find benchmark sources on GitHub.


To represent the main concepts and features of DataKernel DI, we’ve created an example, which starts with low-level DI concepts and gradually covers more specific advanced features.

Note: To run the examples, you need to clone DataKernel from GitHub:
$ git clone
And import it as a Maven project. Before running the examples, build the project.
This example is located at datakernel -> di -> test and named DiFollowUpTest

This example on GitHub.

So, in this example we have a kitchen, where you can automatically create tasty cookies with our wonderful DI. Before we get to cooking, there are several POJOs with default constructors marked with @Inject annotation: Kitchen, Sugar, Butter, Flour, Pastry and Cookie.

Manual Bind

This example illustrates how to bake a Cookie using DI in a hardcore way. First of all, we need to provide all the needed ingredients for the cookie, which are Sugar, Butter and Flour. Next, there is a recipe for Pastry, which includes ingredients we already know how to get. Finally, we can store a recipe of how to bake a Cookie.

It’s baking time now! Just create the injector with all these recipes and ask it for your Cookie instance.

public void manualBindSnippet() {
	Map<Key<?>, Binding<?>> bindings = new LinkedHashMap<>();
	bindings.put(Key.of(Sugar.class), -> new Sugar("Sugarello", 10.0f)));
	bindings.put(Key.of(Butter.class), -> new Butter("Kyivmlyn", 20.0f)));
	bindings.put(Key.of(Flour.class), -> new Flour("Kyivska", 100.0f)));
	bindings.put(Key.of(Pastry.class),, Sugar.class, Butter.class, Flour.class));
	bindings.put(Key.of(Cookie.class),, Pastry.class));

	Injector injector = Injector.of(Trie.leaf(bindings));
	Cookie instance = injector.getInstance(Cookie.class);

	assertEquals(10.f, instance.getPastry().getSugar().getWeight());

Bind Using DSL

This time we will bake a Cookie with a simple DSL. We will bundle our recipes for Sugar, Butter and Flour in a ‘cookbook’ module.

Instead of creating bindings explicitly and storing them directly in a map, we just bind the recipes in our module and then give it to the injector.

public void moduleBindSnippet() {
	Module module = Module.create()
			.bind(Sugar.class).to(() -> new Sugar("Sugarello", 10.0f))
			.bind(Butter.class).to(() -> new Butter("Kyivmlyn", 20.0f))
			.bind(Flour.class).to(() -> new Flour("Kyivska", 100.0f))
			.bind(Pastry.class).to(Pastry::new, Sugar.class, Butter.class, Flour.class)
			.bind(Cookie.class).to(Cookie::new, Pastry.class);

	Injector injector = Injector.of(module);
	assertEquals("Kyivmlyn", injector.getInstance(Cookie.class).getPastry().getButter().getName());

Bind Using @Provides

It’s time for real Cookie business. Instead of making bindings explicitly, we will use the declarative DSL.

Like in the previous example, we create a cookbook module, but this time all bindings for the ingredients will be created automatically from the provider methods. These methods are marked with the @Provides annotation:

public void provideAnnotationSnippet() {
	Module cookbook = new AbstractModule() {
		Sugar sugar() { return new Sugar("Sugarello", 10.f); }

		Butter butter() { return new Butter("Kyivmlyn", 20.0f); }

		Flour flour() { return new Flour("Kyivska", 100.0f); }

		Pastry pastry(Sugar sugar, Butter butter, Flour flour) {
			return new Pastry(sugar, butter, flour);

		Cookie cookie(Pastry pastry) {
			return new Cookie(pastry);

	Injector injector = Injector.of(cookbook);
	assertEquals("Kyivmlyn", injector.getInstance(Cookie.class).getPastry().getButter().getName());

Automatic Bind Using @Inject

When we created our POJOs, we’ve marked their constructors with @Inject annotation:

static class Sugar {
	private final String name;
	private final float weight;

	public Sugar() { = "Sugarella";
		this.weight = 10.f;


If a binding depends on a class that has no known binding, injector will try to automatically generate binding for it. It will search for @Inject annotation on its constructors, static factory methods or the class itself (in this case the default constructor is used) and use them as a factory in generated binding.

Since nothing depends on the Cookie binding, by default no bindings will be generated at all. Here we use a plain bind to tell the injector that we want this binding to be present. Thus the whole tree of bindings it depends on will be generated:

public void injectAnnotationSnippet() {
	Module cookbook = Module.create().bind(Cookie.class);

	Injector injector = Injector.of(cookbook);
	assertEquals("Sugarella", injector.getInstance(Cookie.class).getPastry().getSugar().getName());

Let’s be trendy and bake a sugar-free cookie. In order to do so, along with @Provides annotation, we will also use @Named annotation and provide two different Sugar, Pastry and Cookie factory functions. This approach allows to use different instances of the same class. Now we can tell our injector, which of the cookies we need - a normal one or sugar-free.

public void namedAnnotationSnippet() {
	Module cookbook = new AbstractModule() {
		Sugar sugar1() { return new Sugar("SugarFree", 0.f); }

		Sugar sugar2() { return new Sugar("Sugarello", 10.f); }

		Butter butter() { return new Butter("Kyivmlyn", 20.f); }

		Flour flour() { return new Flour("Kyivska", 100.f); }

		Pastry pastry1(@Named("normal") Sugar sugar, Butter butter, Flour flour) {
			return new Pastry(sugar, butter, flour);

		Pastry pastry2(@Named("zerosugar") Sugar sugar, Butter butter, Flour flour) {
			return new Pastry(sugar, butter, flour);

		Cookie cookie1(@Named("normal") Pastry pastry) {
			return new Cookie(pastry);

		Cookie cookie2(@Named("zerosugar") Pastry pastry) { return new Cookie(pastry); }

	Injector injector = Injector.of(cookbook);

	float normalWeight = injector.getInstance(Key.of(Cookie.class, "normal"))
	float zerosugarWeight = injector.getInstance(Key.of(Cookie.class, "zerosugar"))

	assertEquals(10.f, normalWeight);
	assertEquals(0.f, zerosugarWeight);

Cooking Non-singleton Cookies Using Scopes

Our cookies turned out to be so amazingly tasty, that now there a lot of people who want to try them. But there is a small problem, DataKernel DI makes instances singleton by default. And we can’t sell the same one cookie to all our customers.

Luckily, there is a solution: we can use a custom ScopeAnnotation @Order to create ORDER_SCOPES scope:

@ScopeAnnotation(threadsafe = false)
public @interface OrderScope {
public static final Scope ORDER_SCOPE = Scope.of(OrderScope.class);

So our cookbook will look as follows:

Module cookbook = Module.create()
		.bind(Pastry.class).to(Pastry::new, Sugar.class, Butter.class, Flour.class).in(OrderScope.class)
		.bind(Cookie.class).to(Cookie::new, Pastry.class).in(OrderScope.class);

In this way, only kitchen will remain singleton.

We received 10 orders from our customers, so now we need 10 instances of cookies:

  • First, we inject an instance of Kitchen. Now this instance is stored in the root scope injector.
  • Next, we create 10 subinjectors which enter ORDER_SCOPE.
  • Each subinjector creates only one instance of Cookie and refers to the single Kitchen instance of their parent root scope.
Injector injector = Injector.of(cookbook);
Kitchen kitchen = injector.getInstance(Kitchen.class);
List<Cookie> cookies = new ArrayList<>();
for (int i = 0; i < 10; ++i) {
	Injector subinjector = injector.enterScope(ORDER_SCOPE);

	assertSame(subinjector.getInstance(Kitchen.class), kitchen);
	if (i > 0) assertNotSame(cookies.get(i - 1), subinjector.getInstance(Cookie.class));

assertEquals(10, cookies.size());

Transforming Binds

You can configure the process of how your injector gets instances and transform this process. For example, you can simply add some logging by overriding configure method:

public void transformBindingSnippet() {
	Module cookbook = Module.create()
			.bind(Flour.class).to(() -> new Flour("Kyivska", 100.0f))
			.bind(Pastry.class).to(Pastry::new, Sugar.class, Butter.class, Flour.class)
			.bind(Cookie.class).to(Cookie::new, Pastry.class)
			.transform(0, (bindings, scope, key, binding) ->
					binding.onInstance(x -> System.out.println( + " -> " + key)));

	Injector injector = Injector.of(cookbook);
	assertEquals("Kyivska", injector.getInstance(Cookie.class).getPastry().getFlour().getName());

Now you will receive an output which will represent the time when an instance was created and the instance itself.