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Dependency Injection

CreationalDecouplingDependency managementInversion of controlAbout 2 min

Also known as

  • Inversion of Control (IoC)
  • Dependency Inversion


To decouple the creation of object dependencies from their usage, allowing for more flexible and testable code.


Real-world example

Imagine a high-end restaurant where the chef needs various ingredients to prepare dishes. Instead of the chef personally going to different suppliers for each ingredient, a trusted supplier delivers all the required fresh ingredients daily. This allows the chef to focus on cooking without worrying about sourcing the ingredients.

In the Dependency Injection design pattern, the trusted supplier acts as the "injector," providing the necessary dependencies (ingredients) to the chef (object). The chef can then use these dependencies without knowing where they came from, ensuring a clean separation between the creation and use of dependencies. This setup enhances efficiency, flexibility, and maintainability in the kitchen, much like in a software system.

In plain words

Dependency Injection separates creation of client's dependencies from its own behavior.

Wikipedia says

In software engineering, dependency injection is a technique in which an object receives other objects that it depends on. These other objects are called dependencies.

Programmatic Example

The old wizard likes to fill his pipe and smoke tobacco once in a while. However, he doesn't want to depend on a single tobacco brand only but likes to be able to enjoy them all interchangeably.

Let's first introduce the Tobacco interface and the concrete brands.

public abstract class Tobacco {

    public void smoke(Wizard wizard) {"{} smoking {}", wizard.getClass().getSimpleName(),

public class SecondBreakfastTobacco extends Tobacco {

public class RivendellTobacco extends Tobacco {

public class OldTobyTobacco extends Tobacco {

Next here's the Wizard class hierarchy.

public interface Wizard {

    void smoke();

public class AdvancedWizard implements Wizard {

    private final Tobacco tobacco;

    public AdvancedWizard(Tobacco tobacco) {
        this.tobacco = tobacco;

    public void smoke() {

Finally, we can show how easy it is to give the old wizard any brand of tobacco.

public static void main(String[] args) {
    var simpleWizard = new SimpleWizard();

    var advancedWizard = new AdvancedWizard(new SecondBreakfastTobacco());

    var advancedSorceress = new AdvancedSorceress();
    advancedSorceress.setTobacco(new SecondBreakfastTobacco());

    var injector = Guice.createInjector(new TobaccoModule());
    var guiceWizard = injector.getInstance(GuiceWizard.class);

The program output:

11:54:05.205 [main] INFO com.iluwatar.dependency.injection.Tobacco -- SimpleWizard smoking OldTobyTobacco
11:54:05.207 [main] INFO com.iluwatar.dependency.injection.Tobacco -- AdvancedWizard smoking SecondBreakfastTobacco
11:54:05.207 [main] INFO com.iluwatar.dependency.injection.Tobacco -- AdvancedSorceress smoking SecondBreakfastTobacco
11:54:05.308 [main] INFO com.iluwatar.dependency.injection.Tobacco -- GuiceWizard smoking RivendellTobacco

Class diagram

Dependency Injection
Dependency Injection


  • When aiming to reduce the coupling between classes and increase the modularity of the application.
  • In scenarios where the object creation process is complex or should be separated from the class usage.
  • In applications requiring easier unit testing by allowing dependencies to be mocked or stubbed.
  • Within frameworks or libraries that manage object lifecycles and dependencies, such as Spring or Jakarta EE (formerly Java EE).

Known Uses

  • Frameworks like Spring, Jakarta EE, and Google Guice use DI extensively to manage component lifecycles and dependencies.
  • Desktop and web applications that require flexible architecture with easily interchangeable components.



  • Enhances modularity and separation of concerns.
  • Simplifies unit testing by allowing for easy mocking of dependencies.
  • Increases flexibility and maintainability by promoting loose coupling.


  • Can introduce complexity in the configuration, especially in large projects.
  • Might increase the learning curve for developers unfamiliar with DI patterns or frameworks.
  • Requires careful management of object lifecycles and scopes.