Note: this documentation is specific for Simple Injector version 2.5 and up. Look here for documentation specific to lower versions.

Simple Injector and Object Lifetime Management

Object Lifetime Management is the concept of controlling the number of instances a configured service will have and the duration of the lifetime of those instances. In other words, it allows you to determine how returned instances are cached. Most IoC frameworks have sophisticated mechanisms for lifestyle management, and Simple Injector has built-in support for the most common lifestyles. The two default lifestyles (transient and singleton) are part of the core library, and other lifestyles are part of some of the extension and integration packages. These built-in lifestyles should fit for about 99% of the cases. For other cases, custom lifestyles can be created.

Below is a list of the most common lifestyles with code examples of how to configure them using Simple Injector. This page discusses the following lifestyles:

Transient

For each request (both for calls to GetInstance<T> and instances as part of an object graph), a new instance of the service type will be created.

The next example instantiates a new IService implementation on each call, while leveraging the power of automatic constructor injection.

container.Register<IService, RealService>(Lifestyle.Transient); 

// Alternatively, you can use the following short cut
container.Register<IService, RealService>();
The next example instantiates a new RealService instance on each call by using a delegate.

container.Register<IService>(() => new RealService(new SqlRepository()),
    Lifestyle.Transient); 
Note: registration using Register<TService, TImplementation>() is the recommended approach. It is easier, leads to less fragile configuration, and results in faster retrieval than registration using a Func<T> delegate. Try the former approach before reverting to using delegates where possible.
Also note that this construct will only work while registering types by a base type. For concrete transient types, no registration is needed. The concrete type will automatically be created once requested:

container.GetInstance<RealService>(); 
When you have a type that you want to be created using automatic constructor injection, but need some configuration that can't be done using constructor injection, you can use the RegisterInitializer method. It takes an Action<T> delegate:

container.RegisterInitializer<ICommand>(commandToInitialize =>
{
    commandToInitialize.ExecuteAsynchroniously = true;
});
The given configuration calls the delegate after the creation of each type that implements ICommand and will set the ExecuteAsynchroniously property to true. This is a powerful mechanism that allows attribute free property injection.

Singleton

There will be only one instance of the registered service type during the lifetime of that container instance. Clients will always receive that same instance.

There are multiple ways to register singletons. The most simple and common way to do this is by specifying both the service type and the implementation as generic type arguments. This allows the implementation type to be constructed using automatic constructor injection:
container.Register<IService, RealService>(Lifestyle.Singleton);

// Alternatively, you can use the following short cut
container.RegisterSingle<IService, RealService>();
You can also use the RegisterSingle<T>(T) overload to assign a constructed instance manually:

var service = new RealService(new SqlRepository());
container.RegisterSingle<IService>(service);
There is also an overload that takes an Func<T> delegate. The container guarantees that this delegate is called only once:

container.Register<IService>(() => new RealService(new SqlRepository()),
    Lifestyle.Singleton);

// Or alternatively:
container.RegisterSingle<IService>(() => new RealService(new SqlRepository()));
Alternatively, when needing to register a concrete type as singleton, you can use the parameterless RegisterSingle<T>() overload. This will inform the container to automatically construct that concrete type (at most) once, and return that instance on each request:

container.RegisterSingle<RealService>();

// Which is a more convenient short cut for:
container.Register<RealService, RealService>(Lifestyle.Singleton);
Note that registration for concrete singletons is necessarily, because unregistered concrete types will be treated as transient.

Scoped

For every request within an implicitly or explicitly defined scope, a single instance of the service will be returned and that instance will (optionally) be disposed when the scope ends.

Simple Injector contains five scoped lifestyles:

Both Per Web Request and Per WCF Operation implement scoping implicitly, which means that the user does not have to start or finish the scope to allow the lifestyle to end and to dispose cached instances. The framework does this for you. With the Per Lifetime Scope lifestyle on the other hand, you explicitly define a scope (just like you would do with .NET's TransactionScope class).

The default behavior of Simple Injector is to not keep track of instances and to not dispose them. The scoped lifestyles on the other hand are the exceptions to this rule. Although most of your services should be registered either as Transient or Singleton, scoped lifestyles are especially useful for implementing patterns such as the Unit of Work.

Per Web Request

Only one instance will be created by the container per web request and the instance will be disposed when the web request ends (unless specified otherwise).

The ASP.NET Integration NuGet Package is available (and available as SimpleInjector.Integration.Web.dll in the default download here on CodePlex) contains RegisterPerWebRequest extension methods and a WebRequestLifestyle class that enable easy Per Web Request registrations:

container.RegisterPerWebRequest<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>();
container.RegisterPerWebRequest<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>();

// The same behavior can be achieved by using the WebRequestLifestyle class.
var webLifestyle = new WebRequestLifestyle();
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(webLifestyle);
container.Register<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>(webLifestyle);

// Alternatively, when cached instances that implement IDisposable, should NOT
// be disposed, you can do the following
var withoutDispose = new WebRequestLifestyle(false);
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(withoutDispose);
In contrast to the default behavior of Simple Injector, these extension methods ensure the created service is disposed (when such an instance implements IDisposable). This is done at the end of the web request. During startup an HttpModule is automatically registered for you that ensures all created instances are disposed when the web request ends.

Tip: For ASP.NET MVC, there's a Simple Injector MVC Integration Quick Start NuGet Package available that helps you get started with Simple Injector in MVC applications quickly.
Optionally you can register other services for disposal at the end of the web request:

var scoped = new WebRequestLifestyle();
container.Register<IService, ServiceImpl>();
container.RegisterInitializer<ServiceImp>(s =>
    scoped.RegisterForDisposal(container, s));
This ensures that each time a ServiceImp is created by the container, it is registered for disposal when the web request ends.

Note: To be able to dispose an instance, the RegisterForDisposal will store the reference to that instance in the HttpContext Items cache. This means that the instance will be kept alive for the duration of that request.
Note: Be careful not to register services for disposal that outlive the web request itself (such as services registered as singleton), since such service can obviously not be used after it has been disposed.

Per Web API Request

Only one instance will be created by the container per request in a ASP.NET Web API application and the instance will be disposed when that request ends (unless specified otherwise).

The ASP.NET Web API Integration NuGet Package is available (and available as SimpleInjector.Integration.WebApi.dll in the default download here on CodePlex) contains RegisterWebApiRequest extension methods and a WebApiRequestLifestyle class that enable easy Per Web API Request registrations:

container.RegisterWebApiRequest<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>();
container.RegisterWebApiRequest<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>();

// The same behavior can be achieved by using the WebRequestLifestyle class.
var webLifestyle = new WebApiRequestLifestyle();
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(webLifestyle);
container.Register<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>(webLifestyle);

// Alternatively, when cached instances that implement IDisposable, should NOT
// be disposed, you can do the following
var withoutDispose = new WebApiRequestLifestyle(false);
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(withoutDispose);
In contrast to the default behavior of Simple Injector, these extension methods ensure the created service is disposed (when such an instance implements IDisposable). This is done at the end of the Web API request. For this lifestyle to work,

Tip: There's a Simple Injector Web API Integration Quick Start NuGet Package available that helps you get started with Simple Injector in Web API applications quickly.

Web API Request lifestyle vs. Web Request lifestyle

The lifestyles and scope implementations Web Request and Web API Request in SimpleInjector are based on different technologies.

WebApiRequestLifestyle is derived from ExecutionContextScopeLifestyle which works well both inside and outside of IIS. i.e. It can function in a self-hosted Web API project where there is no HttpContext.Current. The scope used by WebApiRequestLifestyle is the ExecutionContextScope. As the name implies, an execution context scope registers itself in the logical call context and flows with async operations across threads (e.g. a continuation after await on a different thread still has access to the scope regardless of whether ConfigureAwait() was used with true or false).

In contrast, the Scope of the WebRequestLifestyle is stored within the HttpContext.Items dictionary. The HttpContext can be used with Web API when it is hosted in IIS but care must be taken because it will not always flow with the execution context, because the current HttpContext is stored in the IllogicalCallContext (see Understanding SynchronizationContext in ASP.NET). If you use await with ConfigureAwait(false) the continuation may lose track of the original HttpContext whenever the async operation does not execute synchronously. A direct effect of this is that it would no longer be possible to resolve the instance of a previously created service with WebRequestLifestyle from the container (e.g. in a factory that has access to the container) - and an exception would be thrown because HttpContext.Current would be null.

The recommendation is therefore to use WebApiRequestLifestyle for services that should be 'per Web API request', the most obvious example being services that are injected into Web API controllers. WebApiRequestLifestyle offers the following benefits:
  • The Web API controller can be used outside of IIS (e.g. in a self-hosted project)
  • The Web API controller can execute free-threaded (or multi-threaded) async methods because it is not limited to the ASP.NET SynchronizationContext.
For more information, check out the blog entry of Stephen Toub regarding the difference between ExecutionContext and
SynchronizationContext
.

Per WCF Operation

Only one instance will be created by the container per call to a WCF operation and the instance will be disposed when the operation ends (unless specified otherwise).

The WCF Integration NuGet Package is available (and available as SimpleInjector.Integration.Wcf.dll in the default download here on CodePlex) contains RegisterPerWcfOperation extension methods and a WcfOperationLifestyle class that enable easy Per WCF Operation registrations:

container.RegisterPerWcfOperation<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>();
container.RegisterPerWcfOperation<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>();

// The same behavior can be achieved by using the WcfOperationLifestyle class.
var wcfLifestyle = new WcfOperationLifestyle();
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(wcfLifestyle);
container.Register<IOrderRepository, SqlOrderRepository>(wcfLifestyle);

// Alternatively, when cached instance that implement IDisposable, should NOT
// be disposed, you can do the following
var withoutDispose = new WcfOperationLifestyle(false);
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(withoutDispose);
In contrast to the default behavior of Simple Injector, these extension methods ensure the created service is disposed (when such an instance implements IDisposable). This is done after the call to the WCF operation has finished.

Besides registering services using the RegisterPerWcfOperation extension methods, each WCF service markup (the .svc file) should include the following attribute:

Factory="SimpleInjector.Integration.Wcf.SimpleInjectorServiceHostFactory, SimpleInjector.Integration.Wcf"
An exception will be thrown by the framework if this attribute is missing.

Tip: There is a Simple Injector WCF Integration Quick Start NuGet Package available that helps you get started with Simple Injector in WCF quickly.
Optionally you can register other services for disposal at the end of the web request:

var scoped = new WcfOperationLifestyle();
container.Register<IService, ServiceImpl>();
container.RegisterInitializer<ServiceImp>(instance =>
    scoped.RegisterForDisposal(container, instance));
This ensures that each time a ServiceImp is created by the container, it is registered for disposal when the WCF operation ends.

Note: To be able to dispose an instance, the RegisterForDisposal will store the reference to that instance during the lifetime of the WCF operation. This means that the instance will be kept alive for the duration of that operation.
Note: Be careful not to register services for disposal that outlive the WCF operation itself (such as services registered as singleton), since such service can obviously not be used after it has been disposed.

Per Lifetime Scope

Within a certain (explicitly defined) scope, there will be only one instance of a given service type and the instance will be disposed when the scope ends (unless specified otherwise).

Lifetime Scoping is supported as extension package for Simple Injector. It is available as Lifetime Scoping Extensions NuGet package and is part of the default download on CodePlex as SimpleInjector.Extensions.LifetimeScoping.dll. The extension package adds multiple RegisterLifetimeScope extension method overloads and a LifetimeScopeLifestyle class, which allow to register services with the Lifetime Scope lifestyle:

container.RegisterLifetimeScope<IUnitOfWork, NorthwindContext>();

// Or alternatively
container.Register<IUnitOfWork, NorthwindContext>(new LifetimeScopeLifestyle());
Within an explicitly defined scope, there will be only one instance of a service that is defined with the Lifetime Scope lifestyle:

using (container.BeginLifetimeScope())
{
    var uow1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
    var uow2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();

    Assert.AreEqual(uow1, uow2);
}
Note: A scope is thread-specific. A single scope should not be used on multiple threads. For instance, do not pass on a scope to other threads and do not wrap a ASP.NET HTTP request with a Lifetime Scope, since ASP.NET can finish a web request on another thread. Use Per Web Request scoping for ASP.NET web applications while running inside a web request. Lifetime scoping however, can still be used in web applications on background threads that are created by web requests or when processing commands in a Windows Service (where each commands gets its own scope). For developing multi-threaded applications, take these guidelines into consideration.
Outside the context of a lifetime scope no instances can be created. An exception is thrown when this happens.

Scopes can be nested. Each scope gets its own set of instances:

using (container.BeginLifetimeScope())
{
    var outer1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
    var outer2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();

    Assert.AreEqual(outer1, outer2);

    using (container.BeginLifetimeScope())
    {
        var inner1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
        var inner2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();

        Assert.AreEqual(inner1, inner2);

        Assert.AreNotEqual(outer1, inner1);
    }
}
In contrast to the default behavior of Simple Injector, a lifetime scope ensures the created service is disposed (when such an instance implements IDisposable), unless explicitly disabled. This is done at the end of the scope.

Optionally you can register other services for disposal at the end of the scope:

var scopedLifestyle = new LifetimeScopeLifestyle();
container.Register<IService, ServiceImpl>();
container.RegisterInitializer<ServiceImp>(instance =>
    scopedLifestyle.RegisterForDisposal(container, instance));
This ensures that each time a ServiceImp is created by the container, it is registered for disposal when the scope (in which it is created) ends.

Note: To be able to dispose an instance, the RegisterForDisposal will store the reference to that instance within the LifetimeScope instance. This means that the instance will be kept alive for the duration of that scope.
Note: Be careful not to register services for disposal that outlive the scope itself (such as services registered as singleton), since such service can obviously not be used after it has been disposed.

Per Execution Context Scope

Within a certain (explicitly defined) scope, there will be only one instance of a given service type and the instance will be disposed when the scope ends (unless specified otherwise). This scope will automatically flow with with the logical flow of control of asynchronous methods. This lifestyle is especially suited for client applications that work with the new asynchronous programming model. For Web API there's a separate lifestyle (that uses the Execution Context Scope lifestyle under the covers).

Execution Context Scoping is supported as extension package for Simple Injector. It is available as Execution Context Extensions NuGet package and is part of the default download on CodePlex as SimpleInjector.Extensions.ExecutionContextScoping.dll. The extension package adds multiple RegisterExecutionContextScope extension method overloads and a ExecutionContextScopeLifestyle class, which allow to register services with the Execution Context Scope lifestyle:

container.RegisterExecutionContextScope<IUnitOfWork, NorthwindContext>();

// Or alternatively
container.Register<IUnitOfWork, NorthwindContext>(new ExecutionContextScopeLifestyle());
Within an explicitly defined scope, there will be only one instance of a service that is defined with the Execution Context Scope lifestyle:

// using SimpleInjector.Extensions.ExecutionContextScoping;

using (container.BeginExecutionContextScope())
{
    var uow1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
    await SomeAsyncOperation();
    var uow2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
    await SomeOtherAsyncOperation();

    Assert.AreEqual(uow1, uow2);
}
_Note: A scope is specific to the asynchronous flow. A method call on a different (unrelated) thread, will get its own scope.
Outside the context of a lifetime scope no instances can be created. An exception is thrown when this happens.

Scopes can be nested. Each scope gets its own set of instances:

using (container.BeginLifetimeScope())
{
    var outer1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
    await SomeAsyncOperation();
    var outer2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();

    Assert.AreEqual(outer1, outer2);

    using (container.BeginLifetimeScope())
    {
        var inner1 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();
        
        await SomeOtherAsyncOperation();
        
        var inner2 = container.GetInstance<IUnitOfWork>();

        Assert.AreEqual(inner1, inner2);

        Assert.AreNotEqual(outer1, inner1);
    }
}
In contrast to the default behavior of Simple Injector, a scoped lifestyle ensures the created service is disposed (when such an instance implements IDisposable), unless explicitly disabled. This is done at the end of the scope.

Optionally you can register other services for disposal at the end of the scope:

var scopedLifestyle = new ExecutionContextScopeLifestyle();
container.Register<IService, ServiceImpl>();
container.RegisterInitializer<ServiceImp>(instance =>
    scopedLifestyle.RegisterForDisposal(container, instance));
This ensures that each time a ServiceImp is created by the container, it is registered for disposal when the scope (in which it is created) ends.

Note: To be able to dispose an instance, the RegisterForDisposal will store the reference to that instance within that scope. This means that the instance will be kept alive for the duration of that scope.
Note: Be careful not to register services for disposal that outlive the scope itself (such as services registered as singleton), since such service can obviously not be used after it has been disposed.

Per Graph

For each explicit call to Container.GetInstance<T> a new instance of the service type will be created, but that instance will be reused within the object graph that gets constructed. Compared to Transient, there will be just a single instance per explicit call to the container, while Transient services can have multiple new instances per explicit call to the container. This lifestyle can be simulated by using one of the Scoped lifestyles.

Per Thread

There will be one instance of the registered service type per thread.

This lifestyle is deliberately left out of Simple Injector because it is considered to be harmful. Instead of using Per Thread lifestyle, you will usually be better of using one of the Scoped lifestyles.

Per HTTP Session

There will be one instance of the registered session per (user) session in a ASP.NET web application.

This lifestyle is deliberately left out of Simple Injector because it is be used with care. Instead of using Per HTTP Session lifestyle, you will usually be better of by writing a stateless service that can be registered as singleton and let it communicate with the ASP.NET Session cache to get cached user-specific data.

Hybrid

A hybrid lifestyle is a mix between two or more lifestyles where the the developer defines the context for which the wrapped lifestyles hold. Simple Injector has no built-in hybrid lifestyles, but has a simple mechanism to define hybrid lifestyles. Example:

var hybridLifestyle = Lifestyle.CreateHybrid(
    lifestyleSelector: () => HttpContext.Current != null,
    trueLifestyle: new WebRequestLifestyle(),
    falseLifestyle: new LifetimeScopeLifestyle());

// The created lifestyle can be reused for many registrations.
container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(hybridLifestyle);
container.Register<ICustomerRepository, SqlCustomerRepository>(hybridLifestyle);
In the previous example a hybrid lifestyle was defined wrapping a Web Request lifestyle and the Per Lifetime Scope lifestyle. The supplied lifestyleSelector predicate returns true when the container should use the Web Request lifestyle and false when the Per Lifetime Scope lifestyle should be selected.

A hybrid lifestyle is useful for registrations that must dynamically switch lifestyles throughout the lifetime of the application. The shown hybrid example might be useful in a web application, where some operations run outside the context of an HttpContext (in a background thread for instance). Please note though that when the lifestyle doesn't have to change throughout the lifetime of the application, a hybrid lifestyle is not needed. A normal lifestyle can be registered instead:
var lifestyle = RunsOnWebServer ? new WebRequestLifestyle() : new LifetimeScopeLifestyle();

container.Register<IUserRepository, SqlUserRepository>(lifestyle);
container.Register<ICustomerRepository, SqlCustomerRepository>(lifestyle);

Developing a Custom Lifestyle

The lifestyles supplied by the framework should be sufficient for most scenarios, but in rare circumstances defining a custom lifestyle might be useful. This can be done by creating a class that inherits from Lifestyle and let it return custom Lifestyle instances. This however is a lot of work, and a shortcut is available in the form of the Lifestyle.CreateCustom. Please take a look at the example given on the CreateCustom documentation for more information.

Last edited Aug 11 at 9:38 AM by dot_NET_Junkie, version 63