Scaldi is dependency injection library for Scala. It’s very lightweight (without any dependencies) and provides nice Scala DSL for binding dependencies and injecting them.

If you would Like to get a quick overview of Scaldi, I would recommend you to look at scaldi presentation slides or look at the main page which has some examples and feature highlights. For more hands-on approach, you can check out some example projects which you can play with:

Activator templates also contain tutorials which show Scaldi basics and also the ways you can integrate in play/akka application.

There are 3 most important traits that you need to know, in order to make dependency injection with Scaldi:

  • Injector - it’s a container for the bindings, that you have defined in the module.
  • Module - gives you nice syntax to create bindings with bind and binding. Module also extends Injector trait and implicit Injector instance always available when you are defining your bindings
  • Injectable - the only responsibility of this trait is to provide you with inject function (so it just provides nice syntax for injecting dependencies). It’s important to understand, that it’s the only purpose of it. So it is completely stateless and knows nothing about actual bindings you have defined in the module. In order to actually find and inject dependencies, inject function always takes an implicit parameter of type Injector

Next sections will describe each of these concepts in more detail.


Injector encapsulates the binding lookup mechanism, by defining following 2 methods:

trait Injector {
 def getBinding(identifiers: List[Identifier]): Option[Binding]
 def getBindings(identifiers: List[Identifier]): List[Binding]

 // ...

Out of the box Scaldi comes with several different types of Injectors. Most of the implementations contain the actual bindings and provide a DSL to define them (e.g. Module, PropertyInjector). Other injectors have a more specific role and serve as a wrapper for other injectors or as an integration point between Scaldi and other libraries. PropertyInjector or PlayConfigurationInjector are examples of such Injectors. Injector itself is used by the inject function (which takes an Injector as an implicit argument) to inject these bindings.

On the other hand injectors also have another property - every injector can be either mutable or immutable. These two types differ in the way lifecycle and injector composition works. Next sections will describe it in more detail.

This section describes the set of standard injectors. There are also other, more specialised, injectors available in other parts of this documentation:

Injector Lifecycle

Immutable injectors don’t have any lifecycle associated with them. Mutable injectors, on the other hand, have an initialization and shutdown lifecycle phases. Initialization of an injector means that all non-lazy bindings are initialized.

Generally the initialization of Injector happens automatically as soon as you inject from it for the first time. But you can also force it by calling initNonLazy() method:

val injector = new Module {
  bind [Server] toNonLazy new Server


In this example after the initNonLazy method is called, a new instance of Server class is created.

After injector is initialized, it is frozen, so initNonLazy (which is also used internally) is idempotent.

Injector lifecycle also has a shutdown phase during which all binding that defined destroyWith function would be destroyed. All built-in mutable injectors are using ShutdownHookLifecycleManager which means that injector would be destroyed during the JVM shutdown. But you can also force it by calling the destroy method:

val injector = new Module {
  bind [Server] to new Server destroyWith (_.terminate())


destroy method is also idempotent. Here is its signature:

def destroy(errorHandler: Throwable => Boolean = IgnoringErrorHandler): Unit

As you can see, it also allows you to provide an error handler that would be called if some exception occurs during the destruction of one of the bindings. The default IgnoringErrorHandler just prints the stack trace and continues the shutdown procedure.

If error handler returns true, then an exception will not stop the shutdown procedure, otherwise it would be stopped.


Module is the most common injector that you can use in most cases. It is mutable injector so it can have a lifecycle and it also provides nice DSL for the bindings. Here is an example of it’s usage:

val injector = new Module {
  binding identifiedBy 'host and 'google to "www.google.com"
  binding identifiedBy 'host and 'yahoo to "www.yahoo.com"
  binding identifiedBy 'host and 'github to "www.github.com"

  binding identifiedBy 'server to HttpServer("localhost", 80)
  binding identifiedBy 'server to None
  binding identifiedBy 'server to HttpServer("test", 8080)

  binding identifiedBy 'intAdder to ((a: Int, b: Int) => a + b)
  binding identifiedBy 'stringAdder to ((s1: String, s2: String) => s1 + ", " + s2)

  bind [Int] identifiedBy 'httpPort to 8081

  bind [Server] identifiedBy 'http to
    HttpServer(inject [String] ('httpHost), inject [Int] ('httpPort))

  binding identifiedBy 'database and "local" to MysqlDatabase("my_app")


DynamicModule is very similar to the Module so it is also a mutable injector which provides the binding DSL. The only difference is that it allows you bind dependencies in a function and not in the body of the subclass. Here is an example if it’s usage:

implicit val injector = DynamicModule({ module =>
 module.bind [Int] identifiedBy 'httpPort to 8081
 module.bind [Server] identifiedBy 'http to
   HttpServer(inject [String] ('httpHost), inject [Int] ('httpPort))
 module.binding identifiedBy 'database and "local" to MysqlDatabase("my_app")


ImmutableWrapper is very simple implementation of an injector that just delegates the binding lookup to some other injector that is provided to it as an argument. ImmutableWrapper is an ImmutableInjector. This means that it will guard delegate from any lifecycle of the parent composition, if it gets composed with another injector. It also will know nothing about the final composition, because it is immutable, so it only able to contribute it’s bindings to the composition, but not aware of it at all.

More information ImmutableWrapper and example of it’s usage can be found in “Implementing Scoped Bindings” section.


Deprecated (since v0.5)

StaticModule is deprecated and will be removed soon. As an alternative you can use ImmutableWrapper injector to define an immutability boundary in composition or create your own injector that is marked as ImmutableInjector

StaticModule is an immutable injector that allows you to define binding as defs, vals and lazy vals in the body of the subclass:

val module = new StaticModule {
  lazy val server = new TcpServer
  lazy val otherServer = HttpServer(inject [String] ("httpHost"), inject [Int] ('httpPort))

  def tcpHost = "tcp-test"
  def tcpPort = 1234

  val httpHost = "localhost"
  val httpPort = 4321

The resulting bindings have 2 identifiers:

  • String identifier which is the name of the class member (e.g. tcpHost, otherServer, etc.)
  • Class identifier which is the return type of the def or the type of val

In some cases this can be pretty restrictive, because your bindings can’t have more identifiers or conditions associated with them. To provide more flexibility Scaldi also allows you to return a BindingProvider from the member of the class instead of a regular type. Here is how it looks:

trait BindingProvider {
  def getBinding(name: String, tpe: Type): Binding

So BindingProvider gives you the complete control over the resulting binding.

Property Injector

All property injectors are immutable and allow you to add binding from a property file or Properties class. Here is a small example showing you how you can use it:

// define some properties
val props = new  Properties()

props.setProperty("host", "test-prop")
props.setProperty("port", "54321")

// main application module
class AppModule extends Module {
  bind [Server] to HttpServer(inject [String] ('host), inject [Int] ('port))

  binding identifiedBy 'host to "localhost"
  binding identifiedBy 'port to 80

implicit val injector = PropertiesInjector(props) :: new AppModule

Injectable.inject[Server] should equal (HttpServer("test-prop", 54321))

All properties are available as bindings and each property has only one string identifier and it’s the name of the property. The type of the binding is defined on the inject side. You can inject the following types:

  • String
  • Int
  • Long
  • Float
  • Double
  • Boolean
  • File
  • Duration

In addition to PropertiesInjector you can also use SystemPropertiesInjector which, as you can imagine, allows you to inject system properties. In fact both these classes extend RawInjector, which allows you easily write similar injectors. For example this is the complete implementation of PlayConfigurationInjector that provides all properties from play application configuration as a bindings:

class PlayConfigurationInjector(app: => Application) extends RawInjector {
  def getRawValue(name: String) = app.configuration.getString(name)

Typesafe Config Injector

Typesafe config is natively supported via TypesafeConfigInjector. It is an immutable injector and allows you to add bindings from a typesafe config. It is very similar to PropertiesInjector but it supports many more different property types (generally it supports all property types supported by the typesafe config itself):

  • Int
  • List[Int]
  • Integer
  • List[Integer]
  • Long
  • List[Long]
  • Double
  • List[Double]
  • Boolean
  • List[Boolean]
  • File
  • List[File]
  • Duration
  • List[Duration]
  • String
  • List[String]
  • Config
  • List[Config]
  • ConfigValue
  • ConfigList
  • ConfigObject
  • List[ConfigObject]

Simple Container Injector

SimpleContainerInjector is very simple implementation of injector that allows you to just provide the list of bindings as an argument. It actually takes a function Injector => List[BindingWithLifecycle] as an argument, so that you are able to create a list of bindings based on the final injector composition.

Injector Composition

Scaldi also allows you to compose injectors together with :: or ++ operators:

val mainInjector = new ApplicationModule :: new DatabaseModule

// or the equivalent

val mainInjector = new ApplicationModule ++ new DatabaseModule

Now when you inject bindings from the mainInjector it will lookup bindings from both injectors: ApplicationModule and DatabaseModule. The order of the injectors is important. So the binding lookup would happen from left to right. This means if ApplicationModule and DatabaseModule both have a binding with the same identifiers, then one from the ApplicationModule wins and would be injected. You can find more information about binding overrides in the correspondent section.

There is also another important aspect of the injector composition, namely mutability level. You can compose mutable and immutable injectors together and the result can be either ImmutableInjectorAggregation or MutableInjectorAggregation, which is an injector on itself, so it can be composed further with other injectors. This means that if you are composing more than 2 injectors together, than they will form a tree, in which internal nodes are the the injector aggregations and the leafs are the concrete injectors you are composing.

The composition is implemented with the type class CanCompose:

trait CanCompose[-A, -B, +R] {
  def compose(cmp1: A, cmp2: B): R

where A and B are the injectors on the left and right side of the composition. R is the type of the resulting injector, that combines A and B in some way. Scaldi defines following rules for the injector composition (which you can customise by providing your own implicit instances of the CanCompose type class):

  • immutable injector + immutable injector = immutable injector aggregation
  • mutable injector + immutable injector = mutable injector aggregation
  • immutable injector + mutable injector = mutable injector aggregation

There is also another special type of the injector which is called NilInjector. It does not contain any bindings and is completely ignored during the composition. It can be useful if you want to conditionally compose some injector in one expression:

val inj = new AModule :: (if (someCondition) new BModule else NilInjector) :: new CModule

Mutability in terms of injector composition means two things. First it means, that when aggregation is initialized or destroyed, then it will also recursively initialize or destroy all of it’s mutable children. So in this example:

val injector = new SomeImmutableInjector :: new SomeMutableInjector


only SomeMutableInjector would be influenced. SomeImmutableInjector is not touched by the aggregation when injector.initNonLazy() or injector.destroy() is called.

Mutability also changes the way binding lookup is done within a module. Every concrete injector like Module or StaticModule has an implicit injector instance in scope when you are defining the bindings. That’s because you are able to inject binding within a Module, for example, or you are able to create new instances of classes that take an implicit instance of Injector as a constructor argument. But this implicit injector instance is different in mutable and immutable injectors. It would be easier to explain it with a small example:

val dbModule = new Module {
  bind [Database] to new Riak(inject [String] ('host))

val configModule = new Module {
 bind [String] identifiedBy 'host to "localhost"
 bind [AppConfig] to new AppConfig(inject [Database])

val appModule = dbModule :: configModule

both dbModule and configModule are mutable injectors, so the implicit injector reference, that they provide within them, is referencing the final injector composition (appModule in this case) and not themselves. That’s the reason why you are able to inject [String] ('host) within the dbModule and inject [Database] within the configModule. The reference to the final composition is propagated during the initialization phase.

Immutable injectors on the other hand do not have any kind of initialisation phase, so the implicit injector, that they provide, always references themselves. They only can contribute it’s own bindings to the final composition, but they are unable to consume bindings from it. So if configModule would have been an immutable injector, then it would fail because of the inject [Database].

Implementing Scoped Bindings

You may be familiar with the concept of scope from other DI libraries out there. The scope of binding defines the context and the lifespan of the binding. So if we are talking about a web application, then you can define bindings in scope of the request or a session, for instance.

Scaldi does not provide any support for the scopes out of the box. More often than not, most useful scopes are tightly coupled with some other library that you are working with in you project, like web framework. So scaldi stays unopinionated in this respect, which allows you to use Scaldi with any library or framework of your choice.

On the other hand, you can easily achieve very similar behaviour just by using abstractions that Scaldi provides out of the box. Here I would like to show you a small example of how you can define a scoped bindings and isolate them from the rest of the bindings by creating some kind of a sandbox for them.

ImmutableWrapper is very simple implementation of an injector that just delegates the binding lookup to some other injector that is provided to it as an argument. The important thing to notice here is that ImmutableWrapper is an ImmutableInjector. This means that it will guard delegate from any lifecycle of the parent composition, if it gets composed with another injector. It also will know nothing about the final composition, because it is immutable, so it is only able to contribute it’s bindings to the composition, but not aware of it at all.

Now lets use it:

class AppModule extends Module {
  bind [Database] to new Riak(inject [String] ('host), 1234)

  binding identifiedBy 'host to "localhost"

class UserScopedModule(user: User) extends Module {
  binding to user

  bind [ProfileService] to new DbProfileService

val mainModule = new AppModule

def processUser(user: User) = {
  implicit val userScopedModule = new UserScopedModule(user) :: new ImmutableWrapper(mainModule)

  val profileService = inject [ProfileService]



processUser(User("John", "Doe"))
processUser(User("Some", "User"))
processUser(User("Another", "One"))

DbProfileService looks like this:

case class DbProfileService(implicit inj: Injector) extends ProfileService with Injectable  {
  val db = inject [Database]
  val user = inject [User]

  def deactivateProfile() = {
    println(s"deactivating $user")

Even after you destroyed userScopedModule, mainModule still remains intact, even though both of these injectors are mutable, because we isolated it from the userScopedModule with the ImmutableWrapper.

So as you can see, core Scaldi abstractions are flexible enough to even express concepts that are normally built-in in other libraries.

Extending Injector

Injector is pretty straightforward interface to implement (we already saw several examples of it above):

trait Injector {
 def getBinding(identifiers: List[Identifier]): Option[Binding]
 def getBindings(identifiers: List[Identifier]): List[Binding]

 // ...

so just by implementing getBinding and getBindings methods you can create your own injectors. You can also reuse some parts of Scaldi implementation. Here is an example of new mutable injector, which can be used in the injector composition (which on itself means that it would be properly initialized/destroyed and that it also aware of the final injector composition):

class ControllerInjector extends MutableInjectorUser
                            with InjectorWithLifecycle[ControllerInjector]
                            with ShutdownHookLifecycleManager {

  def getBindingInternal(identifiers: List[Identifier]) = {
    // your binding lookup logic

  def getBindingsInternal(identifiers: List[Identifier]) = {
    // your binding lookup logic

  protected def init(lifecycleManager: LifecycleManager) = {
    // your initialization logic

Here is the list of some of the traits that you can mix-in in your own Injector implementations:

  • MutableInjectorUser - contains implicit reference to injector - the final injector composition which is used by inject. Injector aggregation will set it during the initialization phase
  • InjectorWithLifecycle - for the injectors that have lifecycle and can be initialized/destroyed
  • LifecycleManager - all mutable injectors need to be a LifecycleManager
    • ShutdownHookLifecycleManager - implementation of the LifecycleManager that calls all of it’s destroy callbacks during the JVM shutdown. The implementation is idempotent and thread-safe.
  • Injectable - provides injection DSL in body of the subclasses (similar to what Module allows you to do, if you extend it)
  • WordBinder - provides binding DSL in body of the subclasses (similar to what Module allows you to do, if you extend it)
  • ReflectionBinder - deprecated gathers all vals, defs and lazy vals in the body of the subclasses and exposes them as a bindings (similar to what StaticModule allows you to do, if you extend it)


The list of Identifiers is used to identify the binding. Unlike many other DI libraries, Scaldi does not hardcode the notion of the identifier, but rather provides very simple interface and uses it to lookup the bindings:

trait Identifier {
  def sameAs(other: Identifier): Boolean

Out of the box Scaldi comes with following identifiers:

  • TypeTagIdentifier
  • StringIdentifier

These are the most common one - normally you associate the binding with some type and optionally with the set of string identifiers. In this example:

bind [Server] identifiedBy 'real and 'http to
  HttpServer(inject [String] ('httpHost))

As you can see, Symbols are also treated as string identifiers. In this case binding gets these 3 identifiers:

  • TypeTagIdentifier(typeOf[Server])
  • StringIdentifier("real")
  • StringIdentifier("server")

and the inject will lookup binding with at least following identifiers:

  • TypeTagIdentifier(typeOf[String])
  • StringIdentifier("httpHost")

Scaldi also provides a type class in order to treat an existing classes like String or Symbol as identifiers:

trait CanBeIdentifier[T] {
  def toIdentifier(target: T): Identifier

So if you want some existing class to be treated as an identifier, then you need to provide an implicit instance of CanBeIdentifier in scope.

JSR 330 support also defines some additional identifies, so please visit correspondent section to find more information about it.

Required Identifiers

Identifier can be marked as required, which would mean, that during injection this identifier must be used in order to get this binding. By default all built-in identifiers are not required (except AnnotationIdentifier which described in more detail in “JSR 330 Support” section).

This can be useful if you want to make sure that particular identifier is used regardless of the binding definition order. Binding DSL provides following 2 functions to override default required value of identifier:

  • required(<identifier>) - makes identifier required
  • notRequired(<identifier>) - makes identifier not required

Let’s look at simple example that uses non-required identifiers (which is the default for string identifier, as mentioned earlier):

implicit val injector = new Module {
  bind [DB] to new NormalDb
  bind [DB] identifiedBy 'experimental to new ExperimentalDb

val db = inject [DB] // injected db will be ExperimentalDb

As you see, the ExperimentalDb will be injected simply because it’s binding defined after NormalDb and will override it in this particular case.

We can use required function in order to make sure, that ExperimentalDb injected only when client code explicitly asked for it with 'experimental identifier:

implicit val injector = new Module {
  bind [DB] to new NormalDb
  bind [DB] identifiedBy required('experimental) to new ExperimentalDb

val db = inject [DB] // NormalDb
val dangerousDb = inject [DB] ('experimental) // ExperimentalDb

Define Bindings

Scaldi provides a binding DSL which you can you can use inside of the Module. Here is an example of how you can create the bindings:

class AppModule extends Module {
  binding identifiedBy 'host and 'google to "www.google.com"

  bind [Server] identifiedBy 'http when inProdMode to new HttpServer destroyWith (_.shutdown())

you can start to define binding with either bind or binding word. bind accepts one type parameter, which would be the TypeTagIdentifier of the binding or in other words it is the type of the bindings. binding syntax assumes that the type of the binding is the same to the bound object, so it does not take any type parameters.

You can provide addition identifiers for the binding with identifiedBy word or as and if you have more than one additional identifier, then you can use and:

bind [Server] identifiedBy 'http and 'server to new HttpServer

// or equivalent

bind [Server] as 'http and 'server to new HttpServer

After this you can define a condition (only one, but you can combine several conditions with or or and) with when word:

bind [Server] when (inDevMode or inTestMode) to new HttpServer

If you provided several when conditions, then they would be combined with and. You can find more information about the conditions in the Conditions section.

The actual value of the binding is bound with the different flavours of to word:

  • to - defines a lazy binding
  • toNonLazy - defines a non-lazy binding
  • toProvider - defines a provider binding

all types of the bindings are described in more detail in the next sections.

You can specify a lifecycle callbacks with initWith/destroyWith words which take a function T => Unit as an argument, where T is the type of the binding:

bind [Server] to new HttpServer initWith (_.init()) destroyWith (_.shutdown())

Identifiers, that are used to define a binding, can be marked as required/notRequired in order to influence the lookup mechanism during the injection. More information about this feature can be found in the “Required Identifiers” section.

Binding Overrides

You can define several bindings for the same set of identifiers. During the binding lookup (when you inject them) the latest one would be used. You can also un-define the binding by defining the new binding to None. Here is an example:

bind [Server] to new HttpServer(port = 1234)
bind [Server] to None
bind [Server] to new HttpServer(port = 8080)

In this example when you inject the Server:

val server = inject [Server]

then the server instance will have port 8080 (and only one instance of HttpServer would be created).

Lazy Binding

Lazy bindings are defined with the to word:

bind [UserService] to new UserService

The instance would be created only once as soon as the binding is injected for the first time. All consequent injects inject the instance that was created first time.

Non-Lazy Binding

Non-lazy bindings are defined with the toNonLazy word:

bind [Database] toNonLazy new Riak

The instance would be created only once, but it would be created as soon as injector (in which it is defined) is initialized. All injects get the same instance of the binding.

Provider Binding

Provider bindings are defined with the toProvider word:

bind [Client] toProvider new HttpClient

A new instance is created each time the binding is injected. This means that each time you inject the binding, you get a new instance.

Binding Lifecycle

The lifecycle of the binding consist of the init and destroy phases.

You can define the T => Unit initialization function with initWith word:

bind [Server] to new HttpServer initWith (_.init())

the same for the function that destroys the object. You can use destroyWith word:

bind [Server] to new HttpServer destroyWith (_.shutdown())

The bindings are destroyed together with the Injector in which they are defined. The initialization depends on the binding type, but in general it is initialized as soon as new instance of binding is created and before it is injected.

Generics Support

You can also bind things like functions, lists or maps. In other words Scaldi understands generic types and will correctly inject them:

binding identifiedBy "intAdder" to
  ((a: Int, b: Int) => a + b)

binding identifiedBy "mapping" to Map(
  "scala" -> "http://scala-lang.org",
  "play" -> "http://www.playframework.com",
  "akka" -> "http://akka.io"

Here is an example how you can inject them:

val intAdder = inject [(Int, Int) => Int]
val mapping = inject [Map[String, String]]

Custom Bindings

When you are creating you own Injectors, you also have opportunity to create your own types of bindings by implementing one of two traits:

  • Binding - meant to be maintained by immutable injectors
  • BindingWithLifecycle - meant to be maintained by mutable injectors

Alternatively you can use bindings that come out of the box:

  • LazyBinding
  • NonLazyBinding
  • ProviderBinding

Binding also provides two properties that are very useful when you consume bindings and need to be considered when you are creating a new one:

  • isEager - tell an injector whether this binding must be initialized during the initialization stage injector itself (an example of such binding is the Non-Lazy Binding)
  • isCacheable - tells potential users whether this binding is allowed to be cached. Lazy, non-lazy binding can be cached since they are singletons, provider bindings on the other hand can’t be cached. Annotation binding can be both, so it will decide this based on scope. This property is used in Play integration, for example, to decide whether controller instance is allowed to be cached.

Inject Bindings

Scaldi provides nice DSL for the binding injection. In order to make it available, you need to either import from Injectable:

import Injectable._

or extend it in your class:

class UserService(implicit inj: Injector) extends Injectable {
  // ...

Here is an example of how you can inject a binding:

val db = inject [Database] (identified by 'remote is by default defaultDb)

All forms of inject expect an implicit instance of Injector to be in scope. If you are injecting in the module definition, then it already provides one for you. If you are injecting in you own classes, then the best approach would be to provide the implicit injector instance as a constructor argument, as shown in the example above.

Inject Single Binding

To inject a single binding you need to use inject method. It takes a type parameter, which is the type of the binding and would treated as a TypeTagIdentifier. You can also provide additional binding identifiers using identified by and separate identifiers with and word:

val userDb = inject [Database] (identified by 'remote and 'users)

you can also skip identified by part and just write:

val userDb = inject [Database] ('remote and 'users)

Explicit binding type

Please make sure to always provide the type of the binding explicitly (except when you are also providing the default value). Unfortunately compiler can’t correctly infer it in most cases. But don’t worry - the application will not compile if you forgot to specify the type you want to inject.

Inject Provider Function

In addition to inject, which injects the concrete instance of the binding, you can use injectProvider which will inject the function of type () => T, where T is the type of the binding. It can be useful if the binding itself is defined with toProvider, so that each time you use it, you will get the new instance. Other use case would be conditional bindings - if you have defined a binding with the same identifiers but with different conditions, then this function can return different instances depending on the condition you’ve defined.

Here is an example of how you can use it:

class UserService(implicit inj: Injector) extends Injectable {
  val metrics = injectProvider [MetricsReporter]

  def loginUser(user: User) = {

    // ...

Inject Several Bindings

In some cases you need to inject all bindings that match the identifiers. You can do this by using the injectAllOfType

val databases: List[Database] = injectAllOfType [Database]

You can also provide additional identifiers as an vararg argument:

val databases: List[Database] = injectAllOfType [Database] ('user, 'cache)

If you don’t want to specify the TypeTagIdentifier, then you can use injectAll, which just takes the list of identifiers as an argument and has no type parameters.

Default Values

You can also specify the default value for the binding. It would be used, if the biding is not found in the Injector. Here is an example of it:

val db = inject [Database] (by default new Riak)

if you already providing some additional identifiers and would like add the default value, then you can use is or and word:

val db = inject [Database] (identified by 'remote is by default default new Riak)

// or equivalent

val db = inject [Database] (identified by 'remote and by default new Riak)

Use defaults with caution

Even though default values can be useful in some circumstances, I would recommend you to avoid them in most cases. Scaldi provides a lot of tools to help you in this respect. For example you can extract all of your defaults in one/several modules and then compose them with the rest of the application modules. By doing this you will make sure, that defaults are defined only once.

Constructor Injection

Scaldi supports constructor injection with injected macro:

class TokenRepo(db: Database, metrics: Metrics) extends Tokens {
  // ...

def tokenModule = new Module {
  bind [Tokens] to injected [TokenRepo]

  bind [Database] to new Riak
  bind [Metrics] identifiedBy 'statsd to new Statsd

injected will create a new instance of the TokenRepo class and inject all constructor arguments. Here is how the end result will look like:

bind [Tokens] to new TokenRepo(db = inject [Database], metrics = inject [Metrics])

Multiple Argument Lists

injected also supports multiple argument lists:

class TokenRepo(db: Database, metrics: Metrics)(users: UserService)(timeout: Duration) extends Tokens {
  // ...

def tokenModule = new Module {
  bind [Tokens] to injected [TokenRepo]

  // ...

This produces following code:

bind [Tokens] to new TokenRepo(db = inject [Database], metrics = inject [Metrics])(users = inject [UserService])(timeout = inject [Duration])

Overriding on Argument Level

Sometimes it’s not enough to just inject based on the type. In this example we have two candidates for timeout and the last of them would be injected, which is suboptimal:

class HttpClient(basePath: String, timeout: Duration) extends Tokens {
  // ...

def tokenModule = new Module {
  bind [Tokens] to injected [TokenRepo]

  binding identifiedBy 'path to "http://localhost/"

  bind [Duration] identifiedBy 'http and 'connection to 10.seconds
  bind [Duration] identifiedBy 'database and 'connection to 20.seconds

injected accept a list of tuples, which allows you to override the injection behaviour for some arguments. In this case you need to override the injected argument like this:

bind [Tokens] to injected [TokenRepo] ('timeout -> inject [Duration] (identified by 'http))

The argument name can be a Symbol like shown in example above or a String. If you made a mistake and injected the wrong type or misspelled the argument name, then application will not compile (since injected is a macro and will produce an error at compile time).

Default Arguments

injected also respects default arguments in the first argument list. It will use default value if it can’t find the binding to inject. Here is a small example:

class TokenRepo(db: Database, timeout: Duration = 10.seconds) extends Tokens {
  // ...

def tokenModule = new Module {
  bind [Tokens] to injected [TokenRepo]

  bind [Database] to new Riak

TokenRepo will get a new instance of Riak for the db argument anf the timeout would be 10.seconds.

Constructor Injection vs Implicit Injector

Generally you can take two approaches when it comes to the injection of dependencies.

You can define all dependencies of some class as a constructor arguments. In this case you need to provide all of them when you are instantiating the class. Here is how you can do it with Scaldi:

class UserService(repo: UserRepository, metrics: MetricsReporter) {
  // ...

class AppModule extends Module {
  binding to new UserService(
    repo = inject [UserRepository],
    metrics = inject [MetricsReporter]

alternatively you can use injected macro which is described in the previous sections.

Another approach would be to bring the implicit injector instance in scope of class and do injection directly there:

class UserService(implicit inj: Injector) extends Injectable {
  val repo = inject [UserRepository]
  val metrics = inject [MetricsReporter]

  // ...

class AppModule extends Module {
  binding to new UserService

This approach definitely removes some of the boilerplate, but also couples UserService with Scaldi.

I think in most cases it’s the matter of your personal/your teams preference which approach to take. Each of them has a trade-off to make, but in many cases the constructor injection approach is the most clean one, even though it requires a little bit more ceremony, so I recommend you to use it. But every application is different, so you need to decide it for yourself, taking you team and the nature of the project into the consideration.


When you are defining bindings, you can also specify a condition with when word:

bind [Database] when inProdMode to new Riak
bind [Database] when (inDevMode or inTestMode) to new InMemoryDatabase

This gives you a lot of flexibility in the ways you can define the bindings.

If you have several bindings that have exactly the same condition, then you can group them together in the when block like this:

when (inDevMode or inTestMode) {
  bind [Database] to new Riak
  bind [PaymentService] to new MockPaymentService

This will add the same condition to every binding in the group. If binding itself also defines a condition, then the context condition and the binding’s condition would be combined with and.

Out of the box Scaldi comes with SysPropCondition which can enable/disable binding based on the system property:

val inDevMode = SysPropCondition(name = "mode", value = "dev")
val inProdMode = !inDevMode

But you can easily convert any predicate in condition like this:

val inDevMode = Condition(System.getProperty("devMode") != null)

As you already saw, conditions can be composed with or and and operators and they also support unary ! for negation.

Here is an example of how inDevMode is implemented in the play support:

def inDevMode(implicit inj: Injector) = {
  val mode = inject [Mode] ('playMode)

  Condition(mode == Dev)

As you can see, you can even use injected dependencies in your condition.

Conditions is a very powerful tool, which can be used in many interesting ways. But please use it with caution, and don’t introduce too many conditions in your application. Also try to keep them intuitive and simple.


Even though Scaldi does not provide explicit testing support or test-kit of any description, the testability was kept in mind from the ground up. If you read this documentation from the beginning, you probably already have an idea how you can test a application that uses Scaldi to do the dependency injection.

The main feature that will help you with testing is the binding overrides. You can can override any binding so that the original binding will never be touched/instantiated and the overriding binding would be used instead.

// production code

class AppModule extends Module {
  bind [Database] to new Riak

// testing code

def mocksModule = new Module {
  bind [Database] to new InMemoryDb

implicit val testModule = mocksModule :: new AppModule

val db = inject [Database]

Biding lookup happens from left to right, so the binding for the mocksModule would be first looked-up in mocksModule. The db will get an instance of InMemoryDb and Riak would not be instantiated at all.

Don't reuse already initialised injectors

As you can see in this example, I used def to define mocksModule and I also created a fresh instance of the AppModule. This is important, because they both are mutable so they have a lifecycle associated with them. If I will make and object from the AppModule (instead of class), then it will not work correctly if you have more than one test that creates testModule, because the injector aggregation will try to initialize it once again when Database is injected, which is wrong. If you want to reuse an initialised injector, then you need guard it with an immutable injector as described in the “Implementing Scoped Bindings” section (but in this case you can’t override the bindings) or you can simply create a new instance of injector as described in the example above.

Alternatively you can use conditions to define binding that are only active during the tests, but I would discourage you from doing this in most cases - it’s always a good idea to keep your test code separated from the production code.

Play Integration

To add a Scaldi support in the play application you need to include scaldi-play in the build.sbt:

libraryDependencies += "org.scaldi" %% "scaldi-play" % "0.5.15"

Dependency injection in Play heavily relies on ApplicationLoader trait. It’s implementations are responsible to load and initialize your application:

scaldi-play provides scaldi.play.ScaldiApplicationLoader which you can use to tell Play that you want to use scaldi for dependency injection in you application. You can do so in conf/application.conf:

play.application.loader = scaldi.play.ScaldiApplicationLoader

Even though play also has play.api.inject.Module, just like scaldi, it nothing more than a container for binding definitions, which it collects from plugins and play core. Play itself will not instantiate or initialize these bindings - it’s task for ScaldiApplicationLoader. After ScaldiApplicationLoader got these binding definitions from play, it’s able to construct the scaldi.Injector from it, which knows how to initialize and wire all of the bindings from play core, plugins and your application.

In order to provide you application modules to play application, you need to add them to the list of enabled modules in the conf/application.conf with play.modules.enabled property:

play.application.loader = scaldi.play.ScaldiApplicationLoader

play.modules.enabled += modules.MyModule
play.modules.enabled += modules.SomeOtherModule

ScaldiApplicationLoader understands both scaldi and play-specific modules and able to compose them in one final scaldi injection aggregation. That is the reason why it able to not only load our scaldi modules, but also play plugins and play core bindings.

Now you can bind controllers as any other class in the Module. For example:

class Application(implicit inj: Injector) extends Controller with Injectable {
  val messageService = inject [MessageService]

  def index = Action {
    Ok(views.html.index(messageService.getGreetMessage("Test User")))

class WebModule extends Module {
  binding to new Application

  bind [MessageService] to new OfficialMessageService

It’s not much different from the way you are using Scaldi outside of the play application. Nice thing about it is that you no longer need to make Controller a global singleton object, but instead it can be a plain class.

One important thing that you now need to do is to prefix the controller class in the conf/routes file with @. There is an example of how you can define a route for the Application controller:

GET  /                 @controllers.Application.index

By doing this, you are telling Play to use Scaldi to resolve the controller instance instead of trying to use it’s own internal mechanisms for it.

Please note, that if you are using InjectedRoutesGenerator, then you don’t need to prefix your controllers with @ in the conf/routes file:

routesGenerator := InjectedRoutesGenerator

You can find a tutorial and an example play application in Scaldi Play 2.4 Example (GitHub, Typesafe activator template).

Note for plugin developers

Since plugins in Play are normal modules, it’s tempting to define them as scaldi modules. I would encourage you to avoid using scaldi-specific modules in plugin itself. Ideally you need to provide play.api.inject.Module for your plugin and use JSR 330 annotations, so that users of your plugin have choice of DI library in their own applications.

Play Application Lifecycle

Since ScaldiSupport is now deprecated and you generally should avoid usage of GlobalSettings, you need to use scaldi’s own lifecycle as a lifecycle of your application. So your application starts then Injector is initialized.

If you need to eagerly initialize some bindings, then you can use non-lazy bindings:

bind [Database] toNonLazy new Riak

If some additional code need to be executed when binding is initialized or destroyed, then I would recommend you to look at “Binding Lifecycle” section:

bind [Server] to new HttpServer initWith (_.init()) destroyWith (_.shutdown())

Play itself provides a binding for ApplicationLifecycle class which you can inject use to add additional stop logic:

inject [ApplicationLifecycle] addStopHook { () =>
  // destroy something

Play-specific Injectors

Within a Play application you can add scaldi.play.ControllerInjector which will create controller bindings on the fly, which means that you don’t need to create then explicitly by yourself:

play.application.loader = scaldi.play.ScaldiApplicationLoader

play.modules.enabled += scaldi.play.ControllerInjector

Controller class should meet following requirements to be available for the ControllerInjector:

  • It should extend play.api.mvc.Controller
  • It should have constructor that takes and implicit Injector as an argument

Play-specific Bindings

Play support also makes following bindings automatically available for you to inject (as well as any other play-specific bindings, like Routes or ApplicationLifecycle):

  • Application - the Play Application in which injector lives
  • Mode - the mode of the Play Application
  • Configuration - the Configuration of the Play Application

Play-specific Conditions

Following conditions are available for you to use in the binding definition:

  • inDevMode
  • inTestMode
  • inProdMode

They all use Play Applications mode. Here is an example of how you can use them:

bind [Database] when inProdMode to new Riak
bind [Database] when (inDevMode or inTestMode) to new InMemoryDatabase

Injecting Play Configuration

scaldi-play provides integration with Play configuration (conf/application.conf) out of the box. So you can, for example, define greeting.official property there:

greeting.official = Welcome

and then just inject it anywhere in your application

val officialGreeting = inject [String] (identified by "greeting.official")

You can also inject other primitive types like Int or Boolean and not only String (similar to PropertiesInjector). If you would like to use configuration instance directly, then you need inject it like this:

val config = inject [Configuration]

Controller Cache

scaldi-play caches all controllers to ensure the fast controller retrieval times. It also considers isCacheable property bindings, so it will not cache controllers that are bound with toProvider function.

If you wish to disable caching, then you can do so with scaldi.controller.cache property in conf/application.conf:

scaldi.controller.cache = false

Testing of Play Application

Testing support comes in form of scaldi.play.ScaldiApplicationBuilder and scaldi.play.ScaldiBuilder classes and conceptually very similar to testing support described in the official documentation:

class TestModule extends Module {
  bind [Database] to new InMemoryDatabase

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder().prependModule(new TestModule).build()

running(application) {
  val home =  route(FakeRequest(GET, "/")).get

  status(home) must equalTo(OK)

ScaldiApplicationBuilder constructor has a lot of different arguments (with reasonable defaults) to customize different parts of your application. For example you can provide additional application modules, change configuration or even influence how configuration or modules are loaded.

Instead of using build() method, which return you a Play Application, you can also use buildInj() which will return scaldi.Injector. This can be useful, if you would like to inject some bindings:

implicit val injector =
  new ScaldiApplicationBuilder().prependModule(new TestModule).buildInj()

val application = inject [Application]
val db = inject [Database]

Companion object of ScaldiApplicationBuilder also has two helper methods: withScaldiApp and withScaldiInj. They allow you to run test in the context of running application/injector:

withScaldiApp(modules = Seq(new TestModule)) {
  val home =  route(FakeRequest(GET, "/")).get

  status(home) must equalTo(OK)

withScaldiInj(modules = Seq(TestModule)) { implicit inj =>
  inject[Database].getUsers() should be ('empty)

Both of these allow you to provide bunch of arguments to customize a fake application, just like ScaldiApplicationBuilder itself.

Additional Configuration

Here is an example of different ways to provide additional configuration:

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder(
      configuration = Configuration("host" -> "localhost"))
  .configure(Configuration("message" -> "Test"))
  .configure(Map("host" -> "localhost", "port" -> 123))
  .configure("width" -> 100, "height" -> 200)

As you can see, ScaldiApplicationBuilder also has builder methods for different aspects of application.

If you wish, you can also override the configuration loading function:

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder()
  .loadConfig(env => Configuration.load(env))


In order to provide application modules, ScaldiApplicationBuilder provides a constructor argument modules which would prepend provided modules to the final module composition. You can also use prependModule(...) and appendModule(...) for this. Prepended modules will have the highest priority during the binding lookup - it is very useful for test bindings since they will override bindings from other modules. Appended modules would be added to the end of a module composition. Please see “Injector Composition” section for more details. Here is an example:

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder(modules = Seq(new TestModule))
  .appendModule(new AnotherModule)
  .prependModule(new YetAnotherModule)

Sometimes you want to have complete control over the module composition. This means, that you would like to create composition from scratch and disable default module loading mechanism. You can do it with the help of loadModules argument:

val appModule = new TestModule :: new ServerModule :: new UserModule :: new ControllerInjector

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder(
    modules = Seq(appModule, new EhCacheModule, new BuiltinModule),
    loadModules = (_, _) => Seq.empty)

As you can see in this example, you also need to compose BuiltinModule of play and possibly plugin modules (like cache plugin in this case) in order to construct complete application. loadModules = (_, _) => Seq.empty in this case completely disables default module loading mechanism.

Fake Router

In some case you need to define some fake routes in the tests, it’s something you was able to do with the FakeApplication(withRoutes = ...) before. scaldi-play provides FakeRouterModule for this purpose - it’s just a scaldi.Injector, so you can add it to the module list of your test application. Here is an example of it’s usage:

val fakeRotes = FakeRouterModule {
  case ("GET", "/some-url") => Action {
    Results.Ok("everything is fine")

val application = new ScaldiApplicationBuilder(modules = Seq(fakeRotes)).build()

running(TestServer(3333, application), HTMLUNIT) { browser =>

  browser.pageSource must contain("everything is fine")

Play 2.3.x Support

Play 2.3.x is still actively supported. In order to use scaldi in Play 2.3.x project, you need to use different dependency:

libraryDependencies += "org.scaldi" %% "scaldi-play-23" % "0.5.6"

Older play versions had very limited support for dependency injection, so main integration point was GlobalSettings trait. You need to mix-in ScaldiSupport trait in the Global object to be able to provide your applications’s modules:

object Global extends GlobalSettings with ScaldiSupport {
  def applicationModule = new WebModule :: new UserModule

As you can see, you also need to implement applicationModule method. By doing this you tell play which Injector should be used to lookup the controller instances. This is also a good place to compose the main injector for your Play application.

Akka Integration

To add a Scaldi support in the akka application you need to include scaldi-akka in the build.sbt:

libraryDependencies += "org.scaldi" %% "scaldi-akka" % "0.5.8"

The only new thing that scaldi-akka adds is AkkaInjectable, which provides 2 additional inject methods:

  • injectActorRef - creates a new actor with the help of ActorRef factory which should be implicitly available in the scope.
  • injectActorProps - injects Props for the Actor, so that you can create new Actors yourself with the help of the ActorRef factory.

where ActorRef factory can be one of two things:

  • ActorContext - it always implicitly available within an Actor and can be used to create a new actors in the context of current actor
  • ActorSystem

Here is a small example of how you can use AkkaInjectable to inject (which actually means create in the case of actors) another actor:

class Receptionist (implicit inj: Injector) extends Actor with AkkaInjectable {
  val userService = inject [UserService]

  val orderProcessorProps = injectActorProps [OrderProcessor]
  val priceCalculator = injectActorRef [PriceCalculator]

  def receive = {
    case PlaceOrder(userName, itemId, netAmount) =>
        val processor = context.actorOf(orderProcessorProps)
        // ...

Or alternatively, if you want to create an actor somewhere else (not inside of an actor), you need to bring an implicit ActorSystem in the scope:

import scaldi.akka.AkkaInjectable._

implicit val appModule: Injector = // ...

implicit val system = inject [ActorSystem]

val receptionist = injectActorRef [Receptionist]

We have created some actors that are able to use inject. The only thing that remains now is to create a module that binds them together with other dependencies and the ActorSystem itself:

class OrderModule extends Module {
  bind [UserService] to new SimpleUserService

  bind [ActorSystem] to ActorSystem("ScaldiExample") destroyWith (_.shutdown())

  binding toProvider new Receptionist
  binding toProvider new OrderProcessor
  binding toProvider new PriceCalculator

I would like to point out how Actor are bound. It is important, that you bind them with toProvider function. It will make sure that Scaldi always creates new instances of the Actor classes when you inject them with injectActorRef or injectActorProps. These two methods actually use Akka mechanisms to configure an actor instance under-the-hood, but the actor instance creation itself is always delegated to Scaldi. During this process, Akka requires a delegate to always create new instances of an actor, so by binding Actors with toProvider you are fulfilling the protocol, that Akka implies.

You can find a tutorial and an example Akka application in Scaldi Akka Example (GitHub, Blog, Typesafe activator template).

Singleton Actors

In some cases you may want to create a singleton actors - they will be created and bound once and then injected in other actors that want to work with them.

Generally I would recommend to create actors within another actors and then send references around to propagate them to all places that want to use this actor ref, because in most cases you also need to take care of proper actor supervision hierarchy.

But If you have some singleton actors that are sitting under the system guardian’s supervision then what you can do is to create another binding that will create an actor ref for the singleton actor:

binding identifiedBy 'someSingletonActor to {
  implicit val system = inject [ActorSystem]

  AkkaInjectable.injectActorRef [Receptionist]

then you can just inject it in other actors as normal:

inject [ActorRef] ('someSingletonActor)

You can improve it a little bit by creating a custom Identifier for it instead of using a symbol or string.

JSR 330 Support

Intended for integration

JSR 330 support can be very helpful for integration with other libraries and frameworks. It also useful during the migration as you move your existing codebase to scaldi, assuming that you used another JSR 330 compatible DI library (like Google Guice). If you are starting from scratch or don’t need this kind integration, then I would recommend to avoid JSR 330 annotations and use normal Binding DSL.

Scaldi implements JSR 330 (Dependency Injection for Java) spec. This allows you to bind JSR 330 annotated classes and inject scaldi bindings from them. From the optional part of JSR 330 spec, only private member injection is supported (which means that static injection is not supported).

To add JSR 330 support, you need to add one extra library dependency in your project:

libraryDependencies += "org.scaldi" %% "scaldi-jsr330" % "0.5.9"

In order to bind JSR 330 annotated class you can use annotated syntax when you are defining a binding (all JSR 330 support resides in the scaldi.jsr330 package):

import scaldi.jsr330._

bind [Engine] to annotated [V8Engine]

This will define a new AnnotationBinding which itself is a BindingWithLifecycle. If V8Engine has a javax.inject.Singleton scope annotation, then the binding would behave like a scaldi’s LazyBinding otherwise it will behave like ProviderBinding.

The only supported JSR 330 scope is a javax.inject.Singleton scope. Custom scope annotations are not supported and will result in BindingException.

JSR 330 support also provides OnDemandAnnotationInjector which defines JSR 330 compliant bindings on-the-fly (when they are injected).

Qualifier Annotations

Scaldi also supports javax.inject.Named as well as any other custom javax.inject.Qualifier annotation. javax.inject.Named qualifier is treated as normal StringIdentifier. Any other custom qualifier would become an AnnotationIdentifier. In order to define a binding with AnnotationIdentifier you can use a qualifier function available in scaldi.jsr330 package:

import scaldi.jsr330._

bind [Seat] identifiedBy qualifier [Drivers] to annotated [DriversSeat]

In some cases you need to bind and instance of Annotation instead of just type. This can come in handy when your Qualifier annotations have fields. annotation function allows you to do it like this:

import scaldi.jsr330._

binding identifiedBy annotation(SomeQualifierImpl.of("foo")) to new SomeDep

In this example result SomeQualifierImpl.of() must return an instance of a class that implements some annotation interface.

Of course you can also use the same syntax when you are injecting them:

import scaldi.jsr330._

val someDep = inject [SomeDep] (identified by annotation(SomeQualifierImpl.of("foo")))
val seat = inject [Seat] (identified by qualifier[Drivers])

AnnotationIdentifier is a required by default, which means that you must use it when you are injecting the binding (see “Required Identifiers” section fro more details). If you want to make a standard identifier required (like StringIdentifier), you need to use required function with this identifier:

bind [Tire] identifiedBy required('spare) to annotated [SpareTire]