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Dependency Injection ๐Ÿ’‰

Middleware can be used to inject dependencies into a RequestContext via a provider.

Providerโ€‹

provider is a type of middleware that can create and provide an instance of type T to the request context. The create callback is called lazily and the injected RequestContext can be used to perform additional lookups to access values provided upstream.

Basicsโ€‹

In the following example, we'll use a provider to inject a String into our request context.

import 'package:dart_frog/dart_frog.dart';

Handler middleware(Handler handler) {
return handler.use(provider<String>((context) => 'Welcome to Dart Frog!'));
}

We can later access the provided via from within a route handler using context.read<T>():

import 'package:dart_frog/dart_frog.dart';

Response onRequest(RequestContext context) {
final greeting = context.read<String>();
return Response(body: greeting);
}

Extracting Providersโ€‹

In the above example, we defined the provider inline. This is fine for simple cases, but for more complex providers or providers which you want to reuse, it can be helpful to extract the provider to its own file:

Middleware greetingProvider() {
return provider<String>((context) => 'Hello World');
}

Then, we can import and use the provider in one or more middleware:

Handler middleware(Handler handler) {
return handler.use(greetingProvider());
}

Providing Asynchronous Valuesโ€‹

A provider can also be used to inject asynchronous values -- we just need to change the generic type to a Future:

Middleware asyncGreetingProvider() {
return provider<Future<String>>((context) async => 'Hello World');
}

We can then use the provider in one or more middleware just as before:

Handler middleware(Handler handler) {
return handler.use(asyncGreetingProvider());
}

Later, we can read the async value from a route handler via context.read:

Future<Response> onRequest(RequestContext context) async {
final value = await context.read<Future<String>>();
return Response(body: value);
}
note

When accessing a Future via context.read be sure to specify the Future as the generic type and await the result.

tip

You can create a custom extension if you prefer:

extension ReadAsync on RequestContext {
Future<T> readAsync<T extends Object>() => read<Future<T>>();
}

With the above extension, you can access the provided Future like:

Future<Response> onRequest(RequestContext context) async {
final value = await context.readAsync<String>();
return Response(body: value);
}

Lazy Initializationโ€‹

By default, provider creates the provided value only when it is accessed. For example, given the following middleware:

import 'package:dart_frog/dart_frog.dart';

Handler middleware(Handler handler) {
return handler.use(
provider<String>((context) {
// This code will never execute if `context.read<String>()` isn't called.
print('create!');
return 'Welcome to Dart Frog!';
}),
);
}

If we have a route handler that never invokes context.read<String>(), our value will never be created, and create! will never be logged:

import 'package:dart_frog/dart_frog.dart';

Response onRequest(RequestContext context) => Response();

Cachingโ€‹

By default, a provided value will be created when it is accessed. This means that each time you read a value via context.read, the associated create method will be invoked.

As a result, you may wish to cache a provided value so that it isn't unnecessarily recreated on each read. We can do this quite easily by defining a provide value which we use to reference the provided value once it is created.

String? _greeting;

Middleware cachedGreetingProvider() {
return provider<String>((context) => _greeting ??= 'Hello World');
}
note

The cached _greeting is private so that it can only be accessed within the context of this provider.

This pattern can also be applied to async providers:

String? _greeting;

Middleware cachedAsyncGreetingProvider() {
return provider<Future<String>>((context) async => _greeting ??= 'Hello World');
}

With the above implementations, the greeting will only be computed once and the cached value will be used for the duration of the application lifecycle.