Dependency injection framework for Swift



Travis CI Carthage compatible CocoaPods Version License Platform Swift Version

Swinject is a lightweight dependency injection framework for Swift.

Dependency injection (DI) is a software design pattern that implements Inversion of Control (IoC) for resolving dependencies. In the pattern, Swinject helps your app split into loosely-coupled components, which can be developed, tested and maintained more easily. Swinject is powered by the Swift generic type system and first class functions to define dependencies of your app simply and fluently.



  • iOS 8.0+ / Mac OS X 10.10+ / watchOS 2.0+ / tvOS 9.0+
  • Xcode 7.0+


Swinject is available through Carthage or CocoaPods.


To install Swinject with Carthage, add the following line to your Cartfile.

github "Swinject/Swinject" ~> 1.0.0

Then run carthage update --no-use-binaries command or just carthage update. For details of the installation and usage of Carthage, visit its project page.


To install Swinject with CocoaPods, add the following lines to your Podfile.

source ''
platform :ios, '8.0'

pod 'Swinject', '~> 1.0.0'

Then run pod install command. For details of the installation and usage of CocoaPods, visit its official website.


All documentation can be found in the Documentation folder, including patterns of dependency injection and examples.

Basic Usage

First, register a service and component pair to a Container, where the component is created by the registered closure as a factory. In this example, Cat and PetOwner are component classes implementing AnimalType and PersonType service protocols, respectively.

let container = Container()
container.register(AnimalType.self) { _ in Cat(name: "Mimi") }
container.register(PersonType.self) { r in
    PetOwner(pet: r.resolve(AnimalType.self)!)

Then get an instance of a service from the container. The person is resolved to a pet owner, and playing with the cat named Mimi!

let person = container.resolve(PersonType.self)! // prints "I'm playing with Mimi."

Where definitions of the protocols and classes are

protocol AnimalType {
    var name: String? { get }

class Cat: AnimalType {
    let name: String?

    init(name: String?) { = name


protocol PersonType {
    func play()

class PetOwner: PersonType {
    let pet: AnimalType

    init(pet: AnimalType) { = pet

    func play() {
        let name = ?? "someone"
        print("I'm playing with \(name).")

Notice that the pet of PetOwner is automatically set as the instance of Cat when PersonType is resolved to the instance of PetOwner. If a container already set up is given, you do not have to care what are the actual types of the services and how they are created with their dependency.

Where to Register Services

Services must be registered to a container before they are used. Typical ways of the registrations are different between the cases with/without SwinjectStoryboard.

The following view controller class is used in addition to the protocols and classes above in the examples below.

class PersonViewController: UIViewController {
    var person: PersonType?

With SwinjectStoryboard

Services should be registered in an extension of SwinjectStoryboard if you use SwinjectStoryboard. Refer to the document of SwinjectStoryboard for its details.

extension SwinjectStoryboard {
    class func setup() {
        defaultContainer.register(AnimalType.self) { _ in Cat(name: "Mimi") }
        defaultContainer.register(PersonType.self) { r in
            PetOwner(pet: r.resolve(AnimalType.self)!)
        defaultContainer.register(PersonViewController.self) { r in
            let controller = PersonViewController()
            controller.person = r.resolve(PersonType.self)
            return controller

Without SwinjectStoryboard

Typically services are registered to a container in AppDelegate if you do not use SwinjectStoryboard to instantiate view controllers. If you register the services in AppDelegate especially before exiting the call of application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:, it is ensured that the services are registered before they are used.

class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {
    var window: UIWindow?
    let container = Container() { c in
        c.register(AnimalType.self) { _ in Cat(name: "Mimi") }
        c.register(PersonType.self) { r in
            PetOwner(pet: r.resolve(AnimalType.self)!)
        c.register(PersonViewController.self) { r in
            let controller = PersonViewController()
            controller.person = r.resolve(PersonType.self)
            return controller

    func application(
        application: UIApplication,
        didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [NSObject: AnyObject]?) -> Bool {

        // Instantiate a window.
        let window = UIWindow(frame: UIScreen.mainScreen().bounds)
        window.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
        self.window = window

        // Instantiate the root view controller with dependencies injected by the container.
        window.rootViewController = container.resolve(PersonViewController.self)

        return true

Notice that the example uses a convenience initializer taking a closure to register services to the new instance of Container.

Play in Playground!

The project contains Sample-iOS.playground to demonstrate the features of Swinject. Download or clone the project, run the playground, modify it, and play with it to learn Swinject.

To run the playground in the project, first build the project, then select Editor > Execute Playground menu in Xcode.

Example Apps

  • SwinjectSimpleExample demonstrates dependency injection and Swinject in a simple weather app that lists current weather information at some locations.
  • SwinjectMVVMExample demonstrates dependency injection with Swift and reactive programming with ReactiveCocoa in MVVM architecture.

Blog Posts

The following blog posts introduce Swinject and the concept of dependency injection.

Contribution Guide

A guide to submit issues, to ask general questions, or to open pull requests is here.


If you have a general question and hesitate to submit an issue at GitHub, you can feel free to ask the question at Stack Overflow. The author of Swinject monitors swinject tag there to answer as quickly as possible.


The DI container features of Swinject are inspired by:

and highly inspired by:

SwinjectStoryboard is inspired by:


MIT license. See the LICENSE file for details.