Dependency injection


This content is an excerpt from the eBook, Enterprise Application Patterns Using .NET MAUI, available on .NET Docs or as a free downloadable PDF that can be read offline.

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Typically, a class constructor is invoked when instantiating an object, and any values that the object needs are passed as arguments to the constructor. This is an example of dependency injection known as constructor injection. The dependencies the object needs are injected into the constructor.

By specifying dependencies as interface types, dependency injection enables decoupling the concrete types from the code that depends on these types. It generally uses a container that holds a list of registrations and mappings between interfaces and abstract types, and the concrete types that implement or extend these types.

There are also other types of dependency injection, such as property setter injection and method call injection, but they are less commonly seen. Therefore, this chapter will focus solely on performing constructor injection with a dependency injection container.

Introduction to dependency injection

Dependency injection is a specialized version of the Inversion of Control (IoC) pattern, where the concern being inverted is the process of obtaining the required dependency. With dependency injection, another class is responsible for injecting dependencies into an object at runtime. The following code example shows how the ProfileViewModel class is structured when using dependency injection:

private readonly ISettingsService _settingsService;
private readonly IAppEnvironmentService _appEnvironmentService;

public ProfileViewModel(
    IAppEnvironmentService appEnvironmentService,
    IDialogService dialogService, 
    INavigationService navigationService, 
    ISettingsService settingsService)
    : base(dialogService, navigationService, settingsService)
    _appEnvironmentService = appEnvironmentService;
    _settingsService = settingsService;

    // Omitted for brevity

The ProfileViewModel constructor receives multiple interface object instances as arguments injected by another class. The only dependency in the ProfileViewModel class is on the interface types. Therefore, the ProfileViewModel class doesn't have any knowledge of the class that's responsible for instantiating the interface objects. The class that's responsible for instantiating the interface objects, and inserting it into the ProfileViewModel class, is known as the dependency injection container.

Dependency injection containers reduce the coupling between objects by providing a facility to instantiate class instances and manage their lifetime based on the configuration of the container. During object creation, the container injects any dependencies that the object requires into it. If those dependencies have not yet been created, the container creates and resolves their dependencies first.

There are several advantages to using a dependency injection container:

  • A container removes the need for a class to locate its dependencies and manage its lifetimes.
  • A container allows the mapping of implemented dependencies without affecting the class.
  • A container facilitates testability by allowing dependencies to be mocked.
  • A container increases maintainability by allowing new classes to be easily added to the app.

In the context of a .NET MAUI app that uses MVVM, a dependency injection container will typically be used for registering and resolving views, registering and resolving view models, and for registering services and injecting them into view models.

There are many dependency injection containers available in .NET; the eShop multi-platform app uses Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection to manage the instantiation of views, view models, and service classes in the app. Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection facilitates building loosely coupled apps, and provides all of the features commonly found in dependency injection containers, including methods to register type mappings and object instances, resolve objects, manage object lifetimes, and inject dependent objects into constructors of objects that it resolves. For more information about Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection, see Dependency injection in .NET.

In .NET MAUI, the MauiProgram class will call into the CreateMauiApp method to create a MauiAppBuilder object. The MauiAppBuilder object has a Services property of type IServiceCollection, which provides a place to register our components, such as views, view models, and services for dependency injection. Any components registered with the Services property will be provided to the dependency injection container when the MauiAppBuilder.Build method is called.

At runtime, the container must know which implementation of the services are being requested in order to instantiate them for the requested objects. In the eShop multi-platform app, the IAppEnvironmentService, IDialogService , INavigationService, and ISettingsService interfaces need to be resolved before it can instantiate a ProfileViewModel object. This involves the container performing the following actions:

  • Deciding how to instantiate an object that implements the interface. This is known as registration.
  • Instantiating the object that implements the required interface and the ProfileViewModel object. This is known as resolution.

Eventually, the app will finish using the ProfileViewModel object, and it will become available for garbage collection. At this point, the garbage collector should dispose of any short-lived interface implementations if other classes do not share the same instance.


Before dependencies can be injected into an object, the types of the dependencies must first be registered with the container. Registering a type involves passing the container an interface and a concrete type that implements the interface.

There are two ways of registering types and objects in the container through code:

  • Register a type or mapping with the container. This is known as transient registration. When required, the container will build an instance of the specified type.
  • Register an existing object in the container as a singleton. When required, the container will return a reference to the existing object.


Dependency injection containers are not always suitable. Dependency injection introduces additional complexity and requirements that might not be appropriate or useful to small apps. If a class does not have any dependencies, or is not a dependency for other types, it might not make sense to put it in the container. In addition, if a class has a single set of dependencies that are integral to the type and will never change, it might not make sense to put it in the container.

The registration of types requiring dependency injection should be performed in a single method in an app. This method should be invoked early in the app's lifecycle to ensure it is aware of the dependencies between its classes. The eShop multi-platform app performs this the MauiProgram.CreateMauiApp method. The following code example shows how the eShop multi-platform app declares the CreateMauiApp in the MauiProgram class:

public static class MauiProgram
    public static MauiApp CreateMauiApp()
        => MauiApp.CreateBuilder()
            // Omitted for brevity            

The MauiApp.CreateBuilder method creates a MauiAppBuilder object that we can use to register our dependencies. Many dependencies in the eShop multi-platform app need to be registered, so the extension methods RegisterAppServices, RegisterViewModels, and RegisterViews were created to help provide an organized and maintainable registration workflow. The following code shows the RegisterViewModels method:

public static MauiAppBuilder RegisterViewModels(this MauiAppBuilder mauiAppBuilder)


    return mauiAppBuilder;

This method receives an instance of MauiAppBuilder, and we can use the Services property to register our view models. Depending on the needs of your application, you may need to add services with different lifetimes. The following table provides information on when you may want to choose these different registration lifetimes:

Method Description
AddSingleton<T> Will create a single instance of the object which will be remain for the lifetime of the application.
AddTransient<T> Will create a new instance of the object when requested during resolution. Transient objects do not have a pre-defined lifetime, but will typically follow the lifetime of their host.


The view models do not inherit from an interface, so they only need their concrete type provided to the AddSingleton<T> and AddTransient<T> methods.

The CatalogViewModel is used near the application's root and should always be available, so registering it with AddSingleton<T> is beneficial. Other view models, such as CheckoutViewModel and OrderDetailViewModel are situationally navigated to or are used later in the application. Suppose you know that you have a component that may not always be used. In that case, if it is memory or computationally intensive or requires just-in-time data, it may be a better candidate for AddTransient<T> registration.

Another common way to add services is using the AddSingleton<TService, TImplementation> and AddTransient<TService, TImplementation> methods. These methods take two input types: the interface definition and the concrete implementation. This type of registration is best for cases where you are implementing services based on interfaces. In the code example below, we register our ISettingsService interface using the SettingsService implementation:

public static MauiAppBuilder RegisterAppServices(this MauiAppBuilder mauiAppBuilder)
    mauiAppBuilder.Services.AddSingleton<ISettingsService, SettingsService>();
    // Omitted for brevity...

Once all services have been registered, the MauiAppBuilder.Build method should be called to create our MauiApp and populate our dependency injection container with all the registered services.


Once the Build method has been called, the dependency injection container is immutable and can no longer be updated or modified. Ensure that all services that you need within your application have been registered before you call Build.


After a type is registered, it can be resolved or injected as a dependency. When a type is being resolved, and the container needs to create a new instance, it injects any dependencies into the instance.

Generally, when a type is resolved, one of three things happens:

  1. If the type hasn't been registered, the container throws an exception.
  2. If the type has been registered as a singleton, the container returns the singleton instance. If this is the first time the type is called for, the container creates it if required and maintains a reference to it.
  3. If the type has been registered as transient, the container returns a new instance and doesn't maintain a reference to it.

.NET MAUI offers a number of ways to resolve registered components based on your needs. The most direct way to gain access to the dependency injection container is from an Element using the Handler.MauiContext.Services. An example of this is shown below:

var settingsService = this.Handler.MauiContext.Services.GetServices<ISettingsService>();

This can be helpful if you need to resolve a service from within an Element or from outside of the constructor of your Element.


There is a possibility that the Handler property of your Element may be null, so be aware that you may need to handle those situations. For more information, please refer to Handler lifecycle on the Microsoft Documentation Center.

If using the Shell control for .NET MAUI, it will implicitly call into the dependency injection container to create our objects during navigation. When setting up our Shell control, the Routing.RegisterRoute method will tie a route path to a View as shown in the example below:

Routing.RegisterRoute("Filter", typeof(FiltersView));

During Shell navigation, it will look for registrations of the FiltersView, and if any are found, it will create that view and inject any dependencies into the constructor. As shown in the code example below, the CatalogViewModel will be injected into the FiltersView:

namespace eShop.Views;

public partial class FiltersView : ContentPage
    public FiltersView(CatalogViewModel viewModel)
        BindingContext = viewModel;



The dependency injection container is great for creating view model instances. If a view model has dependencies, it will handle the creation and injection of any required services. Just make sure that you register your view models and any dependencies that they may have with the CreateMauiApp method in the MauiProgram class.


Dependency injection enables the decoupling of concrete types from the code that depends on these types. It typically uses a container that holds a list of registrations and mappings between interfaces and abstract types, and the concrete types that implement or extend these types.

Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection facilitates building loosely coupled apps and provides all of the features commonly found in dependency injection containers, including methods to register type mappings and object instances, resolve objects, manage object lifetimes, and inject dependent objects into constructors of objects it resolves.