Owning multiple dependencies: The right way

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In the previous section, we saw the wrong way to inject multiple owned dependencies into a component. This section will demonstrate the correct way to approach the problem.

As mentioned previously, the OwningComponentBase<T> class component will create its own dependency container and resolve an instance of T within that container so the instance of T is private to our component.

If we need our component to privately own instances of multiple types of dependency then we have to do a little more work. To achieve this, we need to use the non-generic OwningComponentBase class. Like the generic version, this component will create its own dependency container that will exist for the lifetime of the component. However, instead of actually resolving any dependencies for us, it will give us access to its dependency container so we can resolve instances of whichever types we need.

Example

First, create a new Blazor application. Then, as we have done before, we shall create some classes we can inject that will use a state member to keep track of how many instances of the class have been created.

Create the following interfaces

public interface IOwnedDependency1
{
	public int InstanceNumber { get; }
}

public interface IOwnedDependency2
{
	public int InstanceNumber { get; }
}

Then create classes that implement those interfaces. I’ll just show the code for the first class, the second class will be identical.

public class OwnedDependency1 : IOwnedDependency1
{
	private static volatile int PreviousInstanceNumber;

	public int InstanceNumber { get; }
	public OwnedDependency1()
	{
		InstanceNumber =
			System.Threading.Interlocked.Increment(ref PreviousInstanceNumber);
	}
}

Register the interfaces + their implementing classes as Scoped (see Comparing dependency scopes if you need to be reminded how).

Next, edit the Index.razor page so the user of our app can toggle a component by clicking a checkbox.

@page "/"

<input id="show-component" type=checkbox @bind=ShowComponent />
<label for="show-component">Show component</label>

@if (ShowComponent)
{
	<MyOwningComponent />
}

@code
{
	bool ShowComponent = false;
}

When ShowComponent is true, our mark-up will create an instance of MyOwningComponent and render it. Next, we’ll create MyOwningComponent.

OwningComponentBase

In the Shared folder, create a new Razor component named MyOwningComponent. We’ll descend this component from OwningComponentBase.

@inherits OwningComponentBase

Then create some class fields to hold our dependencies.

@code
{
	private IOwnedDependency1 OwnedDependency1;
	private IOwnedDependency2 OwnedDependency2;
}

Resolving owned dependencies

The private dependency container that OwningComponentBase creates is made available to us via its ScopedServices property.

protected IServiceProvider ScopedServices { get; }

We can use this IServiceProvider to resolve instances of dependencies from the private dependency container that our component owns.

@inherits OwningComponentBase
@using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection


<div>
	OwnedDependency1.InstanceNumber = @OwnedDependency1.InstanceNumber
</div>
<div>
	OwnedDependency2.InstanceNumber = @OwnedDependency2.InstanceNumber
</div>

@code
{
	private IOwnedDependency1 OwnedDependency1;
	private IOwnedDependency2 OwnedDependency2;

	protected override void OnInitialized()
	{
		OwnedDependency1 =
			ScopedServices.GetService<IOwnedDependency1>();
		OwnedDependency2 =
			ScopedServices.GetService<IOwnedDependency2>();
	}
}
  • Line 1
    Descends from OwningComponentBase to give us our own private dependency container.
  • Line 2
    Uses the DependencyInjection namespace so we can use the GetService<T> extension method on IServiceProvider.
  • Lines 19 & 21
    Uses the OwningComponentBase.ScopedServices property to resolve instances of the dependencies our component requires.
  • Lines 6 & 9
    Display the instance numbers of the dependencies that were created for us.

Running the example

If we run the example app and tick the checkbox, we will see the following output.

  • OwnedDependency1.InstanceNumber = 1
  • OwnedDependency2.InstanceNumber = 1

Untick the checkbox to allow our component to be removed, and then tick it again to have Blazor create a new instance of MyOwningComponent. The rendered output should now read as follows.

  • OwnedDependency1.InstanceNumber = 2
  • OwnedDependency2.InstanceNumber = 2

This shows that both dependencies we resolve in the OnInitialized method of our component are new instances each time our component is created.

Dependent lifetimes

The OwningComponentBase class implements the IDisposable interface. When any component descending from OwningComponentBase is no longer rendered, Blazor will execute the Dispose method on OwningComponentBase.

The Dispose method on the component will call Dispose on the private dependency container it owns. In turn, any object instances this container created that implement IDisposable will also have their Dispose method executed.

To demonstrate this behaviour, make the following changes to our application.

First, override Dispose(bool isDisposing) on our component and have it log some output when it is disposed.

public void Dispose()
{
	System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("Disposing " + GetType().Name);
}

Then, for each of our dependency classes (OwnedDependency1 and OwnedDependency2) have them implement IDisposable and, again, have them log some output when Dispose is executed.

	public class OwnedDependency1 : IOwnedDependency1, IDisposable
	{
		... Other code omitted for brevity ...

		public void Dispose()
		{
			System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine($"Created {GetType().Name} instance {InstanceNumber}");
		}
	}

We could also add some logging in the constructors of our classes.

Running the application and toggling the checkbox now will output log text similar to the following.

  • Created MyOwningComponent
  • Created OwnedDependency1 instance 1
  • Created OwnedDependency2 instance 1
  • Disposing OwnedDependency2 instance 1
  • Disposing OwnedDependency1 instance 1
  • Disposing MyOwningComponent
  • Created MyOwningComponent
  • Created OwnedDependency1 instance 2
  • Created OwnedDependency2 instance 2
  • Disposing OwnedDependency2 instance 2
  • Disposing OwnedDependency1 instance 2
  • Disposing MyOwningComponent

Conclusion

Descend from OwningComponentBase<T> when you need only a single dependency to be owned by your component, and descend from the non-generic OwningComponentBase class when you need your component to own multiple dependencies.

Although the process of resolving instances of your component’s dependencies is a manual process, there is no need to dispose of any dependencies created as the component’s dependency container will dispose of them when OwningComponentBase.Dispose is executed.

Please help!

If you've found this site useful, please...