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Dependency injection for Bottle.

Project description

Bottle Dependency Injection

The Bottle framework already does dependency injection in some regard: The URL parameters of your routes are injected into your handler functions as keyword arguments. Some other Plugins (actually, most plugins) do it, too: They inject database connections, authentication contexts, session objects and much more. This Plugin makes the concept available to you without the need to write a new plugin for every single dependency you want to inject. It also can change the way you use Bottle and write applications in a funcamental way, if you let it. If done right, dependency injection can reduce the complexity and increase testability and readability of your application a lot. But let us start easy, with a simple example:

app = Bottle()
injector = app.install(bottle.ext.inject.Plugin())

def get_db_handle():
    return my_database_connection.cursor()

def random_quote(db):
    row = db.execute('SELECT quote FROM quotes ORDER BY RANDOM() LIMIT 1').fetchone()
    return row['quote']

The first two lines are nothing new. We just create a bottle application and install this plugin to it. The next block is more interesting. Similar to how bottle binds handler functions to URL paths, the injector binds providers to injection points. In this case, we bind the provider ‘get_db_handle’ to the injection point named ‘db’. Whenver a function is called through our injector and has an argument with the same name, it recieves a fresh database cursor from our provider. You can see that in the next few lines. Because all handler callbacks are managed by our injector plugin, you just need to accept a ‘db’ argument and it is automatically injected for us by the plugin. If you define a route that does not accept a ‘db’ argument, then nothing happens. No database cursor is ever created for that route.

That little example shows the benefits of dependency injection very well:

  • You can unit-test the ‘random_quote()’ function directly by passing it a fake- or test-database object. No need to set-up the whole application just for testing.
  • No global variables or global state used. The function can be used again in a different context without hassle.
  • You don’t have to import get_db_handle into every module that defines bottle application routes.
  • You can change the implementation of ‘get_db_handle’ and it affects every route of your application. No need to search/replace your codebase.
  • Less typing. Be lazy where it counts.

Advanced usage

Values, Providers and Resolvers

The dependency value is re-used for every injection and treated as a singleton.

A provider returns the requested dependency when called. The provider is called with no arguments every time the dependency is needed.

A resolver returns a cache-able provider and may accept injection-point specific configuration. The resolver is usually called only once per injection point and the return value is cached. It must return a (callable) provider.

Injection Points

TODO: Describe the inject() function and how it is used.

def my_func(
    db                 # Positional arguments are always recognized as injection points with the same name.
    a = 'value'        # Keyword arguments with default values are not recognized.
    b = inject('db')   # Here we explicitly define an injection point. The name of the argument is no longer
                       #  important.
    c: inject('db')    # In Python 3 you can use the annotation syntax. (recommended)
# Python 2
def func(name = inject('param', key='value'),
         file = inject('file', field='upload')):

# Python 3
def func(name: inject('param', key='name'),
         file: inject('file', field='upload')):

TODO: Describe the difference between implicit (non-annotated) and explicit (annotated with inject()) injection points. In short: If a resolver is missing, explicit injection points will fail immediately while implcit injection points only fail if they are actually resolved.

TODO: You can disable the injection into unannotized arguments (maybe).

Recursive Dependency Injection

TODO: Describe recursive injection (injecting stuff into providers and resolvers), which already works.

Default injection points

The plugin comes with a set of pre-defined providers. You can use them right away, or unregister them if you don’t want them.

Injection Points Type Scope Description
request, req, rq bottle.Request local  
response, res, rs bottle.Response local  
injector Injector app The injector itself. Can be used for runtime inspection of injectable values, e.g. by other plugins.
params bottle.FormsDict local Not implenented.
param[name] str local Not implenented.

What is “Dependency Injection”?

The term “Dependency Injection” is just a fancy name for a simple concept: The caller of a piece of code should provide all depnendencies the code needs to run. In other words: A function or object should not need to reach out, but be provided with everything it needs.

A small example probably helps best. The following code does not follow dependency injection paradigm:

db = my_database_connection.cursor()

def do_stuff():


And now, with dependency injection:

def do_stuff(db):


The only difference is that we now pass the database connction handle to the function explicitly, instead of letting the function fetch it from the global namespace. That’s basically it. Now you can easily test do_stuff by passing it a fake database connection or a connection to a test database, re-use it in other contexts with different darabases, and the possible side-effects are no longer hidden within the code.

On the downside, you’d have to type more and pass around a lot of stuff, but that is exactly what this plugin does for you: It manages the dependencies and injects them where needed.


An object that manages Dependencies, Providers and Resolvers and can be asked to inject the required dependencies into a function call.
Injection Point
A place to inject dependencies into. This plugin injects into function call arguments most of the time.
A function or callable that defines dependencies in its call signature so that the injector can inject them.
An object or resource that can be injected.
A function or callable that creates dependencies on demand, or otherwise provides the dependencies for when they are needed.
A function or callable that creates individual providers based on injection-point specific configuration. (Yes, you could call it a dependency-provoder-provider but that sounds aweful)



  • Do stuff …

Changes 0.1

  • Initial version

Project details

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