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Prosumma/Guise 10.1.2
An elegant, flexible, type-safe dependency resolution framework for Swift
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πŸ•“ 46 weeks ago
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.package(url: "https://github.com/Prosumma/Guise.git", from: "10.1.2")

Guise 10

Guise is a flexible, minimal dependency resolution framework for Swift.

  • β˜‘ Flexible dependency resolution, with optional caching
  • β˜‘ Elegant, straightforward registration
  • β˜‘ Thread-safe
  • β˜‘ Supports throwing and async initializers and resolution
  • β˜‘ Simplifies unit testing
  • β˜‘ Pass arbitrary state when resolving
  • β˜‘ Lazy resolution
  • β˜‘ Nested containers
  • β˜‘ Swift 5.7+
  • β˜‘ Support for iOS 8.0+, macOS 10.9+, watchOS 2+, tvOS 9+

What Makes Guise Better Than Those Other Guys?

  • Guise doesn't require any modification to the types you register. There are no special interfaces like Injectable or Component to implement. There are no special initializers or properties to add. Any type can be registered as is.
  • Guise was designed with Swift in mind. Other DI frameworks for Swift appear to be translations of frameworks from other languages, particularly Cβ™― and Java. These languages have strengths and weaknesses that are different from those of Swift, and those strengths and weaknesses are reflected in the design of these frameworks. This makes them clumsy in Swift.
  • Many of these frameworks register types directly. Guise registers blocks directly and types indirectly. This simple distinction removes an enormous amount of complexity while introducing greater compile-time safety.
  • Guise was designed to be simple rather than easy. Turns out it's both.


Guise 10 is not backwards compatible with 9.

  • β˜‘ Guise 10 removes support for CocoaPods and Carthage. This is now a pure Swift package.
  • β˜‘ Metadata, containers and names have been merged into tags. (See below.)
  • β˜‘ Injection has been removed but will make a comeback in a point release. (If you need it, use version 9 for now.)
  • β˜‘ The global Guise type has been removed. If you want a global container, it's easy enough to declare one.
  • β˜‘ Guise now supports nested containers. (See below.)

Basic Documentation


To register a dependency with the container, four facts are needed: The type to be registered, the tags under which it will be registered, the arguments needed in order to resolve the registration, and the lifetime of the registration. The first three uniquely identify a registration. We'll discuss the fourth fact, lifetime, below.

Let's start with these one by one.

let container = Container()
container.register(Service.self) { _ in

The first argument to register tells Guise (and Swift) which type we're registering, and the block passed at the end tells Guise how to construct that type. (Ignore the _ parameter for the moment.)

Since the type we're registering is the same as the return type of the block, we can omit the first argument of register:

container.register { _ in Service() }

One of the main purposes of dependency injection is to locate implementations of abstract interfaces, so that they can be substituted in unit tests or for some other purpose. In fact, that's why this framework is called Guise.

Guise, n. An external form, appearance, or manner of presentation, typically concealing the true nature of something.

protocol Service {
  func performService() async

class ConcreteService: Service {
  // Perhaps this one talks to a real database

class TestService: Service {
  // This is the one we want in unit tests

let container = Container()
container.register(Service.self) { _ in

Notice that in this example, the block returns ConcreteService but the registered type is Service. Another way to express this is

container.register { _ in ConcreteService() as Service }

Later, when we resolve this registration, we ask for Service, not ConcreteService.

For simple registrations that have no arguments, Guise has a convenient overload which uses an @autoclosure:

container.register(instance: ConcreteService() as Service)

Tags can help locate, describe, and disambiguate registrations. A tag can be any Hashable type, such as String, UUID, Int or a custom type you create yourself.

enum Types: Equatable, Hashable {
  case plugin

container.register(Plugin.self, tags: Types.plugin, 1, instance: PluginImpl1())

The order of tags is not important and any number may be used. Tags are collected into a Set<AnyHashable>, so repetition has no effect.

Because the tags used in a registration are part of the unique Key that identifies that registration, the same tags must be used when resolving:

let plugin: Plugin = try container.resolve(Plugin.self, tags: 1, Types.plugin) 

The tags weren't given in the same order as when the registration was made, but that makes no difference.

Tags become really powerful when resolving arrays of dependencies. In that case, only a subset of the tags needs to be specified. See the discussion on arrays in the resolution section of this README.


It's very common to need to pass some state to a dependency when resolving. Guise supports up to 9 arguments.

class Service {
  let id: Int
  let state: String

container.register { _, id, state in
  Service(id: id, state: state)

When resolving these arguments must be given or Guise will throw an error:

let service: Service = try container.resolve(args: 1, "foo")

The error it throws is .notFound. This is because, as mentioned above, the arguments to the resolution block form part of the Key that uniquely identifies the registration. If they don't match, then the registration cannot be found.

This means that registrations can be overloaded with different arguments:

container.register { _, state in
  Service(id: 0, state: state)
container.register { _, id, state in
  Service(id: id, state: state)
container.register { _, id in
  Service(id: id, state: "")

Each of the three registrations above is distinct.


Guise supports two lifetimes: transient and singleton. Transient is the default.

In a transient registration, a new instance of the dependency is created and returned each time. In other words, the resolution factory that is passed as the last argument to register is called, the arguments are passed, and its result is returned to the caller.

In a singleton registration, the factory is invoked the first time, but every subsequent request for that registration returns the same instance.

container.register(lifetime: .singleton, instance: Service())

It's rare to register singletons with arguments, but if this is necessary, all resolutions of that singleton must pass the same arguments so that the registration can be located. (Here, "same" means the same types, not the same values.)

Transitive dependencies

One of the primary functions of dependency injection is to locate and resolve complex hierarchies of dependencies. Guise can do this as well. The first argument of every resolution block is an instance of Resolver, which allows registrations to be located and resolved.

class Database {}
class Service {
  let database: Database
  init(database: Database) {
    self.database = database

container.register(lifetime: .singleton, instance: Database())
container.register(lifetime: .singleton) { r in
  Service(database: try r.resolve())

Whenever we resolve Service, the Database parameter in its constructor will be located and resolved.

This pattern is so common that Guise has a higher-order function, auto, that can handle up to 9 dependencies:

container.register(lifetime: .singleton, factory: auto(Service.init))

In order to use auto, the sub-dependencies must not have any tags or factory arguments.


Resolution looks up and instantiates a dependency given its type, tags, and arguments, and taking into account its lifetime.

Resolution is simpler than registration, so a few examples will suffice:

class Service {}
container.register(instance: Service())

// Two alternate ways to resolve the above registration
let service: Service = try container.resolve()
let service = try container.resolve(Service.self)

container.register(tags: 2, instance: Service())
let service: Service = try container.resolve(tags: 2)

class Something {
  let id: Int

  init(id: Int) { self.id = id }

container.register { _, id in
  Something(id: id)
let something = try container.resolve(Something.self, args: 7)
Optional Resolution

Guise can resolve optionals as the wrapped type:

class Service {}
container.register(instance: Service())
let service: Service? = try container.resolve()

What happens behind the scenes is that Guise first looks for the exact registration, i.e., a registration of the type Service?. If it doesn't find that, then it attempts to resolve Service.

When resolving an optional, Guise returns nil instead of throwing an error if the registration cannot be found. To change this behavior, set OptionalResolutionConfig.throwResolutionErrorWhenNotFound to true.

Array Resolution

Imagine a plugin architecture in which we want to locate and resolve many instances of the same type.

protocol Plugin {}

container.register(Plugin.self, tags: UUID(), instance: Plugin1())
container.register(Plugin.self, tags: UUID(), instance: Plugin2())
container.register(Plugin.self, tags: UUID(), instance: Plugin3())

We can get all of these plugins very easily:

let plugins: [Plugin] = try container.resolve()

Just as with optional resolution, Guise first looks for an exact match for this registration. Not finding one, it notices that this is trying to resolve an array. It then locates all registrations of type Plugin and attempts to resolve them all. If any fail, all fail.

When resolving an array, tags are processed differently. Guise looks for all registrations containing all of the given tags.

container.register(Plugin.self, tags: "type1", UUID(), instance: Plugin1())
container.register(Plugin.self, tags: "type1", UUID(), instance: Plugin2())
container.register(Plugin.self, tags: "type2", UUID(), instance: Plugin3())
container.register(Plugin.self, tags: "type2", UUID(), instance: Plugin4())

Here we have four plugins registered. Each is disambiguated with an anonymous UUID and divided into two types: type 1 and type 2. To get all of the type 1 registrations…

let plugins: [Plugin] = try container.resolve(tags: "type1")

This gets Plugin1 and Plugin2 but not Plugin3 and Plugin4. Of course, we can still get all four of them with this incantation:

let plugins: [Plugin] = try container.resolve()

If no registrations are found, Guise returns an empty array by default instead of throwing an error. To override this behavior, set ArrayResolutionConfig.throwResolutionErrorWhenNotFound to true.

Lazy Resolution

Occasionally there's a need to depend on a service that isn't ready yet. Or we wish to prevent a cycle because two services depend on each other.

One way to solve this problem is to pass an instance of the Resolver itself:

class Service {
  weak var resolver: Resolver! 

  init(resolver: Resolver) {
    self.resolver = resolver

  func performService() throws {
    let database = try resolver.resolve(Database.self)

The problem with the pattern above is that it breaks one of the fundamental rules of dependency injection: make dependencies explicit. A user of Service must read the source code in order to know what other dependencies it has. This makes the class harder to use and harder to test.

Guise solves this problem with lazy resolvers. There are three lazy resolvers: LazyResolver, LazyTagsResolver, and LazyFullResolver. The difference between these is in how much of the registration information each one retains. LazyFullResolver stores the type, tags, and arguments. LazyTagsResolver stores the type and tags, and LazyResolver stores only the type. The additional information (if any) must be supplied when the resolve method is called.

class Service {}
container.register(tags: "s", instance: Service())

let lr: LazyResolver<Service> = try container.resolve()

Lazy resolvers don't have to be registered. Guise automatically constructs them as needed. This particular lazy resolver resolves dependencies of the type Service. Tags and arguments are specified when resolving:

let service = lr.resolve(tags: "s")

A LazyTagsResolver stores the type and tags, but not the arguments:

class Dependency {}
class Service {
  let lazyDependency: LazyTagsResolver<Dependency> 

  init(lazyDependency: LazyTagsResolver<Dependency>) { 
    self.lazyDependency = lazyDependency

  func foo() throws {
    let dependency = try lazyDependency.resolve()

container.register(tags: "d", lifetime: .singleton, instance: Dependency())
container.register { r in
  Service(dependency: try r.resolve(tags: "d"))

Notice that when resolving the LazyTagsResolver, it is resolved with try r.resolve(tags: "d"). When Guise constructs the LazyTagsResolver, it passes any tags used in resolve to the LazyTagsResolver and these tags are used when LazyTagsResolver's resolve method is called.


Guise supports async registrations and resolution.

class Service {
  let database: Database

  init(database: Database) async {
    self.database = database
    await database.setup()

container.register { r in
  try await Service(database: r.resolve())
let service = try await container.resolve(Service.self)

Any synchronous registration may be resolved asynchronously, but the reverse is not true. By default, if an attempt is made to resolve an async registration in a synchronous context, Guise throws .requiresAsync. This can be overridden by setting ResolutionConfig.allowSynchronousResolutionOfAsyncEntries to true. Because this can briefly block threads in the async threadpool, there's a possibility of deadlocks. Whether this will actually occur in your application depends upon many factors. In a typical application, it's unlikely, but it's a possibility that must be considered.

If you don't want to turn allowSynchronousResolutionOfAsyncEntries on, a safer pattern may be to use lazy resolution:

class Service {
  let databaseResolver: LazyFullResolver<Database>

  init(databaseResolver: LazyFullResolver<Database>) {
    self.databaseResolver = databaseResolver

  func performService() async throws {
    let database = try await databaseResolver.resolve()
    await database.setup() 

container.register(lifetime: .singleton) { _ async in
  await Database()
container.register(lifetime: .singleton, factory: auto(Service.init))


In a complex application with many modules, it can be helpful to organization registrations exported from the module. Guise provides assemblies for this purpose.

// All the methods and properties of Assembly are optional.
// Default implementations are provided.
class AwesomeAssembly: Assembly {
  var dependentAssemblies: [any Assembly] {

  func register(in registrar: any Registrar) {
    registrar.register(lifetime: .singleton: instance: Service())

  func registered(to resolver: any Resolver) {
    do {
      let service = try resolver.resolve(Service.self)
    } catch {
      // Handle error

Assemblies are organized in a hierarchy. An assembly should list its dependent assemblies by overriding the dependentAssembles property.

Assemblies are keyed by their type, so adding the same assembly twice will not result in double registration.

At the top, a root assembly is required, and this is passed to the Assembler's assemble method:

class AppAssembly: Assembly {
  var dependentAssemblies: [any Assembly] {
    [UtilAssembly(), UIAssembly()]

  func register(in registrar: any Registrar) {
    registrar.register(instance: Service())

let container: Assembler = Container()

If UIAssembly also depends on UtilAssembly, double registration won't occur.

The act of assembling first creates an ordered set of assemblies, i.e., a list without duplicates in order of first registration. It then iterates through this list and calls register(in:) on each one. After which it iterates through the list and calls registered(to:) on each one.

The purpose of registered(to:) is to perform additional initialization after dependencies have been registered without exposing the dependencies outside of the assembly.


If your root assembly does nothing more than declare a set of dependent assemblies, Guise provides a RootAssembly class that can simplify assembly:

container.assemble(RootAssembly(UtilAssembly(), UIAssembly()))

Just pass the dependent assemblies to RootAssembly's constructor.

Nested Containers

Guise supports nested Containers. When constructing a Container, simply pass its parent in the constructor:

let parent = Container()
let child = Container(parent: parent)

When resolving, if an entry can't be found in the child, the parent is searched. Child entries always override parent entries for matching Keys. The reverse is not true: A parent has no knowledge of its child containers. Searching the parent directly will not discover any child entries.

When registering or assembling, a specific Container must be targeted.


Stars: 53
Last commit: 46 weeks ago
jonrohan Something's broken? Yell at me @ptrpavlik. Praise and feedback (and money) is also welcome.

Release Notes

46 weeks ago

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