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tgrapperon/swift-composable-environment 0.5.2
A library to derive and compose Environment's in The Composable Architecture.
⭐️ 95
🕓 2 weeks ago
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.package(url: "https://github.com/tgrapperon/swift-composable-environment.git", from: "0.5.2")



This library brings an API similar to SwiftUI's Environment to derive and compose Environment's in The Composable Architecture (TCA).

By Environment, one understands a type that vends dependencies. This library eases this process by standardizing these dependencies, and the way they are passed from one environment type to another when composing domains using TCA. Like in SwiftUI, this library allows passing values (in this case dependencies) down a tree of values (in this case the reducers) without having to specify them at each step. You don't need to provide initial values for dependencies in your Environment's, you don't need to inject dependencies from a parent environment to a child environment, and in many cases, you don't even need to instantiate the child environment.

This library comes with two mutually exclusive modules, ComposableEnvironment and GlobalEnvironment, which are providing different functionalities for different tradeoffs. ComposableEnvironment allows defining environments where dependencies can be overridden at any point in the reducer chain. Like in SwiftUI, setting a value for a dependency propagates downstream until it is eventually overridden again. GlobalEnvironment allows defining global dependencies that are the same for all reducers in the chain. This is the most frequent configuration. Both modules are defined in the same repository to maintain source compatibility between them.

The GlobalEnvironment module should fit most of the cases.

Defining dependencies

Each dependency we want to share should be declared with a DependencyKey's in a similar fashion one declares custom EnvironmentValue's in SwiftUI using EnvironmentKey's. Let define a mainQueue dependency:

struct MainQueueKey: DependencyKey {
  static var defaultValue: AnySchedulerOf<DispatchQueue> { .main }

This key doesn't need to be public. If the dependency is an existential type, it can be even used as a DependencyKey itself, without needing to introduce an additional type.

Like we would do with SwiftUI's EnvironmentValues, we also install it in Dependencies:

extension Dependencies {
  var mainQueue: AnySchedulerOf<DispatchQueue> {
    get { self[MainQueueKey.self] }
    set { self[MainQueueKey.self] = newValue }

Using dependencies

Whereas you're using ComposableEnvironment or GlobalEnvironment, there are distinct ways to access your dependencies.

@Dependency property wrapper

You use the @Dependency property wrapper to expose a dependency to your environment. This property wrapper takes as argument the KeyPath of the property you defined in Dependencies. For example, to expose the mainQueue defined above, you declare

@Dependency(\.mainQueue) var main

Note that you don't need to provide a value for the dependency. The effective value for this property is the current value from the environment, or the default value if you defined none.

Implicit subscript

You can also already use a subscript from your Environment to directly access the dependency without having to expose it. You use this subscript with the KeyPath from the property defined in Dependencies. For example:


returns the same value as @Dependency(\.mainQueue).

Whereas you use one or another is up to you. The implicit subscript is faster, but some prefer having explicit declarations to assess the environment's dependencies.

Direct access (ComposableEnvironment only)

When using ComposableEnvironment, you can directly access a dependency by using its computed property name in Dependencies from any ComposableEnvironment subclass, even if you did not expose the dependency using the @Dependency property wrapper:


This direct access is unfortunately not possible when using GlobalEnvironment.


The way you define environments differs, whereas you're using ComposableEnvironment or GlobalEnvironment.

Defining Environments while using ComposableEnvironment

When using ComposableEnvironment, all your environments need to be subclasses of ComposableEnvironment. This is unfortunately required to automatically handle the storage of the private environment values state at a given node. Let define the ParentEnvironment exposing the mainQueue dependency:

public class ParentEnvironment: ComposableEnvironment {
  @Dependency(\.mainQueue) var main

Imagine that you need to embed a Child TCA feature into the Parent feature. You declare the embedding using the @DerivedEnvironment property wrapper:

public class ParentEnvironment: ComposableEnvironment {
  @Dependency(\.mainQueue) var main
  @DerivedEnvironment<ChildEnvironment> var child

When you access the child property of ParentEnvironment, it automatically inherit the dependencies from ParentEnvironment. You can pullback childReducer using the standard methods:

childReducer.pullback(state: \.child, action: /ParentAction.child, environment: \.child)

You can assign a value to the child environment inline with its declaration, or let the library handle the initialization of an instance for you. In this last case, you can even embed the child reducer using environment-less pullbacks:

childReducer.pullback(state: \.child, action: /ParentAction.child)

Note: If you use an environment-less pullback, any initial value you may have defined inline will be discarded. In this case, you should use standard pullbacks with the \.child KeyPath as a function (ParentEnvironment) -> ChildEnvironment.

Defining Environments while using GlobalEnvironment

When using GlobalEnvironment, your environment, whereas it's a value or a reference type, should conform to the GlobalEnvironment protocol. You can then define and use your dependencies in the same way as for ComposableEnvironment. As all dependencies are globally shared and there are no specific dependencies to inherit, it makes less sense to use the @DerivedEnvironment property wrapper if you're not using it to define dependency aliases (see below).

public struct ParentEnvironment: GlobalEnvironment {
  public init() {}
  @Dependency(\.mainQueue) var main

You still have access to environment-less pullbacks, with the same API:

childReducer.pullback(state: \.child, action: /ParentAction.child)

The only requirement for GlobalEnvironment is to provide an init() initializer. If this is not possible for your child environment, you can still implement the GlobalDependenciesAccessing marker protocol which has no requirements but gives your type access to global dependencies using the implicit subscript accessors. You can also do nothing and use the @Dependency which has no restriction over its host like the ComposableEnvironment version has (it needs to be installed in a ComposableEnvironment subclass). If you can't conform to GlobalEnvironment, you only lose access to the environment-less pullbacks.

Assigning values to dependencies

Once dependencies are defined as computed properties of the Dependencies, you only access them through your environment, whereas it's a ComposableEnvironment subclass or some type conforming to GlobalDependenciesAccessing.

To set a value to a dependency, you use the with(keyPath,value) chainable method from your environment:

  .with(\.mainQueue, DispatchQueue.main)
  .with(\.uuidGenerator, { UUID() })

When you're using GlobalEnvironment, each dependency is set globally. If you set the same dependency twice, the last call prevails. When you're using ComposableEnvironment, each dependency is set along the dependency tree until it eventually is set again using a with(keyPath, anotherValue) call on a child environment. This works in the same fashion as SwiftUI Environment.

Aliasing dependencies

In the case the same dependency was defined by different domains using different computed properties in Dependencies, you can alias them using the aliasing(dependencyKeyPath, to: referenceDependencyKeyPath) chainable method from your environment. For example, if you defined the main queue as .main in some feature, and as mainQueue in another, you can alias both using

environment.aliasing(\.main, to: \.mainQueue)

Once aliased, you can assign a value using either KeyPath. If no value is set for the dependency, the second argument provides its default for both KeyPaths.

You can also alias dependencies "on the spot", using the @DerivedEnvironment property wrapper. Its initializer provides a closure transforming a provided AliasBuilder. This type has only one chainable method, alias(dependencyKeyPath, to: referenceDependencyKeyPath). For example, if the main dependency is defined in the child derived environment, you can define an alias to the mainQueue dependency from ParentEnvironment using:

public class ParentEnvironment: ComposableEnvironment {
  @Dependency(\.mainQueue) var mainQueue
  @DerivedEnvironment<ChildEnvironment>(aliases: {
    $0.alias(\.main, to: \.mainQueue)
  }) var child

When using this property wrapper, you don't need to define the alias from the environment using .aliasing().

Dependencies aliases are always global.

Environment-less pullbacks

Omitting the @DerivedEnvironment property wrapper

You can forgo @DerivedEnvironment declarations when:

  • You don't need to customize dependencies specifically for the child environment when using ComposableEnvironment.
  • You don't need to alias dependencies "on the spot", using the @DerivedEnvironment property wrapper, when using either module. The example app shows how this feature can be used and mixed with the property-wrapper approach when using ComposableEnvironment.

Using environment-less pullbacks

When your environment can be instantiated automatically, you can use environment-less pullbacks:

childReducer.pullback(state: \.child, action: /ParentAction.child)
// or, for collections of features:
childReducer.forEach(state: \.children, action: /ParentAction.children)

Please note that in order to access such pullbacks when using GlobalEnvironment, your environment needs to conform to the GlobalEnvironment protocol.

Choosing between ComposableEnvironment and GlobalEnvironment

As a rule of thumb, if you need to modify your dependencies in the middle of the environment's tree, you should use ComposableEnvironment. If all dependencies are shared across your environments, you should use GlobalEnvironment. As the first configuration is quite rare, we recommend using GlobalEnvironment if you're in doubt, as it is the simplest to implement in an existing TCA project.

The principal differences between the two approaches are summarized in the following table:

ComposableEnvironment GlobalEnvironment
Environment Type Classes Any existential
(struct, classes, etc.)
Environment Tree All nodes should be
ComposableEnvironment subclasses
can opt-in/opt-out at any point
Dependency values Customizable per instance Globally defined
Access to dependencies @Dependency, direct, implicit @Dependency, implicit

Correspondence with SwiftUI's Environment

In order to ease its learning curve, the library bases its API on SwiftUI's Environment. We have the following functional correspondences:

SwiftUI ComposableEnvironment Usage
EnvironmentKey DependencyKey Identify a shared value
EnvironmentValues Dependencies Expose a shared value
@Environment @Dependency Retrieve a shared value
View (Composable/Global)Environment A node
View.body @DerivedEnvironment's A list of children of the node
Set a shared value for a node and its children


The latest documentation for ComposableEnvironment's APIs is available here.



.package(url: "https://github.com/tgrapperon/swift-composable-environment", from: "0.5.0")

to your Package dependencies in Package.swift, and then

.product(name: "ComposableEnvironment", package: "swift-composable-environment")
// or
.product(name: "GlobalEnvironment", package: "swift-composable-environment")

to your target's dependencies, depending on the module you want to use.


Stars: 95
Last commit: 2 weeks ago
jonrohan Something's broken? Yell at me @ptrpavlik. Praise and feedback (and money) is also welcome.

Release Notes

2 weeks ago

This is a simple maintenance release.

  • Added support for recursive environments thanks to @maximkrouk.

Swiftpack is being maintained by Petr Pavlik | @ptrpavlik | @swiftpackco | API | Analytics