Practical Guide to Dependency Injection in Go: Hands-On Implementation

Relia Software

Relia Software

Huy Nguyen

Relia Software

Software Development

Dependency Injection in Golang involves furnishing a component - typically a struct - with its required dependencies through constructors or methods.

Dependency Injection in Go

Table of Contents

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What is Dependency Injection?

Dependency Injection (DI) stands as a well-regarded design pattern within the realm of software development, playing a pivotal role in enhancing the modularity, maintainability, and testability of codebases. Its core purpose is to address the challenge of tightly coupled components by enabling the introduction of dependencies from external sources.

This practice is a departure from the conventional approach of components self-creating their dependencies. When applied to Go programming, Dependency Injection offers a structured method for managing dependencies, facilitating the separation of concerns.

Significance of Dependency Injection

The driving force behind adopting Dependency Injection revolves around the concept of inversion of control (IoC). In traditional programming paradigms, components assume the responsibility of generating their dependencies, which often leads to rigid, difficult-to-test code.

With Dependency Injection, the control shifts from components to a specialized DI container, responsible for orchestrating the creation and provisioning of dependencies. This shift towards IoC leads to the development of code that is more modular, reusable, and maintainable.

How Does Dependency Injection in Go Operate? 

Within the Go programming language, Dependency Injection involves furnishing a component—typically a struct—with its required dependencies through constructors or methods. Instead of embedding the creation of dependencies within the component itself, Dependency Injection mandates that these dependencies be supplied during the initialization phase.

This approach opens avenues for the effortless substitution of implementations, the seamless mocking of dependencies for testing purposes, and centralized management of the application's configuration.

The Benefits Unveiled 

How Dependency Injection Enhances Go Applications:

  • Modularity: Embracing Dependency Injection nurtures modular design. The encapsulation of each component's functionality, coupled with external dependency injection, enables the isolation, updating, replacement, or expansion of individual components without causing upheaval in the entire application.
  • Testability: The adoption of Dependency Injection simplifies the creation of unit tests. Through the injection of mock or stub dependencies, it becomes feasible to isolate the component under examination and ensure that its behavior is scrutinized in isolation. This contributes to the establishment of more robust and predictable tests.
  • Reusability: Components that rely on injected dependencies effectively detach from the intricate details of these dependencies. This autonomy bolsters code reusability, as a singular component can be deployed alongside various implementations of its requisite dependencies.
  • Maintainability: In the process of application evolution, the manual management of dependencies can swiftly become convoluted. Dependency Injection alleviates this complexity by centralizing the administration of dependencies, simplifying tasks like modification, update, or replacement of dependencies across the application.
  • Flexibility: Dependency Injection empowers the switching of dependency implementations sans any alteration to the component's codebase. This feature proves invaluable when experimenting with diverse implementations or when interfacing with third-party libraries.

Dependency Injection vs. Other Design Patterns: A Comparative Exploration

Dependency Injection vs. Singleton

Dependency Injection and the Singleton pattern hold divergent aims. While Dependency Injection centers on managing dependencies and fostering decoupling, the Singleton pattern ensures a singular class instance with global access. Dependency Injection's advantage in terms of testability and flexibility stems from its ability to inject varying dependency instances as required.

Dependency Injection vs. Service Locator

Dependency Injection hinges on the explicit conveyance of dependencies, frequently through constructors or methods. In contrast, the Service Locator pattern hinges on a centralized repository accessed by components to retrieve their dependencies. Dependency Injection's transparency and discoverability grant it an edge in terms of code clarity and maintainability.

Dependency Injection vs. Factory

Although both Dependency Injection and Factory patterns handle object creation, their purposes diverge. Dependency Injection centers on offering dependencies to components, while the Factory pattern concentrates on generating instances of intricate objects with specific configurations.

Navigating the Terrain: Best Practices and Caveats in Dependency Injection

Common Mistakes

  • Over utilization of Dependency Injection: While Dependency Injection empowers Golang developers, excessive application can convolute the codebase. Prudence is vital; reserve Dependency Injection for components that genuinely benefit from it, while opting for straightforward instantiation elsewhere.
  • Injudicious Application of Dependency Injection: Not every element necessitates dependency injection. Overcomplicating simple types with Dependency Injection can counteract its benefits. Employ Dependency Injection judiciously for adaptable and multi-implementation scenarios.

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Golden Practices for Harnessing Dependency Injection in Go

  • Trim the Dependency Count: Maintain a lean dependency set. Strive to only inject dependencies that are crucial for a component's core functionality.
  • Embrace Constructor Functions: Constructor functions usher in uniformity and integrity in creating component instances embedded with their dependencies. This consistency ensures dependencies are appropriately configured.
  • Champion Interfaces over Concretes: By prioritizing interface injection over concrete types, codebase flexibility and testability flourish. Interfaces permit seamless replacement of implementations without tampering with consuming components.
  • Adopt Scope-Driven Dependency Injection: Make judicious choices in dependency scope. Components might require application-wide dependencies or those specific to certain contexts. Leverage dependency injection frameworks with scope management capabilities.

Dependency Injection versus Other Design Paradigms

  • Dependency Injection vs. Singleton: Dependency Injection and Singleton differ in scope. Dependency Injection's focus on dependency management and decoupling contrasts with Singleton's aim to ensure singular instances. Dependency Injection gains its edge by accommodating various dependency instances, enhancing testability.
  • Dependency Injection vs. Factory: Dependency Injection and Factory Patterns deal with distinct aspects of object creation. While Dependency Injection emphasizes dependency provisioning, Factory centers on structured object instantiation.

A Glimpse into Popular Dependency Injection Frameworks

Google Wire

Google Wire, a compile-time dependency injection framework for Go, leverages code generation to create a container managing the dependency graph. Type safety, scoped instances, interface integration, and automatic dependency resolution are among its offerings.


  • Type safety via code generation.
  • Scoped instances and providers.
  • Seamlessly interacts with Go's interfaces.
  • Automated resolution of dependencies.


  • Learning curve tied to code generation.
  • Potential build time extensions due to compile-time processing.
  • Limited support for resolving circular dependencies.

Uber Dig

Uber Dig, inspired by Google Wire, is another compile-time dependency injection framework. It aims to enhance performance and maintainability in large-scale codebases through efficient code generation and hierarchical dependency management.


  • Efficient code generation.
  • Hierarchical dependency management.
  • Scope customization.
  • Integration with reflection-based dependency injection.


  • Learning curve associated with code generation concepts.
  • Potential intricacies when setting up hierarchical structures.
  • Limited runtime extensibility.

Facebook Inject

Facebook Inject is a runtime reflection-based dependency injection framework for Go. Its reliance on reflection facilitates dynamic injection of dependencies, making it ideal for rapid prototyping and smaller projects.


  • Dynamic dependency injection.
  • User-friendly setup.
  • Constructor-based injection support.
  • Well-suited for quick prototyping.


  • Lack of compile-time safety checks.
  • Performance overhead linked to reflection.
  • Prone to runtime errors if dependencies are misconfigured.

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Frameworks at a Glance: A Comparative View

Here's a concise comparison of three prominent DI frameworks:

FrameworkTypeSafetyPerformanceFlexibilityEase of Use
Google WireCompile-timeHighMediumMediumModerate
Uber DigCompile-timeHighMediumMediumModerate
Facebook InjectRuntimeLowLowHighHigh

Crafting Dependency Injection in the Absence of Frameworks

Dependency Injection can flourish in Go even without dedicated frameworks. Native Go constructs like interfaces, structs, and functions can effectively serve as the foundation for its implementation.


Defining interfaces for dependencies and integrating them within components empowers effortless swapping of implementations:

type Database interface {
    Query(sql string) ([]byte, error)

type MySQLDatabase struct {
    // ...

type PostgreSQLDatabase struct {
    // ...


By crafting Golang structs that incorporate dependencies and initializing them via constructors, a structured Dependency Injection approach is realized:

type UserService struct {
    database Database

func NewUserService(db Database) *UserService {
    return &UserService{database: db}


Functions, too, can be harnessed to accommodate Dependency Injection:

func ProcessData(db Database) error {
    // Leverage the database to process data

Hands-On Practice

In this section, we'll get hands-on experience with dependency injection by building a sample application from scratch. This application will include a Printer interface and two implementations: ConsolePrinter and FilePrinter.

By employing dependency injection, we'll be able to dynamically choose which printer implementation to use based on our needs. Additionally, we'll define a project structure to organize our code effectively.

Building a Sample Application Using Dependency Injection:

Project Structure

To begin, let's set up a well-organized project structure. This will help keep our codebase clean and maintainable:

├── cmd/
│   └── main.go
├── internal/
│   ├── printer/
│   │   ├── printer.go
│   │   ├── console_printer.go
│   │   └── file_printer.go
│   ├── application/
│   │   └── application.go
│   └── config/
│       └── config.go
└── test/
    └── application_test.go

Now let's delve into the different components of our application:

Defining the Printer Interface and Implementations

  • printer/printer.go: This file contains the definition of the Printer interface.
package printer

type Printer interface {
    Print(message string)

printer/console_printer.go: Here, we implement the ConsolePrinter type that prints messages to the console.

package printer

import "fmt"

type ConsolePrinter struct{}

func (cp ConsolePrinter) Print(message string) {
    fmt.Println("Console Printer:", message)

printer/file_printer.go: This file holds the FilePrinter type that prints messages to a file.

package printer

import (

type FilePrinter struct {
    FilePath string

func (fp FilePrinter) Print(message string) {
    fmt.Println("File Printer:", message)

Implementing Dependency Injection

  • application/application.go: This file defines the Application struct and the NewApplication function for dependency injection.
package application

import "printer"

type Application struct {
    Printer printer.Printer

func NewApplication(printer printer.Printer) *Application {
    return &Application{
        Printer: printer,

Main Function

  • cmd/main.go: Our application's entry point, where we instantiate different printer implementations using dependency injection.
package main

import (

func main() {
    consolePrinter := printer.ConsolePrinter{}
    filePrinter := printer.FilePrinter{FilePath: "output.txt"}

    app1 := application.NewApplication(consolePrinter)
    app2 := application.NewApplication(filePrinter)

    app1.Printer.Print("Hello from App1")
    app2.Printer.Print("Hello from App2")

Writing Test Cases

  • test/application_test.go: In this file, we write test cases to validate our application logic and dependency injection.
package test

import (

func TestApplication_Printer(t *testing.T) {
    mockPrinter := &printer.MockPrinter{} // Create a mock printer for testing
    app := application.NewApplication(mockPrinter)

    expectedMessage := "Test message"

    if mockPrinter.LastPrintedMessage != expectedMessage {
        t.Errorf("Expected '%s', got '%s'", expectedMessage, mockPrinter.LastPrintedMessage)

Exercises to Reinforce Dependency Injection

To deepen your understanding of dependency injection, take on these exercises:

  • Refactor Using Dependency Injection: Choose an existing codebase and refactor it to use dependency injection. Create interfaces for dependencies and inject implementations.
  • Write Test Cases: Expand the sample application by adding unit tests. Use mock implementations of the Printer interface to validate that the Application logic functions correctly with different printer implementations.
  • Switch Printer Implementation: Modify the application to allow runtime selection of the printer implementation. This could involve user input or configuration.

By working through these exercises, you'll gain invaluable experience in effectively utilizing dependency injection in real-world scenarios.


In the world of Go programming, Dependency Injection emerges as a potent design pattern, fostering the cultivation of modular, maintainable, and testable code. While prominent DI frameworks such as Google Wire, Uber Dig, and Facebook Inject offer diverse features, it's equally viable to implement Dependency Injection by harnessing native Go constructs like interfaces, structs, and functions.

The optimal path forward—choosing between a framework or a native approach—depends on the project's intricacy, performance prerequisites, and the development team's familiarity with the chosen technology stack.

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