Ryan Aghdam

Simple IoC Containers in JavaScript

Dependency injection and inversion of control can be very easily implemented in JavaScript applications without the need for any third-party libraries.

First, two example services that adhere to the same contract. These services will export printLetter, a function that prints a single letter. One variant is for development mode and another is for production mode.

// services/letter.js
module.exports = {
  printLetter: function () {

// services/mocks/letter.js
module.exports = {
  printLetter: function () {

Before defining an IoC container, it’s best to start with configuration for the dependencies and work backwards from there. Each dependency-specific file will export an object with each dependency as a property.

// dependency/development.js
module.exports = {
  letterService: require('../services/mocks/letter')

// dependency/production.js
module.exports =  {
  letterService: require('../services/letter')

Next, an inversion of control container that exports the appropriate letter printing service depending on the environment.

// dependency/index.js

function getEnvironment() {
  if (typeof process.env.NODE_ENV === 'undefined') {
    return 'development';

  return process.env.NODE_ENV;

module.exports = require('./' + getEnvironment());

Using those dependencies is as easy as including the container:

// index.js

var container = require('./dependency');
var letterService = container.letterService;


Running the application in different Node environments sets a different dependency on the container.

$ node index.js

$ NODE_ENV=production node index.js

Full source code is available on GitHub (ryanaghdam/IoC-poc). There is also an example that supports a default set of dependencies that can be overwritten by environment-specific dependencies.