Injection Beyond Classes

So far the only types that injection has been used for have been classes, but Angular is not limited to injecting classes. The concept of providers was also briefly touched upon.

So far providers have been used with Angular's @NgModule meta in an array. providers have also all been class identifiers. Angular lets programmers specify providers with a more verbose "recipe". This is done with by providing Angular an Object literal ({}):

import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { App } from './containers/app'; // hypothetical app component
import { ChatWidget } from './components/chat-widget';
@NgModule({
providers: [ { provide: ChatWidget, useClass: ChatWidget } ],
})
export class DiExample {};

This example is yet another example that provides a class, but it does so with Angular's longer format.

This long format is really handy. If the programmer wanted to switch out ChatWidget implementations, for example to allow for a MockChatWidget, they could do this easily:

import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { App } from './containers/app'; // hypothetical app component
import { ChatWidget } from './components/chat-widget';
import { MockChatWidget } from './components/mock-chat-widget';
@NgModule({
providers: [ { provide: ChatWidget, useClass: MockChatWidget } ],
})
export class DiExample {};

The best part of this implementation swap is that the injection system knows how to build MockChatWidget, and will sort all of that out.

The injector can use more than classes though. useValue and useFactory are two other examples of provider "recipes" that Angular can use. For example:

import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { App } from './containers/app'; // hypothetical app component
const randomFactory = () => { return Math.random(); };
@NgModule({
providers: [ { provide: 'Random', useFactory: randomFactory } ],
})
export class DiExample {};

In the hypothetical app component, 'Random' could be injected like:

import { Component, Inject, provide } from '@angular/core';
@Component({
selector: 'app-root',
template: `Random: {{ value }}`
})
export class AppCompoennt {
value: number;
constructor(@Inject('Random') r) {
this.value = r;
}
}

View Example

One important note is that 'Random' is in quotes, both in the provide function and in the consumer. This is because as a factory we have no Random identifier anywhere to access.

The above example uses Angular's useFactory recipe. When Angular is told to provide things using useFactory, Angular expects the provided value to be a function. Sometimes functions and classes are even more than what's needed. Angular has a "recipe" called useValue for these cases that works almost exactly the same:

import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { AppComponent } from './containers/app.component'; // hypothetical app component
@NgModule({
providers: [ { provide: 'Random', useValue: Math.random() } ],
})
export class DiExample {};

View Example

In this case, the product of Math.random is assigned to the useValue property passed to the provider.