OD is a simple Service Locator library for Java 6+.

While the Service Locator pattern is widely discredited, it may still have merits in some situations; see article In Defense of Service Locator. We created this library for people who may consider using Service Locator in their applications.

[ od-1.0.0.jar ]      [ javadoc ]      [ github repo ]      [ google group ]


Lookup and Binding

To lookup an object of a certain type, call OD.get(type)

Foo foo = OD.get( Foo.class );

Prior to the lookup, typically during the startup phase, the application needs to bind the type to a supplier. For example

OD.bind( Foo.class ).to( ()->new FooImpl() );   //  or, `to(FooImpl::new)`

OD.bind( Foo.class ).to( FooImpl.class );  // if lambda is not available

The supplier will be invoked for every call of OD.get(Foo.class).

To bind Foo to a singleton

OD.bind( Foo.class ).to( new FooImpl() );


If type alone is not sufficient as lookup key, tags can be added as qualifiers. Tags can be an arbitrary array of Objects, for example

OD.bind(Integer.class).tags("bar", 1).to(42);

OD.get(Integer.class, "bar", 1);  // returns `42`

Local Binding

A local binding is only visible to the current thread

OD.Local.bind( Foo.class ).to( someFoo );

// later in the same thread
OD.get(Foo.class);  // someFoo

Local bindings can be saved and restored

List<OD.Binding> prev = OD.Local.getBindings();
OD.Local.setBindings(prev); // restore bindings


Generic class or interface types can be used in lookup/binding; these types are represented by ClassType.

For example, to bind and look up on a generic type List<Integer>

    OD.bind( new ClassType< List<Integer> >(){} ).to( Arrays.asList(7,8,9) );
    // type literal         -------------

    OD.get( ClassType.of(List.class, Integer.class) );
    // type factory      ----        -------

See package bayou.jtype for type representations in our library.


To avoid confusion, we do not automatically extend bindings to super classes/interfaces. For example, a binding of Integer does not imply a binding of Number. If you do need that, you can manually add multiple bindings.

On the other hand, we do extend bindings to super types through wildcards; therefore, a binding of List<Integer> can be looked up by List<? extends Number>.

OD.get( new ClassType< List<? extends Number> >(){} );

Binding List

Now, let's give a formal description of how OD works.

A Binding is an arbitrary mapping of (type,tags)->supplier. A binding is applicable to a particular (type,tags) if it's mapped to a non-null supplier.

There is a global binding list, populated by OD.bind().

There is a local binding list per thread, managed by OD.Local.

For each lookup on (type,tags), the local binding list is checked first; if no applicable local binding is found, the global binding list is checked.

A binding list is ordered; if there are multiple bindings applicable to a (type,tags), the latest one is used.

Custom Binding

You can create a custom Binding that implements arbitrary binding strategy. For example,

    // bind every class to its no-arg constructor, if there's one.

    OD.Binding defaultBinding = new OD.Binding()
        public <T> OD.Supplier<? extends T> map(ClassType<T> type, Object... tags)
            Constructor<T> constructor;
            try {
                constructor = type.getTheClass().getConstructor();
            } catch (Exception e) {
                return null;

            return ()->
                try {
                    return constructor.newInstance();
                } catch (Exception e) {
                    throw new RuntimeException(e);

        public Set<? extends Class> getApplicableClasses()
            return null;  // `null` means set of all classes



Tags are not intended to be arbitrary construction parameters, even though you could do that in a custom binding.

Tags are intended to be a limited set of lookup keys; typically, they should be compile time constants.

For example, instead of doing something like

OD.get(Shoe.class, size, color)  // get a Shoe of any size and color

it's better to redesign it with a factory that takes construction parameters

OD.get(ShoeMaker.class).make(size, color);

Template Binding

When we do a binding like


where Dao and MyDao are generic

public class MyDao<T> implements Dao<T>

the binding is actually equivalent to multiple bindings of Dao<t> to MyDao<t>, for every type t. Therefore, if we do a lookup on Dao<Cat>, we'll get a new MyDao<Cat>().

Type args

The constructor of MyDao can accept parameters that represent the type arguments of the generic class

public class MyDao<T> implements Dao<T>
    public MyDao(Class<T> classT)

When we do a lookup on Dao<Cat>, we'll get a new MyDao<Cat>(Cat.class).

For more details, see javadoc of bind(type).to(implClass).

See also source code of TypeArgConstructor and ImplClassBinding.