PHP-DI in Slim

Slim is a micro-framework for web applications and APIs. Given the framework is compatible with PSR-11, Slim can work with any container out of the box. Using PHP-DI with Slim is then easy.

However the PHP-DI bridge provides several additional features:


The latest version of the bridge is compatible with Slim v4.2 and up.

composer require php-di/slim-bridge

Once installed, instead of using the official Slim\Factory\AppFactory, instead use PHP-DI's Bridge class to create your application:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$app = \DI\Bridge\Slim\Bridge::create();

If you want to configure PHP-DI, pass your configured container to the method:

$container = /* create your container */;

$app = \DI\Bridge\Slim\Bridge::create($container);

Have a look at configuring PHP-DI for details on how to create and configure the container.

You can then use the application just like a classic Slim application, for example:

use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface as Request;
use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface as Response;

$app->get('/hello/{name}', function (Request $request, Response $response) {
    return $response;


On top of that, extra features from PHP-DI are automatically available. Read the rest of the page to learn more.

Why use PHP-DI's bridge?

Controllers as services

While your controllers can be simple closures, you can also write them as classes and have PHP-DI instantiate them only when they are called:

class UserController
    private $userRepository;

    public function __construct(UserRepository $userRepository)
        $this->userRepository = $userRepository;

    public function delete($request, $response)

        $response->getBody()->write('User deleted');
        return $response;

// Notice how we register the controller using the class name?
// PHP-DI will instantiate the class for us only when it's actually necessary
$app->delete('/user/{id}', [UserController::class, 'delete']);

Dependencies can then be injected in your controller using autowiring, PHP-DI config files or even PHP attributes.

Controller parameters

By default, Slim controllers have a strict signature: $request, $response, $args. The PHP-DI bridge offers a more flexible and developer friendly alternative.

Controller parameters can be any of these things:

You can mix all these types of parameters together too. They will be matched by priority in the order of the list above.

Request or response injection

You can inject the request or response in the controller parameters by name:

$app->get('/', function (ResponseInterface $response, ServerRequestInterface $request) {
    // ...

As you can see, the order of the parameters doesn't matter. That allows to skip injecting the $request if it's not needed for example.

Route placeholder injection

$app->get('/hello/{name}', function ($name, ResponseInterface $response) {
    $response->getBody()->write('Hello ' . $name);
    return $response;

As you can see above, the route's URL contains a name placeholder. By simply adding a parameter with the same name to the controller, PHP-DI will directly inject it.

Request attribute injection

$app->add(function ($request, $response, $next) {
    $request = $request->withAttribute('name', 'Bob');
    return $next($request, $response);

$app->get('/', function ($name, ResponseInterface $response) {
    $response->getBody()->write('Hello ' . $name);
    return $response;

As you can see above, a middleware sets a name attribute. By simply adding a parameter with the same name to the controller, PHP-DI will directly inject it.

Service injection

To inject services into your controllers, you can write them as classes. But if you want to write a micro-application using closures, you don't have to give up dependency injection either.

You can inject services by type-hinting them:

$app->get('/', function (ResponseInterface $response, Twig $twig) {
    return $twig->render($response, 'home.twig');

Note: you can only inject services that you can type-hint and that PHP-DI can provide. Type-hint injection is simple, it simply injects the result of $container->get(/* the type-hinted class */).


Read more on the Slim-Bridge project on GitHub.