IDE integration

Ideally, application code should not use a DI container directly: dependency injection should be preferred. However there are situations where calling the container directly might happen:

In those situations, being able to benefit from full IDE features like autocompletion, refactoring support, etc. is very valuable.

Inline PhpDoc

A basic approach to IDE support is using @var tags in docblocks:

/** @var $repository UserRepository */
$repository = $this->container->get(UserRepository::class);

// the IDE can now autocomplete this statement

This solution is simple and works great when your container is used rarely.

PhpStorm integration

Metadata file

PhpStorm will load metadata from a .phpstorm.meta.php file if it exists at the root of your project. Here is an example that adds support for PHP-DI as well as any PSR-11 container:

    override(\Psr\Container\ContainerInterface::get(0), map([
        '' => '@',
    override(\DI\Container::get(0), map([
        '' => '@',

That configuration will make PhpStorm assume that anything returned by ->get('...') is an instance of the first argument. For example ->get('DateTime') (or ->get(DateTime::class)) will be recognized to return a DateTime object.

This however will not work if your service name is not a class or interface, for example ->get('') will not be understood by PhpStorm.

Note: you may need to restart your IDE after adding this file to make sure PhpStorm takes it into account.

PhpStorm plugin

If you don't fancy writing a .phpstorm.meta.php file in each of your projects, you can install the PHP-DI plugin for PhpStorm created by Anatoly Pulyaevskiy. The plugin can be installed in PhpStorm by searching for PHP-DI in the 3rd party plugin list.

This plugin offers the same benefits as .phpstorm.meta.php, and has the same limitations.