Paweł Iżycki

.NET developer, fan of automation and backend world.

Autofac, API and LifetimeScopes

06 Oct 2016 » Category: » Tags: .NET, Autofac, IoC

Once again I came across problem of registering services in Autofac container in API oriented project.

Basically it’s registering business-logic-services to be resolved as instance per (API) request. It works… until you’d like to resolve your service in Integration tests or Hangfire/Quartz job.

The whole problem is discussed on StackOverflow question and in this article.

Two most important things to be remarkable of are:

Use InstancePerLifetimeScope if you want your dependency to be resolvable from any scope. Your dependency will be disposed of when the lifetime is disposed. In the case of the root scope, this will not be until the application terminates.


Use InstancePerApiRequest/InstancePerHttpRequest if your dependency should only be resolvable from the context of an HTTP/API request. Your dependency will be disposed of at the conclusion of that request.

Under the hood, InstancePerRequest is just a simple InstancePerMatchingLifetimeScope with specific tag. You can check this by yourself on GitHub, in Autofac source code.

Convention test that checks all registration instances in Autofac container to be not registered as InstancePerRequest is shown below.

public class AutofacRegistration_Tests
    public void any_type_in_service_layer_should_NOT_be_registered_as_InstancePerRequest()
        var containerRegistrations = GetContainer().ComponentRegistry.Registrations;
        var results = containerRegistrations.ToDictionary(reg => reg, IsRegistrationScopeInstancePerRequest);

        /* When test fails, debug this test and run following command in `Immediate console`: 
         * var invalid = results.Where(r=>r.Value);
         * Then look into your `Local variables` window for new variable named "invalid".
         * It contains all invalid registrations.

        foreach (var registration in results.Where(result => result.Value).Select(result => result.Key))
            Debug.WriteLine($"Type {registration.Activator} is registered with invalid scope.");

            .Where(result => result.Value)
            .Select(result => result.Key)

    private static bool IsRegistrationScopeInstancePerRequest(IComponentRegistration registration)
        if (registration.Lifetime.GetType() != typeof(MatchingScopeLifetime))
            return false;

        // ReSharper disable once PossibleNullReferenceException
        var tags = typeof(MatchingScopeLifetime)
            .GetField("_tagsToMatch", BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance)
            .GetValue(registration.Lifetime) as object[];

        return tags != null && tags.Any(tag => tag == MatchingScopeLifetimeTags.RequestLifetimeScopeTag);

    private IContainer GetContainer()