Understanding GetRequiredService in .NET: Enhancing Dependency Injection

Understanding GetRequiredService in .NET: Enhancing Dependency Injection


In the world of .NET, Dependency Injection (DI) has emerged as a key practice, significantly enhancing how developers handle dependencies in their applications. At the heart of this practice lies the GetRequiredService method, a cornerstone in the .NET Core and the subsequent .NET 5/6/7/8 Dependency Injection systems.

In this blog post, I’ll delve deeper into what GetRequiredService truly is. Moreover, I’ll explore how it stands apart from its counterparts, such as GetService, and elucidate why it plays a vital role in .NET application development.

Firstly, we’ll start by examining the fundamental aspects of GetRequiredService, shedding light on its specific functionalities and features. Following that, I’ll compare and contrast it with GetService, highlighting the differences that make each method unique and suitable for different scenarios. This comparison will provide insights into why choosing the right method is critical for the success of a .NET application.

Lastly, I’ll discuss the overarching significance of GetRequiredService in the realm of .NET development. We’ll see how its application can lead to more robust, maintainable, and efficient code, thereby underlining its crucial role in modern .NET application development.

What is GetRequiredService?

GetRequiredService is a method extension of the IServiceProvider interface.

It retrieves a service (dependency) from the application’s service container. The key characteristic of GetRequiredService is its behaviour when the requested service is not registered in the container: it throws an InvalidOperationException. As a result, the application will fall over when the required dependency cannot be found.

This makes it particularly useful in scenarios where the presence of a service is critical for the operation of the application.

GetRequiredService vs. GetService

While GetRequiredService throws an exception if a service is not found, GetService takes a more lenient approach, returning null for unregistered services. This fundamental difference dictates their use cases:

  • Use GetService when a service might not be registered, and your logic can handle its absence.
  • Use GetRequiredService when a service is essential, and its absence should be considered an exceptional situation.

Why Use GetRequiredService?

  1. Explicit Dependencies: It ensures that your application explicitly fails when a necessary dependency is missing, rather than failing silently or causing unexpected behaviour.
  2. Robustness: By guaranteeing the presence of critical services, GetRequiredService enhances the robustness of your application.
  3. Easier Debugging: Since it throws an exception when a service is missing, it makes debugging easier, helping developers quickly identify configuration issues.

Example Usage in .NET:

Here’s a simple example demonstrating the use of GetRequiredService:

     builder.Services.AddSingleton<IEventHub>(x =>
       new Hub(x.GetRequiredService<ILogger<Hub>>(),

In the previous version of this code I wrote, I also had lines of code to create an ILogger<Hub> object. This didn’t feel right. That was when I searched for a cleaner way of doing this and found GetRequiredService.

Best Practices:

  • Use Sparingly: Only use GetRequiredService for services that are truly essential. Overuse can lead to a brittle application with too many hard dependencies.
  • Error Handling: Be prepared to handle the InvalidOperationException in scenarios where a missing service can lead to application failure.
  • Service Registration: Ensure all critical services are correctly registered in the Startup.cs or Program.cs file during application setup.


GetRequiredService is a powerful aspect of the .NET DI system, emphasising the importance of explicit dependencies. By understanding and using GetRequiredService appropriately, .NET developers can build more reliable, maintainable, and debuggable applications.

As with all powerful tools, it should be used judiciously and in the right contexts to fully leverage its benefits.

For more detailed insights into Dependency Injection in .NET, the official Microsoft documentation provides comprehensive guidelines and best practices. It can be found here: – https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/api/microsoft.extensions.dependencyinjection.serviceproviderserviceextensions.getrequiredservice?view=dotnet-plat-ext-8.0.

I have written a number of other posts on related subjects including: – Design Patterns, The Provider Model.

Happy coding!


Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.