ASP.NET Core – Beware – Singleton May Not Be Singleton

If you register a type as a singleton then you expect just 1 instance of this type in your whole application. What you may not know is that ASP.NET Core is creating 2 instances of IServiceProvider during building of the IWebHost that may lead to 2 instance of your "singleton".

In this article:

pg
Pawel Gerr is architect consultant at Thinktecture. He focuses on backends with .NET Core and knows Entity Framework inside out.
This is the case if you register a type, say MySingleton, when configuring the web host …
				
					WebHost
 .CreateDefaultBuilder()
 .UseStartup<Startup>()
 .ConfigureServices(services => services.AddSingleton<MySingleton>())
 .Build()
 .Run();
				
			

 …, e.g. so that is available in the constructor of your Startup

				
					public class Startup
{
  private readonly MySingleton _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider;

  public Startup(MySingleton mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider)
  {
    _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider = mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider;
  } 
  ...
}
				
			

Now, if we resolve MySingleton during normal web request we get a whole new instance instead the same instance as in constructor of the Startup class. 

				
					public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
{
  app.Use((ctx, next) =>
  {
    var mySingleton = ctx.RequestServices.GetRequiredService<MySingleton>();
    
    // the comparison of 2 instances yields "false"
    var areEqual = _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider == mySingleton;

    Console.WriteLine($"==> {nameof(_mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider)} == {nameof(mySingleton)}: {areEqual}");
         return next();
    });
}
				
			

 There are at least two ways to fix this problem.

Either pass an instance of MySingleton to method AddSingleton instead of passing just the type

				
					var mySingleton = new MySingleton();
WebHost
 .CreateDefaultBuilder()
 .UseStartup<Startup>()
 .ConfigureServices(services => services.AddSingleton(mySingleton))
 .Build()
 .Run();
				
			

 or by replacing the previous registration with a new one in ConfigureServices 

				
					public class Startup
{
  private readonly MySingleton _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider;

  public Startup(MySingleton mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider)
  {
     _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider = mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider;
  }

  public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
  {
    services.Replace(new ServiceDescriptor(typeof(MySingleton), _mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider));
    // alternative way 
    //services.AddSingleton(_mySingletonFromHostingServiceProvider);
 }
  ...
}
				
			

According to @davidfowl the ASP.NET team will address this problem in the future. 

PS: There is at least another one solution to fix this problem and gaining back the control over your web app but that’s for another time … 🙂

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