Using Dagger 2 with MVVM SIMPLIFIED!

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The word Dagger sounded weird the first time I heard about it as a developer. I avoided it for few months but had to embrace it because of it’s advantages as a Dependency Injection framework in software development. When I got started, I was stuck as I could not get explicit guidelines to setting up Dagger 2. I read many articles and codes with old and new implementations but yet became more confused. Somehow, I found my way through and I would like to share it.


Kindly note that Dagger-Android is deprecated while we now have Dagger in Android which is Dagger2 itself. Hence, the setup in this article might not be needful any longer. Thanks for reading!


This article encompasses so much about android development but will be limited to just Setting up Dagger 2 framework using MVVM architectural pattern.

If you find it difficult to understand DI or the MVVM architectural pattern, please check out these articles to have clearer understanding on:

  1. Dependency Injection on Android
  2. Dagger
  3. Dagger 2. Part 1. Basic Principles, graph dependencies, scopes
  4. Dagger 2 Annotations
  5. Dependency Injection Benefits
  6. MVVM Architectural Pattern

I developed a trivia quiz app called Triviums which will be used as a sample project in this article.

Please note that some parts of the code will be extracted and will not be different.

Project Configuration

Since Dagger 2 is a library, we need to add it as a dependency in the build.gradle file:

Project Structure

From the image below, many packages were created to separate modules according to features. For example, we have core, dagger, etc.

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Project Pane

Setting-up Core Classes

In order to reduce boilerplate and the steps required to create new Activities and Fragments, Dagger provides some base classes called DaggerApplication,DaggerAppCompatActivity and DaggerFragment. These contain applicationInjector, AndroidInjection and AndroidSupportInjection respectively which were supposed to be included in all classes and fragments.

From the Project Pane, we have the following classes:

HorizonMainApplication: a class which extends the DaggerApplication class. This is a base class in android that contains all android components such as activities, services, broadcast receivers etc.

BaseActivity: an abstract class created which extends the DaggerAppCompatActivity class. Per adventure you have some other methods that would be used in all activities, you could put them in this class while the activities extend it.

BaseFragment: an abstract class which extends the DaggerFragment class. Including methods as explained in BaseActivity also applies here.

Setting-up Dagger 2 Elements

For better grasp, I designed a structure of Dagger 2 as shown below. As we move on, I will explain/quote some terminologies.

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Dagger 2 set-up with MVVM Representational Structure

This article gave a very concise descriptions of the Dagger 2 elements:

@Inject — base annotation whereby the “dependency is requested”

@Module — classes which methods “provide dependencies”

@Provide — methods inside @Module, which “tell Dagger how we want to build and present a dependency“

@Component — bridge between @Inject and @Module

Now we can proceed to have a look of the code set up:

HorizonMainComponent class

This class combines all the module classes used in the app for compilation by the Dagger 2 library.

HorizonAppModule class

This class contains classes that are accessed or called in any activity/fragment within the app. In other words, not attached to any particular activity/fragment.

ActivityBuilder class

This class houses all Activities and Fragment Modules.

Setting-up to use Dagger 2 in an Activity

In the older implementation of Dagger 2, annotations (such asBinds ComponentBinds Subcomponent ActivityKey FragmentKey) were used to scope Application, User and Activity of an app. Like I said earlier, Dagger made it easier and reduced all boilerplate and introduced @ContributesAndroidInjector. Read Dagger 2: @Binds and @ContributesAndroidInjector for more details.

MainActivity Class

In the snippet below, the commented code was supposed to be included but remember we have our BaseActivity which extends DaggerAppCompatActivity.

MainActivityModule class

The @Provides annotation indicates that we will need the class MainActivityViewModel within the MainActivity Activity.

MainActivityViewModel class

The dependency is provided using the @Inject annotation via the constructor.

Setting-up to use Dagger 2 in a Fragment

The concept described above for the Activity is same for Fragment but there are some slight differences which will be pointed out in this section of the article.

CategoryFragment class

Remember in the HorizonAppModule class discussed earlier, the Utils class injected in the code snippet was provided in the module class. Also, the ViewModelProvider class was injected for use.

CategoryFragmentModule class

This class contains and provides all the methods and/or classes that would be used within the CategoryFragment class only.

CategoryFragmentProvider class

Since a Fragment can not exist without an Activity, so it is that it can not be injected into the ActivityBuilder class except being provided indirectly to an Activity with the help of an abstract class called CategoryFragmentProvider.

CategoryViewModel class


Check out the aforementioned references. Also, Android MVVM with Dagger2, Retrofit, RxJava and Android Architecture Components


Uhh! Well done… I believe you can now set up your next project using MVVM architectural pattern with Dagger 2 for DI.

Please feel free to comment and share.

You can find the full source code here:

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Android Developer

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