Using Xtext injected types in Xpand

During a project migration I stumbled over the need to access the IScopeProvider from an Xtext based language within Xtend(1) extensions that are used from Xpand templates. This is not quite how Xpand would work out-of-the-box, so here is an approach to solve it.


I subclassed org.eclipse.xpand2.Generator and called it InjectableGenerator. The intention is to register a global variable for a configurable set of types (e.g. the IScopeProvider). The name of the variable is the class name that should be get from Guice. To add injectors, instances of ISetup are registered to the component, similar to Xtext’s org.eclipse.xtext.mwe.Reader component.

The hook that is used to register the global variables to Xpand’s execution context is the method getGlobalVars(WorkflowContext ctx), which is overridden here.

package org.eclipselabs.xtext.xpand;

import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.Set;

import org.eclipse.emf.mwe.core.WorkflowContext;
import org.eclipse.xpand2.Generator;
import org.eclipse.xtend.expression.Variable;
import org.eclipse.xtext.ISetup;


 * Allows Xtext based dependency injection. Injected instances are registered as
 * global vars to the Xpand Execution Context.
public class InjectableGenerator extends Generator {
	private List<Injector> injectors = Lists.newArrayList();

	public void addRegister(ISetup setup) {

	protected List<Injector> getInjectors() {
		return injectors;
	private Set<Class<?>> injectedTypes = Sets.newHashSet();

	public void addInjectGlobalVar (String className) {
		try {
			Class<?> clazz = Class.forName(className);
		} catch (Exception e) {
			throw new IllegalArgumentException("Invalid type: "+className);
	protected Map<String, Variable> getGlobalVars(WorkflowContext ctx) {
		Map<String, Variable> result = super.getGlobalVars(ctx);
		// try to get an instance of each configured type
		for (Class<?> clazz : injectedTypes) {
			boolean configured = false;
			for (Injector injector : injectors) {
				try {
					Object obj = injector.getInstance(clazz);
					result.put(clazz.getName(), new Variable(clazz.getName(), obj));
					configured = true;
				} catch (ConfigurationException e) {
					; // ignore
			if (!configured) {
				throw new IllegalStateException("Could not configure instance of "+clazz.getName());
		return result;

Workflow Configuration

In your workflow configuration you would of course now use the specialized Generator component. It could be used like this:

component = org.eclipselabs.xtext.xpand.InjectableGenerator {
   register = my.dsl.MyDslStandaloneSetup {}
   injectGlobalVar = "org.eclipse.xtext.scoping.IScopeProvider"
   // injectGlobalVar = ... other types
   // further configuration of Xpand Generator

Execution context aware Java extensions

It is not possible to directly access the ExecutionContext from within Xpand templates or Xtend functions. We need to delegate to Java extensions. The classes that we delegate to must implement the IExecutionContextAware interface. The setExecutionContext(ExecutionContext ctx) method is the right place to retrieve the IScopeProvider and bind it to an instance variable.

public class MyExtensions implements IExecutionContextAware {
	protected IScopeProvider scopeProvider;

	public void setExecutionContext(ExecutionContext ctx) {
		if (ctx.getGlobalVariables().get("scopeProvider")!=null) {
			this.scopeProvider = (IScopeProvider) ctx.getGlobalVariables().get("scopeProvider").getValue();
		} else if (ctx.getGlobalVariables().get(IScopeProvider.class.getName())!=null) {
			this.scopeProvider = (IScopeProvider) ctx.getGlobalVariables().get(IScopeProvider.class.getName()).getValue();
		} else {
			throw new IllegalStateException("No IScopeProvider found as global var in the execution context");

	// add (non-static!) extension methods here!
        public List<EObject> someMethod (org.eclipse.emf.ecore.EObject context) {
          ... do something

Note that we also query the global variable named “scopeProvider” here. This is because in another context (i.e. Check based validation) the same extension would be used with another execution context. The InjectableExecutionContext binds the IScopeProvider to that name.

It might be a good idea to have an abstract base class for these Extension classes.

Now you can use the methods defined in the Java extension class and access the required instances from your language configuration within.

// file: MyExtensions.ext
List[emf::EObject] someMethod (emf::EObject ctx) : JAVA MyExtensions.someMethod(org.eclipse.emf.ecore.EObject);

5 thoughts on “Using Xtext injected types in Xpand

  1. Alternatively if you have an EObject from an XtextResource you could do something like this :


  2. Pingback: Using Xtext injected types in Xpand | Eclipse | Syngu

  3. Hi Karsten,

    My name is wendy, I am a computer science student. as a newbie, currently I am developing an eclipse project using GMF and Xpand. Right now I am having a trouble in invoking Xpand template from gmf diagram eclipse workbench.

    The idea is to create a graphical editor from ecore model with GMF and then using popup menu on the created model to invoke the Xpand template and generate an output code.

    I have tried to google example for this but found none so far. Only a tiny pieces of information available on google. Could you help me with a simple example? Thanks.

  4. Hi Wendy,

    if you start today, I would not recommend Xpand anymore. Xpand has been succeeded by the Xtend language.
    For an example, see Christian’s post on the integration of Xtend with generic EMF models:

    I would recommend to install the Xtext SDK from Eclipse and install the Introductiory Xtend Example with File/New/Examples and learn a bit about Xtend. It is quite easy and close to Xpand.


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