The importance of WindsorContainer.Release()

The WindsorContainer has a method call release that must be called to release the instance of transient object that gets created by the container itself. If you forget to call release, the container keeps a reference to all transient object created with resolve, that prevent the garbage collector from reclaiming the memory of that object. Suppose you have such a class.

public class DisposableTest : IDisposable, ITest {
public static Int32 NumOfDispose = 0;
private byte[] big = new byte[1000000];
#region IDisposable Members
public Boolean aProperty = false;
public void Dispose() {
      aProperty = 
   #region ITest Members
public bool AProperty {
get { return aProperty; }

This is a test class that implements IDisposable and ITest interface, the ItestInterface contains only the Aproperty property. The class logs the number of time that dispose gets called, and allocates a huge array just to waste memory. Now if you configure the lifecycle as transient and run this code, the program chrashes with a OutOfMemoryException

    1 using (WindsorContainer ioc = new WindsorContainer(new XmlInterpreter(“config1.xml”))) {
    2    for (Int32 I = 0; I < 10000; ++I) {
    4       ITest var = ioc.Resolve<ITest>();
    5       if (I % 100 == 0) {
    6          GC.Collect(2);
    8          Console.WriteLine(“Iteration: {0}, Memory {1} Dispose {2}”, 
    9                            I, GC.GetTotalMemory(false), DisposableTest.NumOfDispose); 
   10       }
   11       //ioc.Release(var);
   12    }
   13 }
   14 Console.WriteLine(“Number of Dispose Called {0}”, DisposableTest.NumOfDispose);

At line 6 I force a collect, but the memory cannot be reclaimed because the container keeps a reference to all the objects created with resolve. If you uncomment the ioc.Release() call, everything works fine and the program runs without problems. A different situation happens if you have this class, that simply declare a dependency from the ITest interface

public class DisposableCon {
public ITest ITest;
public DisposableCon(ITest iTest) {
      ITest = iTest;

If you declare lifecycle as transient, you get a fresh new DisposableCon object and a new fresh DisposableTest each time you do a Resolve call. If you run the same test as above, even if you forget to call ioc.Release() the program runs fine, this because the container seems not to keep references of the transient object created to satisfy dependencies from other object. These two different behavior of WinsorContainer could be confusing for the user, but are reasonable because since I cannot obtain a reference to the instances created to satisfy a dependencies, the container should not keep any references to them. So keep attenction and remember not forget to call IoC.Release for transient instance of object created with the container.


Published by

Ricci Gian Maria

.Net programmer, User group and community enthusiast, programmer - aspiring architect - and guitar player :). Visual Studio ALM MVP

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