24. Externalized Configuration

Spring Boot lets you externalize your configuration so that you can work with the same application code in different environments. You can use properties files, YAML files, environment variables, and command-line arguments to externalize configuration. Property values can be injected directly into your beans by using the @Value annotation, accessed through Spring’s Environment abstraction, or be bound to structured objects through @ConfigurationProperties .

Spring Boot uses a very particular PropertySource order that is designed to allow sensible overriding of values. Properties are considered in the following order:

  • Devtools global settings properties on your home directory ( ~/.spring-boot-devtools.properties when devtools is active).

  • @TestPropertySource annotations on your tests.

  • properties attribute on your tests. Available on @SpringBootTest and the test annotations for testing a particular slice of your application.

  • Command line arguments.

  • Properties from SPRING_APPLICATION_JSON (inline JSON embedded in an environment variable or system property).

  • ServletConfig init parameters.

  • ServletContext init parameters.

  • JNDI attributes from java:comp/env .

  • Java System properties ( System.getProperties() ).

  • OS environment variables.

  • A RandomValuePropertySource that has properties only in random.* .

  • Profile-specific application properties outside of your packaged jar ( application-{profile}.properties and YAML variants).

  • Profile-specific application properties packaged inside your jar ( application-{profile}.properties and YAML variants).

  • Application properties outside of your packaged jar ( application.properties and YAML variants).

  • Application properties packaged inside your jar ( application.properties and YAML variants).

  • @PropertySource annotations on your @Configuration classes.

  • Default properties (specified by setting SpringApplication.setDefaultProperties ).

To provide a concrete example, suppose you develop a @Component that uses a name property, as shown in the following example:

import org.springframework.stereotype.*;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.*;

@Component
public class MyBean {

    @Value("${name}")
    private String name;

    // ...

}

On your application classpath (for example, inside your jar) you can have an application.properties file that provides a sensible default property value for name . When running in a new environment, an application.properties file can be provided outside of your jar that overrides the name . For one-off testing, you can launch with a specific command line switch (for example, java -jar app.jar --name="Spring" ).

Tip

The SPRING_APPLICATION_JSON properties can be supplied on the command line with an environment variable. For example, you could use the following line in a UN*X shell:

$ SPRING_APPLICATION_JSON='{"acme":{"name":"test"}}' java -jar myapp.jar

In the preceding example, you end up with acme.name=test in the Spring Environment . You can also supply the JSON as spring.application.json in a System property, as shown in the following example:

$ java -Dspring.application.json='{"name":"test"}' -jar myapp.jar

You can also supply the JSON by using a command line argument, as shown in the following example:

$ java -jar myapp.jar --spring.application.json='{"name":"test"}'

You can also supply the JSON as a JNDI variable, as follows: java:comp/env/spring.application.json .

24.1 Configuring Random Values

The RandomValuePropertySource is useful for injecting random values (for example, into secrets or test cases). It can produce integers, longs, uuids, or strings, as shown in the following example:

my.secret=${random.value}
my.number=${random.int}
my.bignumber=${random.long}
my.uuid=${random.uuid}
my.number.less.than.ten=${random.int(10)}
my.number.in.range=${random.int[1024,65536]}

The random.int* syntax is OPEN value (,max) CLOSE where the OPEN,CLOSE are any character and value,max are integers. If max is provided, then value is the minimum value and max is the maximum value (exclusive).

24.2 Accessing Command Line Properties

By default, SpringApplication converts any command line option arguments (that is, arguments starting with -- , such as --server.port=9000 ) to a property and adds them to the Spring Environment . As mentioned previously, command line properties always take precedence over other property sources.

If you do not want command line properties to be added to the Environment , you can disable them by using SpringApplication.setAddCommandLineProperties(false) .

24.3 Application Property Files

SpringApplication loads properties from application.properties files in the following locations and adds them to the Spring Environment :

  • A /config subdirectory of the current directory

  • The current directory

  • A classpath /config package

  • The classpath root

The list is ordered by precedence (properties defined in locations higher in the list override those defined in lower locations).

Note

You can also use YAML ('.yml') files as an alternative to '.properties'.

If you do not like application.properties as the configuration file name, you can switch to another file name by specifying a spring.config.name environment property. You can also refer to an explicit location by using the spring.config.location environment property (which is a comma-separated list of directory locations or file paths). The following example shows how to specify a different file name:

$ java -jar myproject.jar --spring.config.name=myproject

The following example shows how to specify two locations:

$ java -jar myproject.jar --spring.config.location=classpath:/default.properties,classpath:/override.properties

Warning

spring.config.name and spring.config.location are used very early to determine which files have to be loaded, so they must be defined as an environment property (typically an OS environment variable, a system property, or a command-line argument).

If spring.config.location contains directories (as opposed to files), they should end in / (and, at runtime, be appended with the names generated from spring.config.name before being loaded, including profile-specific file names). Files specified in spring.config.location are used as-is, with no support for profile-specific variants, and are overridden by any profile-specific properties.

Config locations are searched in reverse order. By default, the configured locations are classpath:/,classpath:/config/,file:./,file:./config/ . The resulting search order is the following:

  • file:./config/

  • file:./

  • classpath:/config/

  • classpath:/

When custom config locations are configured by using spring.config.location , they replace the default locations. For example, if spring.config.location is configured with the value classpath:/custom-config/,file:./custom-config/ , the search order becomes the following:

  • file:./custom-config/

  • classpath:custom-config/

Alternatively, when custom config locations are configured by using spring.config.additional-location , they are used in addition to the default locations. Additional locations are searched before the default locations. For example, if additional locations of classpath:/custom-config/,file:./custom-config/ are configured, the search order becomes the following:

  • file:./custom-config/

  • classpath:custom-config/

  • file:./config/

  • file:./

  • classpath:/config/

  • classpath:/

This search ordering lets you specify default values in one configuration file and then selectively override those values in another. You can provide default values for your application in application.properties (or whatever other basename you choose with spring.config.name ) in one of the default locations. These default values can then be overridden at runtime with a different file located in one of the custom locations.

Note

If you use environment variables rather than system properties, most operating systems disallow period-separated key names, but you can use underscores instead (for example, SPRING_CONFIG_NAME instead of spring.config.name ).

Note

If your application runs in a container, then JNDI properties (in java:comp/env ) or servlet context initialization parameters can be used instead of, or as well as, environment variables or system properties.

24.4 Profile-specific Properties

In addition to application.properties files, profile-specific properties can also be defined by using the following naming convention: application-{profile}.properties . The Environment has a set of default profiles (by default, [default] ) that are used if no active profiles are set. In other words, if no profiles are explicitly activated, then properties from application-default.properties are loaded.

Profile-specific properties are loaded from the same locations as standard application.properties , with profile-specific files always overriding the non-specific ones, whether or not the profile-specific files are inside or outside your packaged jar.

If several profiles are specified, a last-wins strategy applies. For example, profiles specified by the spring.profiles.active property are added after those configured through the SpringApplication API and therefore take precedence.

Note

If you have specified any files in spring.config.location , profile-specific variants of those files are not considered. Use directories in spring.config.location if you want to also use profile-specific properties.

24.5 Placeholders in Properties

The values in application.properties are filtered through the existing Environment when they are used, so you can refer back to previously defined values (for example, from System properties).

app.name=MyApp
app.description=${app.name} is a Spring Boot application

Tip

You can also use this technique to create “short” variants of existing Spring Boot properties. See the Section 77.4, “Use ‘Short’ Command Line Arguments” how-to for details.

24.6 Encrypting Properties

Spring Boot does not provide any built in support for encrypting property values, however, it does provide the hook points necessary to modify values contained in the Spring Environment . The EnvironmentPostProcessor interface allows you to manipulate the Environment before the application starts. See Section 76.3, “Customize the Environment or ApplicationContext Before It Starts” for details.

If you’re looking for a secure way to store credentials and passwords, the Spring Cloud Vault project provides support for storing externalized configuration in HashiCorp Vault.

24.7 Using YAML Instead of Properties

YAML is a superset of JSON and, as such, is a convenient format for specifying hierarchical configuration data. The SpringApplication class automatically supports YAML as an alternative to properties whenever you have the SnakeYAML library on your classpath.

Note

If you use “Starters”, SnakeYAML is automatically provided by spring-boot-starter .

24.7.1 Loading YAML

Spring Framework provides two convenient classes that can be used to load YAML documents. The YamlPropertiesFactoryBean loads YAML as Properties and the YamlMapFactoryBean loads YAML as a Map .

For example, consider the following YAML document:

environments:
	dev:
		url: http://dev.example.com
		name: Developer Setup
	prod:
		url: http://another.example.com
		name: My Cool App

The preceding example would be transformed into the following properties:

environments.dev.url=http://dev.example.com
environments.dev.name=Developer Setup
environments.prod.url=http://another.example.com
environments.prod.name=My Cool App

YAML lists are represented as property keys with [index] dereferencers. For example, consider the following YAML:

my:
servers:
	- dev.example.com
	- another.example.com

The preceding example would be transformed into these properties:

my.servers[0]=dev.example.com
my.servers[1]=another.example.com

To bind to properties like that by using Spring Boot’s Binder utilities (which is what @ConfigurationProperties does), you need to have a property in the target bean of type java.util.List (or Set ) and you either need to provide a setter or initialize it with a mutable value. For example, the following example binds to the properties shown previously:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix="my")
public class Config {

	private List<String> servers = new ArrayList<String>();

	public List<String> getServers() {
		return this.servers;
	}
}

24.7.2 Exposing YAML as Properties in the Spring Environment

The YamlPropertySourceLoader class can be used to expose YAML as a PropertySource in the Spring Environment . Doing so lets you use the @Value annotation with placeholders syntax to access YAML properties.

24.7.3 Multi-profile YAML Documents

You can specify multiple profile-specific YAML documents in a single file by using a spring.profiles key to indicate when the document applies, as shown in the following example:

server:
	address: 192.168.1.100
---
spring:
	profiles: development
server:
	address: 127.0.0.1
---
spring:
	profiles: production & eu-central
server:
	address: 192.168.1.120

In the preceding example, if the development profile is active, the server.address property is 127.0.0.1 . Similarly, if the production and eu-central profiles are active, the server.address property is 192.168.1.120 . If the development , production and eu-central profiles are not enabled, then the value for the property is 192.168.1.100 .

Note

spring.profiles can therefore contain a simple profile name (for example production ) or a profile expression. A profile expression allows for more complicated profile logic to be expressed, for example production & (eu-central | eu-west) . Check the reference guide for more details.

If none are explicitly active when the application context starts, the default profiles are activated. So, in the following YAML, we set a value for spring.security.user.password that is available only in the "default" profile:

server:
  port: 8000
---
spring:
  profiles: default
  security:
    user:
      password: weak

Whereas, in the following example, the password is always set because it is not attached to any profile, and it would have to be explicitly reset in all other profiles as necessary:

server:
  port: 8000
spring:
  security:
    user:
      password: weak

Spring profiles designated by using the spring.profiles element may optionally be negated by using the ! character. If both negated and non-negated profiles are specified for a single document, at least one non-negated profile must match, and no negated profiles may match.

24.7.4 YAML Shortcomings

YAML files cannot be loaded by using the @PropertySource annotation. So, in the case that you need to load values that way, you need to use a properties file.

24.8 Type-safe Configuration Properties

Using the @Value("${property}") annotation to inject configuration properties can sometimes be cumbersome, especially if you are working with multiple properties or your data is hierarchical in nature. Spring Boot provides an alternative method of working with properties that lets strongly typed beans govern and validate the configuration of your application, as shown in the following example:

package com.example;

import java.net.InetAddress;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.List;

import org.springframework.boot.context.properties.ConfigurationProperties;

@ConfigurationProperties("acme")
public class AcmeProperties {

	private boolean enabled;

	private InetAddress remoteAddress;

	private final Security security = new Security();

	public boolean isEnabled() { ... }

	public void setEnabled(boolean enabled) { ... }

	public InetAddress getRemoteAddress() { ... }

	public void setRemoteAddress(InetAddress remoteAddress) { ... }

	public Security getSecurity() { ... }

	public static class Security {

		private String username;

		private String password;

		private List<String> roles = new ArrayList<>(Collections.singleton("USER"));

		public String getUsername() { ... }

		public void setUsername(String username) { ... }

		public String getPassword() { ... }

		public void setPassword(String password) { ... }

		public List<String> getRoles() { ... }

		public void setRoles(List<String> roles) { ... }

	}
}

The preceding POJO defines the following properties:

  • acme.enabled , with a value of false by default.

  • acme.remote-address , with a type that can be coerced from String .

  • acme.security.username , with a nested "security" object whose name is determined by the name of the property. In particular, the return type is not used at all there and could have been SecurityProperties .

  • acme.security.password .

  • acme.security.roles , with a collection of String .

Note

Getters and setters are usually mandatory, since binding is through standard Java Beans property descriptors, just like in Spring MVC. A setter may be omitted in the following cases:

  • Maps, as long as they are initialized, need a getter but not necessarily a setter, since they can be mutated by the binder.

  • Collections and arrays can be accessed either through an index (typically with YAML) or by using a single comma-separated value (properties). In the latter case, a setter is mandatory. We recommend to always add a setter for such types. If you initialize a collection, make sure it is not immutable (as in the preceding example).

  • If nested POJO properties are initialized (like the Security field in the preceding example), a setter is not required. If you want the binder to create the instance on the fly by using its default constructor, you need a setter.

Some people use Project Lombok to add getters and setters automatically. Make sure that Lombok does not generate any particular constructor for such a type, as it is used automatically by the container to instantiate the object.

Finally, only standard Java Bean properties are considered and binding on static properties is not supported.

You also need to list the properties classes to register in the @EnableConfigurationProperties annotation, as shown in the following example:

@Configuration
@EnableConfigurationProperties(AcmeProperties.class)
public class MyConfiguration {
}

Note

When the @ConfigurationProperties bean is registered that way, the bean has a conventional name: <prefix>-<fqn> , where <prefix> is the environment key prefix specified in the @ConfigurationProperties annotation and <fqn> is the fully qualified name of the bean. If the annotation does not provide any prefix, only the fully qualified name of the bean is used.

The bean name in the example above is acme-com.example.AcmeProperties .

Even if the preceding configuration creates a regular bean for AcmeProperties , we recommend that @ConfigurationProperties only deal with the environment and, in particular, does not inject other beans from the context. Having said that, the @EnableConfigurationProperties annotation is also automatically applied to your project so that any existing bean annotated with @ConfigurationProperties is configured from the Environment . You could shortcut MyConfiguration by making sure AcmeProperties is already a bean, as shown in the following example:

@Component
@ConfigurationProperties(prefix="acme")
public class AcmeProperties {

	// ... see the preceding example

}

This style of configuration works particularly well with the SpringApplication external YAML configuration, as shown in the following example:

# application.yml

acme:
	remote-address: 192.168.1.1
	security:
		username: admin
		roles:
		  - USER
		  - ADMIN

# additional configuration as required

To work with @ConfigurationProperties beans, you can inject them in the same way as any other bean, as shown in the following example:

@Service
public class MyService {

	private final AcmeProperties properties;

	@Autowired
	public MyService(AcmeProperties properties) {
	    this.properties = properties;
	}

 	//...

	@PostConstruct
	public void openConnection() {
		Server server = new Server(this.properties.getRemoteAddress());
		// ...
	}

}

Tip

Using @ConfigurationProperties also lets you generate metadata files that can be used by IDEs to offer auto-completion for your own keys. See the Appendix B, Configuration Metadata appendix for details.

24.8.1 Third-party Configuration

As well as using @ConfigurationProperties to annotate a class, you can also use it on public @Bean methods. Doing so can be particularly useful when you want to bind properties to third-party components that are outside of your control.

To configure a bean from the Environment properties, add @ConfigurationProperties to its bean registration, as shown in the following example:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix = "another")
@Bean
public AnotherComponent anotherComponent() {
	...
}

Any property defined with the another prefix is mapped onto that AnotherComponent bean in manner similar to the preceding AcmeProperties example.

24.8.2 Relaxed Binding

Spring Boot uses some relaxed rules for binding Environment properties to @ConfigurationProperties beans, so there does not need to be an exact match between the Environment property name and the bean property name. Common examples where this is useful include dash-separated environment properties (for example, context-path binds to contextPath ), and capitalized environment properties (for example, PORT binds to port ).

For example, consider the following @ConfigurationProperties class:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix="acme.my-project.person")
public class OwnerProperties {

	private String firstName;

	public String getFirstName() {
		return this.firstName;
	}

	public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
		this.firstName = firstName;
	}

}

In the preceding example, the following properties names can all be used:

Table 24.1. relaxed binding

PropertyNote
acme.my-project.person.first-nameKebab case, which is recommended for use in .properties and .yml files.
acme.myProject.person.firstNameStandard camel case syntax.
acme.my_project.person.first_nameUnderscore notation, which is an alternative format for use in .properties and .yml files.
ACME_MYPROJECT_PERSON_FIRSTNAMEUpper case format, which is recommended when using system environment variables.

Note

The prefix value for the annotation must be in kebab case (lowercase and separated by - , such as acme.my-project.person ).

Table 24.2. relaxed binding rules per property source

Property SourceSimpleList
Properties FilesCamel case, kebab case, or underscore notationStandard list syntax using [ ] or comma-separated values
YAML FilesCamel case, kebab case, or underscore notationStandard YAML list syntax or comma-separated values
Environment VariablesUpper case format with underscore as the delimiter. _ should not be used within a property nameNumeric values surrounded by underscores, such as MY_ACME_1_OTHER = my.acme[1].other
System propertiesCamel case, kebab case, or underscore notationStandard list syntax using [ ] or comma-separated values

Tip

We recommend that, when possible, properties are stored in lower-case kebab format, such as my.property-name=acme .

When binding to Map properties, if the key contains anything other than lowercase alpha-numeric characters or - , you need to use the bracket notation so that the original value is preserved. If the key is not surrounded by [] , any characters that are not alpha-numeric or - are removed. For example, consider binding the following properties to a Map :

acme:
  map:
    "[/key1]": value1
    "[/key2]": value2
    /key3: value3

The properties above will bind to a Map with /key1 , /key2 and key3 as the keys in the map.

24.8.3 Merging Complex Types

When lists are configured in more than one place, overriding works by replacing the entire list.

For example, assume a MyPojo object with name and description attributes that are null by default. The following example exposes a list of MyPojo objects from AcmeProperties :

@ConfigurationProperties("acme")
public class AcmeProperties {

	private final List<MyPojo> list = new ArrayList<>();

	public List<MyPojo> getList() {
		return this.list;
	}

}

Consider the following configuration:

acme:
  list:
    - name: my name
      description: my description
---
spring:
  profiles: dev
acme:
  list:
    - name: my another name

If the dev profile is not active, AcmeProperties.list contains one MyPojo entry, as previously defined. If the dev profile is enabled, however, the list still contains only one entry (with a name of my another name and a description of null ). This configuration does not add a second MyPojo instance to the list, and it does not merge the items.

When a List is specified in multiple profiles, the one with the highest priority (and only that one) is used. Consider the following example:

acme:
  list:
    - name: my name
      description: my description
    - name: another name
      description: another description
---
spring:
  profiles: dev
acme:
  list:
    - name: my another name

In the preceding example, if the dev profile is active, AcmeProperties.list contains one MyPojo entry (with a name of my another name and a description of null ). For YAML, both comma-separated lists and YAML lists can be used for completely overriding the contents of the list.

For Map properties, you can bind with property values drawn from multiple sources. However, for the same property in multiple sources, the one with the highest priority is used. The following example exposes a Map<String, MyPojo> from AcmeProperties :

@ConfigurationProperties("acme")
public class AcmeProperties {

	private final Map<String, MyPojo> map = new HashMap<>();

	public Map<String, MyPojo> getMap() {
		return this.map;
	}

}

Consider the following configuration:

acme:
  map:
    key1:
      name: my name 1
      description: my description 1
---
spring:
  profiles: dev
acme:
  map:
    key1:
      name: dev name 1
    key2:
      name: dev name 2
      description: dev description 2

If the dev profile is not active, AcmeProperties.map contains one entry with key key1 (with a name of my name 1 and a description of my description 1 ). If the dev profile is enabled, however, map contains two entries with keys key1 (with a name of dev name 1 and a description of my description 1 ) and key2 (with a name of dev name 2 and a description of dev description 2 ).

Note

The preceding merging rules apply to properties from all property sources and not just YAML files.

24.8.4 Properties Conversion

Spring Boot attempts to coerce the external application properties to the right type when it binds to the @ConfigurationProperties beans. If you need custom type conversion, you can provide a ConversionService bean (with a bean named conversionService ) or custom property editors (through a CustomEditorConfigurer bean) or custom Converters (with bean definitions annotated as @ConfigurationPropertiesBinding ).

Note

As this bean is requested very early during the application lifecycle, make sure to limit the dependencies that your ConversionService is using. Typically, any dependency that you require may not be fully initialized at creation time. You may want to rename your custom ConversionService if it is not required for configuration keys coercion and only rely on custom converters qualified with @ConfigurationPropertiesBinding .

Converting durations

Spring Boot has dedicated support for expressing durations. If you expose a java.time.Duration property, the following formats in application properties are available:

  • A regular long representation (using milliseconds as the default unit unless a @DurationUnit has been specified)

  • The standard ISO-8601 format used by java.util.Duration

  • A more readable format where the value and the unit are coupled (e.g. 10s means 10 seconds)

Consider the following example:

@ConfigurationProperties("app.system")
public class AppSystemProperties {

	@DurationUnit(ChronoUnit.SECONDS)
	private Duration sessionTimeout = Duration.ofSeconds(30);

	private Duration readTimeout = Duration.ofMillis(1000);

	public Duration getSessionTimeout() {
		return this.sessionTimeout;
	}

	public void setSessionTimeout(Duration sessionTimeout) {
		this.sessionTimeout = sessionTimeout;
	}

	public Duration getReadTimeout() {
		return this.readTimeout;
	}

	public void setReadTimeout(Duration readTimeout) {
		this.readTimeout = readTimeout;
	}

}

To specify a session timeout of 30 seconds, 30 , PT30S and 30s are all equivalent. A read timeout of 500ms can be specified in any of the following form: 500 , PT0.5S and 500ms .

You can also use any of the supported units. These are:

  • ns for nanoseconds

  • us for microseconds

  • ms for milliseconds

  • s for seconds

  • m for minutes

  • h for hours

  • d for days

The default unit is milliseconds and can be overridden using @DurationUnit as illustrated in the sample above.

Tip

If you are upgrading from a previous version that is simply using Long to express the duration, make sure to define the unit (using @DurationUnit ) if it isn’t milliseconds alongside the switch to Duration . Doing so gives a transparent upgrade path while supporting a much richer format.

Converting Data Sizes

Spring Framework has a DataSize value type that allows to express size in bytes. If you expose a DataSize property, the following formats in application properties are available:

  • A regular long representation (using bytes as the default unit unless a @DataSizeUnit has been specified)

  • A more readable format where the value and the unit are coupled (e.g. 10MB means 10 megabytes)

Consider the following example:

@ConfigurationProperties("app.io")
public class AppIoProperties {

	@DataSizeUnit(DataUnit.MEGABYTES)
	private DataSize bufferSize = DataSize.ofMegabytes(2);

	private DataSize sizeThreshold = DataSize.ofBytes(512);

	public DataSize getBufferSize() {
		return this.bufferSize;
	}

	public void setBufferSize(DataSize bufferSize) {
		this.bufferSize = bufferSize;
	}

	public DataSize getSizeThreshold() {
		return this.sizeThreshold;
	}

	public void setSizeThreshold(DataSize sizeThreshold) {
		this.sizeThreshold = sizeThreshold;
	}

}

To specify a buffer size of 10 megabytes, 10 and 10MB are equivalent. A size threshold of 256 bytes can be specified as 256 or 256B .

You can also use any of the supported units. These are:

  • B for bytes

  • KB for kilobytes

  • MB for megabytes

  • GB for gigabytes

  • TB for terabytes

The default unit is bytes and can be overridden using @DataSizeUnit as illustrated in the sample above.

Tip

If you are upgrading from a previous version that is simply using Long to express the size, make sure to define the unit (using @DataSizeUnit ) if it isn’t bytes alongside the switch to DataSize . Doing so gives a transparent upgrade path while supporting a much richer format.

24.8.5 @ConfigurationProperties Validation

Spring Boot attempts to validate @ConfigurationProperties classes whenever they are annotated with Spring’s @Validated annotation. You can use JSR-303 javax.validation constraint annotations directly on your configuration class. To do so, ensure that a compliant JSR-303 implementation is on your classpath and then add constraint annotations to your fields, as shown in the following example:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix="acme")
@Validated
public class AcmeProperties {

	@NotNull
	private InetAddress remoteAddress;

	// ... getters and setters

}

Tip

You can also trigger validation by annotating the @Bean method that creates the configuration properties with @Validated .

Although nested properties will also be validated when bound, it’s good practice to also annotate the associated field as @Valid . This ensure that validation is triggered even if no nested properties are found. The following example builds on the preceding AcmeProperties example:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix="acme")
@Validated
public class AcmeProperties {

	@NotNull
	private InetAddress remoteAddress;

	@Valid
	private final Security security = new Security();

	// ... getters and setters

	public static class Security {

		@NotEmpty
		public String username;

		// ... getters and setters

	}

}

You can also add a custom Spring Validator by creating a bean definition called configurationPropertiesValidator . The @Bean method should be declared static . The configuration properties validator is created very early in the application’s lifecycle, and declaring the @Bean method as static lets the bean be created without having to instantiate the @Configuration class. Doing so avoids any problems that may be caused by early instantiation. There is a property validation sample that shows how to set things up.

Tip

The spring-boot-actuator module includes an endpoint that exposes all @ConfigurationProperties beans. Point your web browser to /actuator/configprops or use the equivalent JMX endpoint. See the "Production ready features" section for details.

24.8.6 @ConfigurationProperties vs. @Value

The @Value annotation is a core container feature, and it does not provide the same features as type-safe configuration properties. The following table summarizes the features that are supported by @ConfigurationProperties and @Value :

Feature@ConfigurationProperties@Value
Relaxed bindingYesNo
Meta-data supportYesNo
SpEL evaluationNoYes

If you define a set of configuration keys for your own components, we recommend you group them in a POJO annotated with @ConfigurationProperties . You should also be aware that, since @Value does not support relaxed binding, it is not a good candidate if you need to provide the value by using environment variables.

Finally, while you can write a SpEL expression in @Value , such expressions are not processed from application property files.