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How to load external property files into Spring Boot application?

It is a standard practice that during our production deployments, our application loads property files from external locations. This helps us to change our configurations without changing our code. In this page, we will come to know how to load external property files into Spring Boot application.

By default, Spring Boot look for externalized default property file into given below predetermined locations:

 -- In the classpath root.

 -- In the package "/config" in classpath.

 -- In the current directory.

 -- In the "/config" directory of current folder.

Now lets say, your application requires externalized properties like and another property file The both properties can be in the same folder or they can be in different folder. There are 3 ways of doing it.

Command line arguments

In the first approach, all you need to do is pass folder names and property names as part of command line arguments as shown below:

java -jar myapp.jar,myapp

In the above command, we are passing property file name as part of "" variable and folder location as part of "--spring.config.location" variable.

Environment variables

In the second approach, you can configure your externalized configuration details into environment variables and your Spring Boot application will read it from your environment as shown below:

set SPRING_CONFIG_NAME=application,myapp

set SPRING_CONFIG_LOCATION=classpath:/data/myapp/config,classpath:/data/myapp/external/config

java -jar myapp.jar

Programatically loding configurations

package com.java2novice.springboot;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.builder.SpringApplicationBuilder;
import org.springframework.context.ConfigurableApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.core.env.ConfigurableEnvironment;

public class SpringBootWebApplication {

        private static Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(SpringBootWebApplication.class);

        public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

                ConfigurableApplicationContext applicationContext = new SpringApplicationBuilder(SpringBootWebApplication.class)

                ConfigurableEnvironment environment = applicationContext.getEnvironment();


2017-11-22 22:44:24.775  INFO 29696 --- [           main] c.j.springboot.SpringBootWebApplication  :
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Spring-Boot Examples

  1. Spring-Boot initial setup.
  2. Spring-Boot hello world example
  3. What is spring-boot-starter-parent in Spring-Boot pom.xml file?
  4. What is @SpringBootApplication annotation in spring boot?
  5. What is in spring boot?
  6. What is @ConfigurationProperties annotation in spring boot?
  7. Spring Boot @ConfigurationProperties example
  8. Spring Boot @ConfigurationProperties Property Validation
  9. Difference between @ConfigurationProperties and @Value
  10. Spring boot web application configurations.
  11. How to run spring boot application through command line?
  12. How to run spring boot as a standalone application (non-web)?
  13. Spring boot property resolution order.
  14. Spring Boot – Profile based properties example.
  15. How to configure logback (SLF4J) logging to spring boot applications?
  16. How to update application context path in spring boot?
  17. How to disable spring logo banner in spring boot?
  18. Spring Data JPA with Spring Boot Applications - Oracle - example
  19. Spring Data JPA with Spring Boot Applications - MySql example
  20. How to configure Spring Boot to show Hibernate SQL Query in logs?
  21. Spring Boot – List all Beans loaded in the ApplicationContext
  22. How to load external property files into Spring Boot application?
  23. How to rename file in Spring Boot application?
  24. How to configure multiple DataSources (Databases) with Spring Boot and Spring Data?
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About Author

I'm Nataraja Gootooru, programmer by profession and passionate about technologies. All examples given here are as simple as possible to help beginners. The source code is compiled and tested in my dev environment.

If you come across any mistakes or bugs, please email me to [email protected].

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