Enterprise Java

Netflix Archaius for property management – Basics

Netflix Archaius provides a neat set of features to load dynamic properties into an application.

This blog post is just a documentation of the extent of Archaius that I have understood, there is much more to it than I have documented here, but this should provide a good start:

Default Behavior

Consider a simple properties file:

listprop=value1, value2, value3
mapprop=key1=value1, key2=value2

If these entries are placed in a config.properties file in the classpath, then the following test demonstrates how each of these properties can be resolved by Archaius in code:

public void testBasicStringProps() {
    DynamicStringProperty sampleProp = DynamicPropertyFactory.getInstance().getStringProperty("stringprop", "");
    assertThat(sampleProp.get(), equalTo("propvalue"));

public void testBasicListProps() {
    DynamicStringListProperty listProperty = new DynamicStringListProperty("listprop", Collections.emptyList());
    assertThat(listProperty.get(), contains("value1", "value2", "value3"));

public void testBasicMapProps() {
    DynamicStringMapProperty mapProperty = new DynamicStringMapProperty("mapprop", Collections.emptyMap());
    assertThat(mapProperty.getMap(), allOf(hasEntry("key1", "value1"), hasEntry("key2", "value2")));

public void testBasicLongProperty() {
    DynamicLongProperty longProp = DynamicPropertyFactory.getInstance().getLongProperty("longprop", 1000);
    assertThat(longProp.get(), equalTo(100L));

Loading Properties from a non-default file in classpath

So now, how do we handle a case where the content is to be loaded from a file with a different name, say newconfig.properties but still available in the classpath. The following is one way to do that:

public void setUp() throws Exception{

With this change the previous test will just work.

Another option is to provide a system property to indicate the name of the properties file to load from the classpath:

System.setProperty("archaius.configurationSource.defaultFileName", "newconfig.properties");

Overriding for environments

Now, how do we override the properties for different application environments – Archaius provides a neat feature where a base property file can be loaded up but then overridden based on the context. More details are here. To demonstrate this consider two files, one containing the defaults and one containing overrides for a “test” environment





See the notation at the end of the default file @next=sample-${@environment}.properties, it is a way to indicate to Archaius that more properties need to be loaded up based on the resolved @environment parameter. This parameter can be injected in a couple of ways and the following test demonstrates this:

public void setUp() throws Exception{
    ConfigurationManager.getConfigInstance().setProperty("@environment", "test");

public void testBasicStringPropsInTestEnvironment() throws Exception {
    DynamicStringProperty sampleProp = DynamicPropertyFactory.getInstance().getStringProperty("sampleprop", "");
    assertThat(sampleProp.get(), equalTo("propvalue-test"));

The base property file itself now has to be loaded in through a call to ConfigurationManager.loadCascadedPropertiesFromResources..


These are essentially the basics of Netflix Archaius, there is much more to it of course which can be gleaned from the wiki on the Archaius github site.

  • If you are interested in exploring the samples shown here a little more, they are available in this github project
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Thanks Biju. Appreciated. Looking for more on this great framework.
Also add the Spring adapter tutorial towards the end.

7 years ago

I have a question regarding Archaius. We have been using Apache Kafka with 4 nodes and at present to pick any new changes made to the respective properties we are restarting the servers. Archaius is developed for dynamic properties, by using Archaius can we eliminate restarting the servers ?

Back to top button