Users Guide

Tobias Davis edited this page Apr 17, 2014 · 77 revisions

This document outlines how to use certain advanced features of Archaius.

Provide your own configuration source or polling scheduler

As explained in the previous section, by default Archaius uses a set of URLs as configuration sources and polls them at a fixed delay. However, you can also provide your own configuration source and/or polling scheduler. For example, you may define your own configuration source from a relational database, a distributed key-value store like Cassandra, or third party service like AWS SimpleDB.

To provide your own configuration source, follow these steps:

1. Implement

public class DBConfigurationSource implements PolledConfigurationSource {
    // ...
    public PollResult poll(boolean initial, Object checkPoint)
            throws Exception {
        // implement logic to retrieve properties from DB

2. (Optional) Provide your own scheduler by extending

public class MyScheduler extends AbstractPollingScheduler {
    // ...
    protected synchronized void schedule(Runnable runnable) {
        // schedule the runnable

    public void stop() {
        // stop the scheduler

3. Create an instance of

  PolledConfigurationSource source = ...
  AbstractPollingScheduler scheduler = ...
  DynamicConfiguration configuration = new DynamicConfiguration(source, scheduler);

4. Register your configuration with


5. Create dynamic properties from

  DynamicStringProperty myprop = DynamicPropertyFactory.getInstance().getStringProperty(...);

6. (Optional) Disable the default configuration source for DynamicPropertyFactory

You can set this system property so that DynamicPropertyFactory will not try to use the URL based default configuration source upon the getInstance() call:


Declaring dynamic properties before registering your own configuration source with DynamicPropertyFactory

You can declare dynamic properties before registering your own configuration source with DynamicPropertyFactory. For example:

public class MyApplication {
    // declaring the property first
    public static final MY_PROP = DynamicPropertyFactory.getInstance().getIntProperty("myIntPropertyName", 0);
    // ...
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // ...
        // MY_PROP.get() will reflect the value from myConfiguration above
       // ...

Using JConsole to view and update your properties at Runtime

If you set the following system property,


the configuration registered with DynamicPropertyFactory will be automatically exposed to JMX, where you can update the properties via jconsole.

Alternatively, you can programmatically register your own configuration with an MBean:

  AbstractConfiguration config = ...


The image above shows a screen capture of a view of the properties when the operation obtainProperties() is invoked.

Operations available are:

  • obtainProperties() : Obtain all properties in the composite configuration
  • getProperty(String key) : Obtain a particular property value given a key
  • addProperty(String key, String value) : Add a new property into the CompositeConfiguration
  • updateProperty(String key, String value) : Update the value of an existing property
  • clearProperty(String key) : clear the property (delete)

Use Archaius with your own Apache Commons Configuration implementation

If you already use or extend any type of AbstractConfiguration from Apache Commons Configuration, but would like to take advantage of Archaius to feed your application with dynamic properties, you can do this in two ways using ConfigurationManager:

1. Use an implementation of to poll the dynamic configuration source and put them into your own Configuration

  AbstractConfiguration myConfiguration = ...; // this is your original configuration
  // ...
  AbstractPollingScheduler scheduler = new FixedDelayPollingScheduler(); // or use your own scheduler
  PolledConfigurationSource source = new URLConfigurationSource(); // or use your own source
  scheduler.setIgnoreDeletesFromSource(true); // don't treat properties absent from the source as deletes
  scheduler.startPolling(source, myConfiguration);
  // ...

Now the original configuration becomes dynamic at runtime as properties from the polled configuration source will override their values in the original configuration. Note: In the above example, myConfiguration will be accessed from different threads and updates may not be visible immediately depending how the configuration is implemented. You can utilize to ensure visibility of updates.

2. Use

  AbstractConfiguration myConfiguration = ...; // this is your original configuration

  // create the dynamic configuration
  AbstractPollingScheduler scheduler = new FixedDelayPollingScheduler(); // or use your own scheduler
  PolledConfigurationSource source = new URLConfigurationSource(); // or use your own source
  DynamicConfiguration dynamicConfig = new DynamicConfiguration(source, scheduler);
  ConcurrentCompositeConfiguration finalConfig = new ConcurrentCompositeConfiguration();
  // add them in this order to make dynamicConfig override myConfiguration

The later approach gives you the flexibility to add more types configurations down the road.

Using ConfigurationManager

The configuration manager is a central place where it manages the system wide Configuration and deployment context. If you use your own AbstractConfiguration for configuration management, you can install it with the ConfigurationManager which takes care of initializing DynamicPropertyFactory with your AbstractConfiguration. If no configuration is installed programmatically by your application, a ConcurrentCompositeConfiguration that includes system property and a DynamicURLConfiguration will be installed lazily.

A deployment context contains attribute related to application deployment. For example, DeploymentContext.getDeploymentEnvironment() can return strings like “test”, “dev”, “prod”. This is useful to determine the set of properties used in a specific deployment context. If no deployment context is set programmatically with ConfigurationManager, a default ConfigurationBasedDeploymentContext will be installed. The return values of the APIs in ConfigurationBasedDeploymentContext is based on a set of property values obtained from the configuration installed with ConfigurationManager.

Running the sample applications

Two sample applications are provided in archaius-core. There sources are available in the archaius-core-sources.jar.

  • a Java main application to show usage of customized Configuration, DynamicPropertyFactory and dynamic properties
  • a Java main application to show usage of the default ConcurrentCompositeConfiguration, DynamicPropertyFactory and dynamic properties.

To run the applications, you need the following in your classpath

  • archaius-core-xxx.jar (latest release/snapshot of archaius-core)
  • commons-configuration-1.8.jar
  • commons-lang-2.6.jar
  • commons-logging-1.1.1.jar

Deployment Context

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