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Synyx Messagesource for Spring. This project brings an implementation of Springs MessageSource interface, which is responsible for resolving texts in an internationalised manner.
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Added NULL check when creating the message format using Spring 5
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Synyx Messagesource for Spring

This project brings an implementation of Springs MessageSource interface, which is responsible for resolving texts in an internationalised manner. See the
Spring Reference for more details about Springs i18n mechanism.

Spring currently ships with two implementations of MessageSource. While StaticMessageSource is very simple and intended for testing-purposes, ResourceBundleMessageSource is a layer above JAVAs ResourceBundle and is mainly used for resolving messages from resource-files like

This project brings another implementation which allows to persist your internationalisation in a RDBMS accessed by JDBC. We think, storing messages in the Database can help you to with several problems:

  • Let the user of an application change its translations “on the fly” using the application itself
  • Reload messages without Classloading-Issues
  • less Encoding-Mess

Getting Started

For those who want to give the project a quick try without learning much about how it works, this section might help.

Dependencies (Maven)

Include the messagesource-artifact in your Maven build (pom.xml):


Since the artifact is currently only available from Synyx’ public repositories you have to include this in your POM as well:

        <name>Synyx OpenSource Repository</name>


Now that your project has the dependency you can integrate it within your applications bean-definition file (maybe applicationContext.xml or whatever).
Spring searches for a bean named messageSource within your context and uses this to resolve its messages. So, instead using a classic RessourceBundleMessageSource backed by a set of .properties files you define the following which is the minimal configuration of a MessageSource that reads its data from the database:

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="messageProvider">
        <bean class="org.synyx.messagesource.jdbc.JdbcMessageProvider">
            <property name="dataSource" ref="dataSource"/>

In addition, you need a bean named dataSource within the context, implementing the javax.sql.DataSource interface. But you’ll probably have one of those anyway. If your DataSource-Bean has a different name simply adjust it in the ref attribute above.

Both beans we define here have a set of properties for additional configuration which are not completely mentioned here for the sake of simplicity. But we will go into more detail in the following sections.


For the above configuration the database where your DataSource leads to is expected to have a table containing the messages named Messages and the following colums:

  • a column named language containing the language-code the message is for
  • a column named country containing the country-code the message is for
  • a column named variant containing the variant-code the message is for
  • a column named basename containing the basename (can be seen as a cateogry) the message is for
  • a column named key containing the key-code of the message
  • a column named message containing the message itself, including “usual” patterns for placeholders ({0} etc)

All columns must be String-Types (e.g. VARCHAR for mySQL) and may be empty.

The name of the table as well of the columns can be configured using <property name="languageColumn" value="sprache"/> on JdbcMessageProvider. Replace language with country, variant, key, message, basename accordingly and use the tableName property to change the table.

From version 0.6.1 on you may also set the delimiter used to delimit the names of columns and the table using <property name="delimiter" value="`"/> to fit your databases needs. If your database supports this its ok to set this to an empty string or whatever.

To create such a table in your database you could use a statement like the following:

CREATE TABLE `Message` (
    `basename` VARCHAR( 31 ) NOT NULL ,
    `language` VARCHAR( 7 ) NULL ,
    `country` VARCHAR( 7 ) NULL ,
    `variant` VARCHAR( 7 ) NULL ,
    `key` VARCHAR( 255 ) NULL ,
    `message` TEXT NULL

If you insert messages into the table, you must set a basename. All the other fields may be empty or null (because null is treated in a special manner in databases you might want to use an empty String for “not set”). If you want to insert a global defaultmessage for a given basename simply leave language, country and variant empty. If you want to insert an english message, just set the language-column to “en” and leave country and variant empty. tbc.

Please note that the values within the columns language, country and variant correspond directly to the values in java.util.Locale which means they should match the correct ISO-Codes. See @Locale@s API-Doc for details.

Speedup message import

Messages are pushed into Database as Batch inserts.
Current performance test results : 30000 messages are inserted in 5 seconds with the following configuration.
You only need to add “rewriteBatchedStatements” parameter to database url to achive this throughput.
Test enviorment

Mysql version- 5.1.65
Driver/Connector- mysql-connector-java-5.1.15.jar
Note- Add following “&rewriteBatchedStatements=true” parameter to your jdbc.url

Before Replacing – jdbc.url=jdbc:mysql:///?useUnicode=true&characterEncoding=utf8
After Replacing – jdbc.url=jdbc:mysql:///?useUnicode=true&characterEncoding=utf8&rewriteBatchedStatements=true

Diggin’ deeper


The InitializableMessagesource kind of works like springs regular ResourceBundleMessageSource (which delegates to ResourceBundle) except that it loads all the messages at once using a MessageProvider.

An InitializableMessagesource can be responsible for 1 or more basenames which can be seen as “message-categories”. One of these basenames would be equal to to a set of .properties files with the same basename (matching the pattern when you’d use ResourceBundleMessageSource. With InitializableMessagesource messages are categorized the same way but “stored” however the configured MessageProvider wants to (e.g. in Database for JDBCMessageProvider).


As mentioned before, InitializableMessagesource loads all its messages at certain points. This is every time its initialize() method is called. If you do not configure it otherwise and use Spring to create your MessageSource this is also at construction-time. Afterwards you may inject the InitializableMessagesource into your components and call initialize() again at any time.

If you do not want the MessageSource to be initialized on construction-time you may set the autoInitialize-property to false:

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="autoInitialize" value="false" />

Each time initialize() is called, the InitializableMessagesource asks its MessageProvider for all the messages it has (for the configured basenames). These messages are cached until initialize() is called the next time.


InitializableMessagesource uses a MessageProvider to load its messages. The project currently ships two implementations of this interface. Of course, you can implement your own one too and set it InitializableMessageSource using its messageProvider-property.

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="messageProvider"> <bean class="org.synyx.MySpecialMessageProvider"/> </property>

The two implementations provided are FileSystemMessageProvider and JdbcMessageProvider.

JdbcMessageProvider looks up messages from a table in a given database (see above for configuration options, mainly the names of the table and the columns).

FileSystemMessageProvider behaves kind of like the known ResourceBundleMessageSource, except that its aware of all .properties files in a directory. You configure it by giving it a File or String leading to the directory where it looks for files with the patern *.properties while being aware of the “locale-postfixes” within the filename. Using this alone will probably not solve any bigger problems for you, but it is very useful when it comes to importing messages from a .properties file into the database and vice-versa.


By default, InitializableMessageSource first asks its MessageProvider for all available basenames and then requests the messages for each basename returned.
You may limit this by using the basename or basenames properties. If you want the MessageSource to be responsible only for a single basename, use the basename property.

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="basenames">messages</property>

If you want to limit it to more than one basename, use basenames.

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="basenames">

As mentioned, if you neither set the basename nor the basenames properties, the InitializableMessageSource simply resolves messages for all the basenames available from the MessageProvider, which is usually a good way to start. In this case you are able to add new categories (basenames) on the fly by simply inserting corresponding rows into the database.

Configure as per your requirement

Following configurations provides extra flexibility to control UI level behaviour
Sample spring configuration
returnUnresolvedCode-If set true returns message code (key), if no message could be resolved for this code. Helps avoiding null pointer exception at UI level.

defaultLocale- This locale will be explicitly set for the message, if the message is resolved from a base name without locale(usually default basename file).This parameter helps avoid null pointer exception for the messages with arguments.
Example- test.message= hi{0}, welcome back.
will give error if the message is resolved from the basename file without locale specied in it name.

Message Resolving

InitializableMessagesource resolves its messages the same way ResourceBundle does.

When resolving a message the keys are tried to resolve in the following order:

  • given Locales language + country + variant
  • given Locales language + country
  • given Locales language
  • default Locales language + country + variant (property defaultLocale, if not null)
  • default Locales language + country (property defaultLocale, if not null)
  • default Locales language (property defaultLocale, if not null)
  • Global Default (basename)

As you can see, there is (like in ResourceBundle) a defaultLocale involved. Unlike with ResourceBundle this is not the Systems default but one you may set explicitly using the defaultLocale-property of InitializableMessagesource. If you do not set it (or set it to null) the MessageSource falls back to the global default for the basename skipping the default-steps mentioned above.

<bean id="messageSource" class="org.synyx.messagesource.InitializableMessageSource">
    <property name="defaultLocale" value="en_US" />

Importing Messages

If you want to import an existing set of ResourceBundle files you might want to give the Importer a try. JdbcMessageProvider and FileSystemMessageProvider also implement a second interface: MessageAcceptor which can be used to set messages (Save them to the filesystem or database).


private JdbcMessageProvider jdbcMessageProvider;
MessageProvider source = filesystemMessageProvider;
MessageAcceptor target = jdbcMessageProvider;

Importer importer = new Importer(source, target);

// imports messages of all basenames from source to target

// or just import some basenames?
Collection<String> basenames = source.getAvailableBaseNames();
for (String basename : basenames) {
    if (decideIfImport(basename)) {

The same way this works for importing from filesystem to database you may also “export” from database to filesystem by switching source and target.
If you prefer to get your .properties files zipped you may use the ZipMessageAcceptor which writes the files zip-compressed to an OutputStream or File. Reading .properties files from ZipMessageAcceptor is currently not supported (ZipMessageAcceptor only implements the MessageAcceptor interface, not the MessageProvider).

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