4.2.9. Application Properties

Application properties represent named values of different types, which determine various aspects of application configuration and functionality. The platform uses application properties extensively, and you can also employ them to configure application-specific features.

Platform application properties can be classified by intended purpose as follows:

  • Configuration parameters – specify sets of configuration files and certain user interface parameters, i.e. determine the application functionality. Values of configuration parameters are usually defined for the application project at development time.

  • Deployment parameters – describe various URLs to connect application blocks, DBMS type, security settings etc. Values of deployment parameters are usually depend on the environment where the application instance is installed.

  • Runtime parameters – audit settings, email sending parameters etc. Values of these properties can be changed when needed at the application run time even without restart.

Values of application properties can be set in the database, in the property files, or via Java system properties. Besides, a value set in a file overrides the value with the same name from the database. A value set as a Java system property overrides both values from files and from the database.

Some properties do not support setting values in the database for the following reason: their values are needed when the database is not accessible to the application code yet. These are configuration and deployment parameters mentioned above. So you can only define them in property files or via Java system properties. Runtime parameters can always be set in the database (and possibly be overridden by values in files or system properties).

Typically, an application property is used in one or several application blocks. For example, cuba.persistenceConfig is used only in Middleware, cuba.web.useLightHeader is used in Web Client, while cuba.springContextConfig is used in all blocks. It means that if you need to set some value to a property, you should do it in all blocks that use this property. Properties stored in the database are automatically available to all blocks, so you set them just in one place (in the database table) regardless of what blocks use them. Moreover, there is a standard UI screen to manage properties of this type: see Administration > Application Properties. Properties stored in files should be set separately in the respective files of the blocks.


When you need to set a value to a platform property, find this property in the documentation. If the documentation states that the property is stored in the database, use the Administration > Application Properties screen to set its value. Otherwise, find out what blocks use the property and define it in the app.properties files of this blocks. For example, if the documentation states that the property is used in all blocks, and your application consists of Middleware and Web Client, you should define the property in the app.properties file of the core module and in the web-app.properties file of the web module. Deployment parameters can also be set outside of project files in the configuration directory. See Storing Properties in Files for details.

You can access application properties in your code using the following mechanisms:

  • Configuration interfaces. If you define application properties as annotated methods of a configuration interface, the application code will have typed access to the properties. Configuration interfaces allow you to define and access properties of all types of storage: database, files and system properties.

  • The getProperty() method of the AppContext class. If you set a property in a file or as a Java system property, you can read its value using this method. This approach has the following drawbacks:

    • Properties stored in the database are not supported.

    • Unlike invoking an interface method, you have to provide the property name as String.

    • Unlike getting a result of a specific type, you can only get the property value as String.