spring cloud config server - Git backend


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In our previous blog post we looked at how we could separate out profiles and load configurations using configuration files. But keeping configuration files inside the code bundled with separate configuration files is not the most convenient way of handling configuration in your application. For an example if we are running like 100 of microservices and keeping configurations locally to each microservice is not practical, we'll have to deploy and restart application every time we do a config change. So it's a best practice to separate out configurations from your application, its also one of the factor comes under 12 factor app, read more about it here

In this blog post I'm going to show a practical example how we can separate out configuration from the code using spring boot. We are going to keep version controlled configuration in github and build a configuration server which will be serving the configurations to your application.


- Java 1.8 or higher

- Maven 3.2 or higher

- Spring boot 2.5.0 or higher

1) Pushing the configuration to GitHub

I'm going to use the same project we used for the profile example, instead of configurations are loading from configuration files inside the project we are going to pull it from the configuration server. Configuration server will pull those configuration from git repository.

If you can remember from the last post we used application-dev.yml and application-prod.yml as the configuration files let's put the same files into two separate folder and push it to GitHub. Your folder structure will be like this.

blog-dev -> application-dev.yml

blog-prod -> application-prod.yml 

Link to repository: https://github.com/Rajithkonara/blog-config-repo  

2) Creating Config Server

Now that configuration are in place, let's create a spring cloud config server. All you have to do is create a new spring boot project, 

 - Add the spring-cloud-config-server dependency


Now Annotate your Main class with @EnableConfigServer

Configure your application.yml to pull configurations from your configuration repo.

- Here search paths are the folder names we defined in our config repo.

- You can find the code for config server here: https://github.com/Rajithkonara/blog-config-server

3) Creating Config Consumer

- Let's use the same project we used in our previous blog post about profiles, add the below maven dependencies to use the application as a config consumer.
- Actuator exposes several operational endpoints, here we use it to trigger a refresh event to reload our configurations.

Configure the application.yml to point our config server to load the configurations 

We also want to enable the /refresh endpoint to demonstrate reload configuration without restarting the application, this is done by management.endpoints.web.exposure.include property. 

- By default the configurations are read at the startup, we can enable a bean to refresh the configuration by using @RefreshScop and triggering a refresh event. The RefreshScope is annotated in the Application properties class. Let's see the applications in action.

- The config-consumer code can be found the separate branch config-git in profile repository.


4) Testing the applications

- Run both the applications, config server will be started on port 8888 and if you have set the profile to dev the config client will be running on port 8081, because blog-dev -> application.yml has it as server: port: 8081.
- To test the @Value annotation and the other property use the below curl command. 
  curl http://localhost:8081/api/v1/test

 You can test the prod profile by changing the spring.profiles.active: dev to prod and restarting the application, You will observe the application starts on port 8080
 To test live reloading the configurations, assume that we have started the application using prod profile and I need to change the welcome message. 
Change the welcome message in the config repo and commit it to GitHub, I've change it to Welcome to production we are live, you can see the commit I made.

- Now you need to trigger a refresh event to inform config-client that it's need to pull the  configuration again. Use the below curl to trigger actuator refresh event.

  curl localhost:8080/actuator/refresh -d {} -H "Content-Type: application/json"

Run the curl to your test controller and you will see the new welcome message.

That's it for this blog post, I strongly suggest you to go through the spring official documentation , there you will learn to add authentication to your config server, using branches to serve configurations and many more.