18. Register a Stream App

Register a Stream App with the App Registry using the Spring Cloud Data Flow Shell app register command. You must provide a unique name, application type, and a URI that can be resolved to the app artifact. For the type, specify "source", "processor", or "sink". Here are a few examples:

dataflow:>app register --name mysource --type source --uri maven://com.example:mysource:0.0.1-SNAPSHOT

dataflow:>app register --name myprocessor --type processor --uri file:///Users/example/myprocessor-1.2.3.jar

dataflow:>app register --name mysink --type sink --uri http://example.com/mysink-2.0.1.jar

When providing a URI with the maven scheme, the format should conform to the following:


For example, if you would like to register the snapshot versions of the http and log applications built with the RabbitMQ binder, you could do the following:

dataflow:>app register --name http --type source --uri maven://org.springframework.cloud.stream.app:http-source-rabbit:1.2.1.BUILD-SNAPSHOT
dataflow:>app register --name log --type sink --uri maven://org.springframework.cloud.stream.app:log-sink-rabbit:1.2.1.BUILD-SNAPSHOT

If you would like to register multiple apps at one time, you can store them in a properties file where the keys are formatted as <type>.<name> and the values are the URIs.

For example, if you would like to register the snapshot versions of the http and log applications built with the RabbitMQ binder, you could have the following in a properties file [eg: stream-apps.properties]:


Then to import the apps in bulk, use the app import command and provide the location of the properties file via --uri:

dataflow:>app import --uri file:///<YOUR_FILE_LOCATION>/stream-apps.properties

For convenience, we have the static files with application-URIs (for both maven and docker) available for all the out-of-the-box stream and task/batch app-starters. You can point to this file and import all the application-URIs in bulk. Otherwise, as explained in previous paragraphs, you can register them individually or have your own custom property file with only the required application-URIs in it. It is recommended, however, to have a "focused" list of desired application-URIs in a custom property file.

List of available Stream Application Starters:

Artifact TypeStable ReleaseSNAPSHOT Release

RabbitMQ + Maven



RabbitMQ + Docker



Kafka 0.9 + Maven



Kafka 0.9 + Docker



Kafka 0.10 + Maven



Kafka 0.10 + Docker



List of available Task Application Starters:

Artifact TypeStable ReleaseSNAPSHOT Release







You can find more information about the available task starters in the Task App Starters Project Page and related reference documentation. For more information about the available stream starters look at the Stream App Starters Project Page and related reference documentation.

As an example, if you would like to register all out-of-the-box stream applications built with the RabbitMQ binder in bulk, you can with the following command.

dataflow:>app import --uri http://bit.ly/Bacon-RELEASE-stream-applications-rabbit-maven

You can also pass the --local option (which is true by default) to indicate whether the properties file location should be resolved within the shell process itself. If the location should be resolved from the Data Flow Server process, specify --local false.


When using either app register or app import, if an app is already registered with the provided name and type, it will not be overridden by default. If you would like to override the pre-existing app coordinates, then include the --force option.

Note however that once downloaded, applications may be cached locally on the Data Flow server, based on the resource location. If the resource location doesn’t change (even though the actual resource bytes may be different), then it won’t be re-downloaded. When using maven:// resources on the other hand, using a constant location still may circumvent caching (if using -SNAPSHOT versions).

Moreover, if a stream is already deployed and using some version of a registered app, then (forcibly) re-registering a different app will have no effect until the stream is deployed anew.


In some cases the Resource is resolved on the server side, whereas in others the URI will be passed to a runtime container instance where it is resolved. Consult the specific documentation of each Data Flow Server for more detail.

18.1 Whitelisting application properties

Stream and Task applications are Spring Boot applications which are aware of many Section 20.3, “Common application properties”, e.g. server.port but also families of properties such as those with the prefix spring.jmx and logging. When creating your own application it is desirable to whitelist properties so that the shell and the UI can display them first as primary properties when presenting options via TAB completion or in drop-down boxes.

To whitelist application properties create a file named spring-configuration-metadata-whitelist.properties in the META-INF resource directory. There are two property keys that can be used inside this file. The first key is named configuration-properties.classes. The value is a comma separated list of fully qualified @ConfigurationProperty class names. The second key is configuration-properties.names whose value is a comma separated list of property names. This can contain the full name of property, such as server.port or a partial name to whitelist a category of property names, e.g. spring.jmx.

The Spring Cloud Stream application starters are a good place to look for examples of usage. Here is a simple example of the file sink’s spring-configuration-metadata-whitelist.properties file


If we also wanted to add server.port to be white listed, then it would look like this:


Make sure to add 'spring-boot-configuration-processor' as an optional dependency to generate configuration metadata file for the properties.


18.2 Creating and using a dedicated metadata artifact

You can go a step further in the process of describing the main properties that your stream or task app supports by creating a so-called metadata companion artifact. This simple jar file contains only the Spring boot JSON file about configuration properties metadata, as well as the whitelisting file described in the previous section.

Here is the contents of such an artifact, for the canonical log sink:

$ jar tvf log-sink-rabbit-1.2.1.BUILD-SNAPSHOT-metadata.jar
373848 META-INF/spring-configuration-metadata.json
   174 META-INF/spring-configuration-metadata-whitelist.properties

Note that the spring-configuration-metadata.json file is quite large. This is because it contains the concatenation of all the properties that are available at runtime to the log sink (some of them come from spring-boot-actuator.jar, some of them come from spring-boot-autoconfigure.jar, even some more from spring-cloud-starter-stream-sink-log.jar, etc.) Data Flow always relies on all those properties, even when a companion artifact is not available, but here all have been merged into a single file.

To help with that (as a matter of fact, you don’t want to try to craft this giant JSON file by hand), you can use the following plugin in your build:


This plugin comes in addition to the spring-boot-configuration-processor that creates the individual JSON files. Be sure to configure the two!

The benefits of a companion artifact are manifold:

  1. being way lighter (usually a few kilobytes, as opposed to megabytes for the actual app), they are quicker to download, allowing quicker feedback when using e.g. app info or the Dashboard UI
  2. as a consequence of the above, they can be used in resource constrained environments (such as PaaS) when metadata is the only piece of information needed
  3. finally, for environments that don’t deal with boot uberjars directly (for example, Docker-based runtimes such as Kubernetes or Mesos), this is the only way to provide metadata about the properties supported by the app.

Remember though, that this is entirely optional when dealing with uberjars. The uberjar itself also includes the metadata in it already.

18.2.1 Using the companion artifact

Once you have a companion artifact at hand, you need to make the system aware of it so that it can be used.

When registering a single app via app register, you can use the optional --metadata-uri option in the shell, like so:

dataflow:>app register --name log --type sink
    --uri maven://org.springframework.cloud.stream.app:log-sink-kafka-10:1.2.1.BUILD-SNAPSHOT

When registering several files using the app import command, the file should contain a <type>.<name>.metadata line in addition to each <type>.<name> line. This is optional (i.e. if some apps have it but some others don’t, that’s fine).

Here is an example for a Dockerized app, where the metadata artifact is being hosted in a Maven repository (but retrieving it via http:// or file:// would be equally possible).