Interface Environment

All Superinterfaces:
All Known Subinterfaces:
ConfigurableEnvironment, ConfigurableWebEnvironment
All Known Implementing Classes:
AbstractEnvironment, MockEnvironment, StandardEnvironment, StandardServletEnvironment

public interface Environment extends PropertyResolver
Interface representing the environment in which the current application is running. Models two key aspects of the application environment: profiles and properties. Methods related to property access are exposed via the PropertyResolver superinterface.

A profile is a named, logical group of bean definitions to be registered with the container only if the given profile is active. Beans may be assigned to a profile whether defined in XML or via annotations; see the spring-beans 3.1 schema or the @Profile annotation for syntax details. The role of the Environment object with relation to profiles is in determining which profiles (if any) are currently active, and which profiles (if any) should be active by default.

Properties play an important role in almost all applications, and may originate from a variety of sources: properties files, JVM system properties, system environment variables, JNDI, servlet context parameters, ad-hoc Properties objects, Maps, and so on. The role of the Environment object with relation to properties is to provide the user with a convenient service interface for configuring property sources and resolving properties from them.

Beans managed within an ApplicationContext may register to be EnvironmentAware or @Inject the Environment in order to query profile state or resolve properties directly.

In most cases, however, application-level beans should not need to interact with the Environment directly but instead may request to have ${...} property values replaced by a property placeholder configurer such as PropertySourcesPlaceholderConfigurer, which itself is EnvironmentAware and registered by default when using <context:property-placeholder/>.

Configuration of the Environment object must be done through the ConfigurableEnvironment interface, returned from all AbstractApplicationContext subclass getEnvironment() methods. See ConfigurableEnvironment Javadoc for usage examples demonstrating manipulation of property sources prior to application context refresh().

Chris Beams
See Also: