Introduction to VaultTemplate

The class VaultTemplate, located in the package org.springframework.vault.core, is the central class of the Spring’s Vault support providing a rich feature set to interact with Vault. The template offers convenience operations to read, write and delete data in Vault and provides a mapping between your domain objects and Vault data.

Once configured, VaultTemplate is thread-safe and can be reused across multiple instances.

The mapping between Vault documents and domain classes is done by delegating to RestTemplate. Spring Web support provides the mapping infrastructure.

The VaultTemplate class implements the interface VaultOperations. In as much as possible, the methods on VaultOperations are named after methods available on the Vault API to make the API familiar to existing Vault developers who are used to the API and CLI. For example, you will find methods such as "write", "delete", "read", and "revoke". The design goal was to make it as easy as possible to transition between the use of the Vault API and VaultOperations. A major difference in between the two APIs is that VaultOperations can be passed domain objects instead of JSON Key-Value pairs.

The preferred way to reference the operations on VaultTemplate instance is via its interface VaultOperations.

While there are many convenience methods on VaultTemplate to help you easily perform common tasks if you should need to access the Vault API directly to access functionality not explicitly exposed by the VaultTemplate you can use one of several execute callback methods to access underlying APIs. The execute callbacks will give you a reference to a RestOperations object. Please see the section Execution Callbacks for more information.

Now let’s look at a examples of how to work with Vault in the context of the Spring container.

Registering and configuring Spring Vault beans

Using Spring Vault does not require a Spring Context. However, instances of VaultTemplate and SessionManager registered inside a managed context will participate in lifecycle events provided by the Spring IoC container. This is useful to dispose active Vault sessions upon application shutdown. You also benefit from reusing the same VaultTemplate instance across your application.

Spring Vault comes with a supporting configuration class that provides bean definitions for use inside a Spring context. Application configuration classes typically extend from AbstractVaultConfiguration and are required to provide additional details that are environment specific.

Extending from AbstractVaultConfiguration requires to implement ` VaultEndpoint vaultEndpoint()` and ClientAuthentication clientAuthentication() methods.

Example 1. Registering Spring Vault objects using Java based bean metadata
public class AppConfig extends AbstractVaultConfiguration {

     * Specify an endpoint for connecting to Vault.
    public VaultEndpoint vaultEndpoint() {
        return new VaultEndpoint();                            (1)

     * Configure a client authentication.
     * Please consider a more secure authentication method
     * for production use.
    public ClientAuthentication clientAuthentication() {
        return new TokenAuthentication("…");                   (2)
1 Create a new VaultEndpoint that points by default to https://localhost:8200.
2 This sample uses TokenAuthentication to get started quickly. See [vault.core.authentication] for details on supported authentication methods.
Example 2. Registering Spring Vault applying injected properties
public class AppConfig extends AbstractVaultConfiguration {

    URI vaultUri;

     * Specify an endpoint that was injected as URI.
    public VaultEndpoint vaultEndpoint() {
        return VaultEndpoint.from(vaultUri);                          (1)

     * Configure a Client Certificate authentication.
     * {@link RestOperations} can be obtained from {@link #restOperations()}.
    public ClientAuthentication clientAuthentication() {
        return new ClientCertificateAuthentication(restOperations()); (2)
1 VaultEndpoint can be constructed using various factory methods such as from(URI uri) or VaultEndpoint.create(String host, int port).
2 Dependencies for ClientAuthentication methods can be obtained either from AbstractVaultConfiguration or provided by your configuration.
Creating a custom configuration class might be cumbersome in some cases. Take a look at EnvironmentVaultConfiguration that allows configuration by using properties from existing property sources and Spring’s Environment. Read more in Using EnvironmentVaultConfiguration.

Session Management

Spring Vault requires a ClientAuthentication to login and access Vault. See [vault.core.authentication] on details regarding authentication. Vault login should not occur on each authenticated Vault interaction but must be reused throughout a session. This aspect is handled by a SessionManager implementation. A SessionManager decides how often it obtains a token, about revocation and renewal. Spring Vault comes with two implementations:

  • SimpleSessionManager: Just obtains tokens from the supplied ClientAuthentication without refresh and revocation

  • LifecycleAwareSessionManager: This SessionManager schedules token renewal if a token is renewable and revoke a login token on disposal. Renewal is scheduled with an AsyncTaskExecutor. LifecycleAwareSessionManager is configured by default if using AbstractVaultConfiguration.

Using EnvironmentVaultConfiguration

Spring Vault includes EnvironmentVaultConfiguration configure the Vault client from Spring’s Environment and a set of predefined property keys. EnvironmentVaultConfiguration supports frequently applied configurations. Other configurations are supported by deriving from the most appropriate configuration class. Include EnvironmentVaultConfiguration with @Import(EnvironmentVaultConfiguration.class) to existing Java-based configuration classes and supply configuration properties through any of Spring’s PropertySources.

Example 3. Using EnvironmentVaultConfiguration with a property file
Java-based configuration class
public class MyConfiguration{

Property keys

  • Vault URI: vault.uri

  • SSL Configuration

    • Keystore resource: vault.ssl.key-store (optional)

    • Keystore password: vault.ssl.key-store-password (optional)

    • Keystore type: vault.ssl.key-store-type (optional, typically jks, supports also pem)

    • Truststore resource: (optional)

    • Truststore password: (optional)

    • Truststore type: (optional, typically jks, supports also pem)

    • Enabled SSL/TLS protocols: vault.ssl.enabled-protocols (since 2.3.2, optional, protocols separated with comma)

    • Enabled SSL/TLS cipher suites: vault.ssl.enabled-cipher-suites (since 2.3.2, optional, cipher suites separated with comma)

  • Authentication method: vault.authentication (defaults to TOKEN, supported authentication methods are: TOKEN, APPID, APPROLE, AWS_EC2, AWS_IAM, AZURE, CERT, CUBBYHOLE, KUBERNETES)

Authentication-specific property keys

  • Vault Token: vault.token

  • AppId path: (defaults to app-id)

  • AppId:

  • UserId: MAC_ADDRESS and IP_ADDRESS use MacAddressUserId, respective IpAddressUserId user id mechanisms. Any other value is used with StaticUserId.

  • AppRole path: (defaults to approle)

  • RoleId:

  • SecretId: (optional)

  • AWS EC2 path: (defaults to aws-ec2)

  • Role:

  • RoleId: (deprecated: use instead)

  • Identity Document URL: (defaults to

  • Role:

No configuration options.

  • Initial Vault Token: vault.token

  • Kubernetes path: vault.kubernetes.kubernetes-path (defaults to kubernetes)

  • Role: vault.kubernetes.role

  • Path to service account token file: vault.kubernetes.service-account-token-file (defaults to /var/run/secrets/

Execution callbacks

One common design feature of all Spring template classes is that all functionality is routed into one of the templates execute callback methods. This helps ensure that exceptions and any resource management that maybe required are performed consistency. While this was of much greater need in the case of JDBC and JMS than with Vault, it still offers a single spot for access and logging to occur. As such, using the execute callback is the preferred way to access the Vault API to perform uncommon operations that we’ve not exposed as methods on VaultTemplate.

Here is a list of execute callback methods.

  • <T> T doWithVault (RestOperationsCallback<T> callback) Executes the given RestOperationsCallback, allows to interact with Vault using RestOperations without requiring a session.

  • <T> T doWithSession (RestOperationsCallback<T> callback) Executes the given RestOperationsCallback, allows to interact with Vault in an authenticated session.

Here is an example that uses the ClientCallback to initialize Vault:

vaultOperations.doWithVault(new RestOperationsCallback<VaultInitializationResponse>() {

  public VaultInitializationResponse doWithRestOperations(RestOperations restOperations) {

    ResponseEntity<VaultInitializationResponse> exchange = restOperations
                       .exchange("/sys/init", HttpMethod.PUT,
                                 new HttpEntity<Object>(request),

    return exchange.getBody();