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1. Overview

In this quick tutorial, we’ll show how to read a YAML properties file using the @PropertySource annotation in Spring Boot.

2. @PropertySource and YAML Format

Spring Boot has great support for externalized configuration. Also, it’s possible to use different ways and formats to read the properties in the Spring Boot application out-of-the-box.

However, by default, @PropertySource doesn’t load YAML files. This fact is explicitly mentioned in the official documentation.

So, if we want to use the @PropertySource annotation in our application, we need to stick with the standard properties files. Or we can implement the missing puzzle piece ourselves!

3. Custom PropertySourceFactory

As of Spring 4.3, @PropertySource comes with the factory attribute. We can make use of it to provide our custom implementation of the PropertySourceFactory, which will handle the YAML file processing.

This is easier than it sounds! Let’s see how to do this:

public class YamlPropertySourceFactory implements PropertySourceFactory {

    public PropertySource<?> createPropertySource(String name, EncodedResource encodedResource) 
      throws IOException {
        YamlPropertiesFactoryBean factory = new YamlPropertiesFactoryBean();

        Properties properties = factory.getObject();

        return new PropertiesPropertySource(encodedResource.getResource().getFilename(), properties);

As we can see, it’s enough to implement a single createPropertySource method.

In our custom implementation, first, we used the YamlPropertiesFactoryBean to convert the resources in YAML format to the java.util.Properties object.

Then, we simply returned a new instance of the PropertiesPropertySource, which is a wrapper that allows Spring to read the parsed properties.

4. @PropertySource and YAML in Action

Let’s now put all the pieces together and see how to use them in practice.

First, let’s create a simple YAML file – foo.yml:

  name: foo
    - abc
    - xyz

Next, let’s create a properties class with @ConfigurationProperties and use our custom YamlPropertySourceFactory:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix = "yaml")
@PropertySource(value = "classpath:foo.yml", factory = YamlPropertySourceFactory.class)
public class YamlFooProperties {

    private String name;

    private List<String> aliases;

    // standard getter and setters

And finally, let’s verify that the properties are properly injected:

public class YamlFooPropertiesIntegrationTest {

    private YamlFooProperties yamlFooProperties;

    public void whenFactoryProvidedThenYamlPropertiesInjected() {
        assertThat(yamlFooProperties.getAliases()).containsExactly("abc", "xyz");

5. Conclusion

To sum up, in this quick tutorial, we first showed how easy it is to create a custom PropertySourceFactory. After that, we presented how to pass this custom implementation to the @PropertySource using its factory attribute.

Consequently, we were able to successfully load the YAML properties file into our Spring Boot application.

As usual, all the code examples are available over on GitHub.

Course – LS – All

Get started with Spring and Spring Boot, through the Learn Spring course:

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