how to call properties file from utility class

Hi all,

I'm trying to load a properties file in a utility class so that I can get it from either servlets or other utility classes. Below is my code I've been trying to do it with, which keeps throwing a NPE error. I've tried placing sql.properties in /WEB-INF and /WEB-INF/classes to no avail.

What I"m trying to achieve is a class that only loads the properties file once and then retains it in memory for quick access from other classes. Any insight/suggestions to my approach is certainly welcome :-)

Thanks in advance,

-Pat

import java.io.InputStream;
import java.util.Properties;
import org.apache.log4j.Logger;

public class MyProperties {

  static Logger logger            = Logger.getLogger(MyProperties.class.getName());
  private static Properties props = null;
  private static InputStream in   = null;
 
  static {
    try {
      in = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/WEB-INF/sql.properties");
      props.load(in);
      logger.info("sql.properties loaded");
    } catch (Exception e) {
      logger.error("Unable to load sql.properties, the error is: " + e);
    } finally {
      try {
        in.close();
      } catch (Exception ignored) {}
    }
  }
 
  public static Properties getProps() {
    return props;
  }
}
LVL 3
pat5starAsked:
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Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
> in = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/WEB-INF/sql.properties");

try:
in = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/sql.properties");
Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
with your properties file in:
/WEB-INF/classes
CEHJCommented:
You can save the reference in the application context
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CEHJCommented:
In fact you could probably put it in a servlet class and load it at startup so it's ready immediately for access
Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
Is props initialized?
tapasviCommented:
I would rather suggest that put properties file in a classpath, and access it with

String fileName = obj.getClass().getResource("/sql.properties").getFile();
File file = new File(fileName);

This is package independent so evenif you move your sql.properties file from

some.pkg. folder to some.other.pkg , you dont need to change the code for that. just change the env classpath setting and will work.
Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
> I would rather suggest that put properties file in a classpath, and access it with

Thats what Pat is attempting as I understand it.
And what the suggestion I posted above will achieve.

tapasviCommented:
yep, objects you were right partially..in the sense that code you gave was perfect. but

with your properties file in:
/WEB-INF/classes

this line was not required..only requirement is that file should be in classpath..
somehow i am not comfortable with putting propertis file with .class files...it should be outside of ear file.
tapasviCommented:
>..only requirement is that file should be in classpath..

this line is ambiguous...what I meant was...the directory where .properties file resides should be in the classpath..not the file itself.
Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
> i am not comfortable with putting propertis file with .class files.

but you want them in the classpath :)  whats the difference?

you could put them in:

/WEB-INF/classes/props/sql.properties

And then use:

in = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/props/sql.properties");

For this example another suggestion would be to specify the properties in web.xml, and not worry about an external properties file at all.
Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
If pat5star has posted his/ her entire code above in the question, then props.load(in); should throw a NullPointerException because props is null and not initialized to anything else anywhere.

pat5star, which line is throwing the NPE? Did you print the stack-trace?
grim_toasterCommented:
mayankeagle is correct, simply place the line:
props = new Properties();
Before your call to props.load and that should solve your null pointer exception
grim_toasterCommented:
There is one other thing though.  How are you getting your code to compile???  As the method call getClass() is not static, you will need an instance of the class in order to use it.
Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
In a static context you can use MyProperties.class instead of getClass().

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Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
Very true.... I guess he didn't post the exact code.
pat5starAuthor Commented:
Problem solved, here is the working code now:

import java.io.InputStream;
import java.util.Properties;
import org.apache.log4j.Logger;

public class MyProperties {

  static Logger logger            = Logger.getLogger(MyProperties.class.getName());
  private static Properties props = null;
  private static InputStream in   = null;
 
  static {
    try {
      in = MyProperties.class.getResourceAsStream("/sql.properties");
      props = new Properties();
      props.load(in);
      logger.info("sql.properties loaded");
    } catch (Exception e) {
      logger.error("Unable to load sql.properties, the error is: " + e);
    } finally {
      try {
        in.close();
      } catch (Exception ignored) {}
    }
  }
 
  public static Properties getProps() {
    return props;
  }
}


I really appreciate everyones input on this. I would like to split the points up because it was a combination of  Objects, mayankeagle, and grim_toaster's comments that helped me get this working. Can I even split them up 3 ways or is there a better solution? What would make everyone happy? Because I'm happy that it's working now :-)

CEHJ: I just wanted to mention that I appreciate your suggestion as I know that would work as well. I was going to revert to that if I couldn't get this working but I really prefer this approach as I don't have to bother with load-on-startup in the web.xml and because I plan to add to this class later as well. Thanks :-)

-Pat
Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
You have allocated enough points to this question to split between all the people who have answered on this page. Just click on the Split link and then you can split points between everyone, giving them as much as you want, out of 500.

Mayank.
Mick BarryJava DeveloperCommented:
pat5starAuthor Commented:
Done. Thanks all.

-Pat
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