Atbash Configuration

A MicroProfile Config implementation for plain Java SE

The ability to define configuration values for your application outside the deployment artifact is very important. It is one of the 12-factor items, the requirement that your application can be unaltered deployed on test, acceptance, production, and so on.

Many framework and runtimes have their proprietary solution and there were already several attempts to create a specification within the Java Enterprise world.
Currently, there is an effort going on to define Jakarta Config which is based on the MicroProfile Config specification.

Although MicroProfile Config specification is built on top of CDI concepts, the fundamentals can be used in plain Java SE. Also, other implementations, like SmallRye Config can be used in Java SE without the need for CDI to be present.

Extraction from Atbash Runtime

The goal of Atbash Runtime was to have a modular runtime that supports the specifications of the Jakarta EE 10 core profile. The development of this runtime started before the release of the Core profile so it was based on the Jakarta EE 9.1 specifications and used MicroProfile Config as the basis for the future to finish Jakarta Config specification.

Atbash Runtime version 0.3 already contained an implementation of the config specification and passed the MP Config TCK.

Recent experimentations with the Atbash JWT module on plain Java SE confirmed the need for an MP Config implementation that runs on pure Java SE. Since the implementation within the Atbash was already nicely separated into different packages, the new library was quickly ready.

Using Atbash MP Configuration SE

Before you can use the configuration values, you need to add the following artifact to your project.


This dependency brings in all required dependencies using the transitive functionality of Maven, including the MicroProfile Config 3.0 API.

Now you can retrieve a Config instance programmatically and retrieve the values just as described in the specification.

    Config config = ConfigProvider.getConfig();
    String value = config.getValue("value", String.class);

All functionality that doesn’t require CDI is supported, including

  • ConfigSources, the 3 default implementations with their default ordinal values and the possibility to define custom ones through the ServiceLoader mechanism.
  • Custom ConfigSourceProvider‘s can be loaded through the ServiceLoader mechanism.
  • Converter, the implicitly defined one as specified in the specification and the possibility to define custom converters using the ServiceLoader mechanism.
  • Support for optional values
  • Support for expressions where a value is a result of combining other configuration values and constant expressions.
  • Support for Config Profile defining the application phase (dev, test, …) on the property and ConfigSource level.
  • Support for ConfigBuilder and creating custom Config instances.

Since MicroProfile Config 3.0 is using the Jakarta namespace, you make use of the @Priority within the jakarta package to define the order in the converter list if you define a custom one.

 import jakarta.annotation.Priority;

Information about library

The code is compiled with JDK 11 source compatibility, and is thus useable in that or any higher version.

The library and all dependencies, including the MicroProfile MP Config API code take about 240 kB. Logging is performed through the SLF4J library, and thus a specific binding is required if you want to see the log.

The library can also be used in a GraalVM native image. No additional configuration is required to be able to include it as native compiled Java code.

Use case

There are several use cases where this new library can be useful.

  • A plain Java SE program where some configuration values are needed. By adding the dependency, you have the MicroProfile Config functionality available through that small compact library.
  • Use it in a Jakarta runtime that doesn’t support any configuration framework for your application. An example is Glassfish, including the upcoming version 7, where no configuration specification is available for your application.


A version of the MicroProfile Config API that runs on Java SE only can be useful in several cases. Not only for Java SE applications themselves but also for runtimes like Glassfish that still don’t support any configuration possibilities for the deployed applications. And config is essential for writing good enterprise applications.

The Atbash MP Config SE was extracted from the Atbash Runtime that has an implementation of this specification as part of the experimentations around the Jakarta EE Core profile.

Better name

I also need a better name for this new library So if you have any ideas, let me know on Twitter or use the feedback form on the Training page. From the suggestion, I will pick one at the end of October 2022.

Update november 2022: The chosen name is Atbash Delivery. It delivers the configuration from your environment to your application.

Atbash Training and Support

Do you need a specific training session on Jakarta or MicroProfile? Or do you need some help in getting up and running with your next project? Have a look at the training support that I provide on the page and contact me for more information.