Setting and Referencing Properties

As said in the introduction of this section, properties are name/value pairs. This subsection gives basic information about setting and referencing properties. This subsection is written as a tutorial to allow you to get hands-on experience. You can check your work against the solution.

Please perform the following steps:

  1. Please install Frank!Runner and set up your instance as explained in Getting Started if you did not do so already.

  2. Within Frank2Manual/configurations, create a subdirectory properties to start a new configuration with that name.

  3. Please add file Configuration.xml with the following contents:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <!DOCTYPE configuration [
      <!ENTITY ReferenceProperties SYSTEM "ConfigurationReferenceProperties.xml">
  4. Please make a file Give it the following contents:

    my.text=My text is ${my.hello}

The file allows you to set properties. The key is to the left of the = sign, while the value is to the right. Property names are words separated by dots. Lines starting with # are comments, which are ignored by the Frank!Framework.

Both in property files and in XML Frank config files, you can reference properties. To do this, surround the property name with ${ and }. In the property file above, property my.text is defined with value My text is ${my.hello}, which means that the value of property my.hello should be substituted to get the value of property my.text. Note that property my.hello can be defined after a property that references it, in this case my.text.

  1. Please create file ConfigurationReferenceProperties.xml with the following contents:

    <Adapter name="AccessProperties">
      <Receiver name="receiverAccessProperties">
        <JavaListener name="listenerAccessProperties" />
      <Pipeline firstPipe="accessProperties">
        <Exit state="success" path="Exit" />
        <FixedResultPipe name="accessProperties"
            returnString="From stage ${dtap.stage}, I say ${my.text}" >
          <Forward name="success" path="Exit" />

    The highlighted line shows that properties are referenced by surrounding the property name with ${ and } as said before.

  2. Execute adapter AccessProperties using the Test Pipeline screen.

  3. The Frank!Framework replaces property references by the values of the referenced properties. The default value for dtap.stage is LOC (only if you are using Frank!Runner, otherwise there is no default). Check that the output is:

    From stage LOC, I say My text is Hello
  4. For some application servers, you can also set Java properties like -Dproperty="value". These properties are then defined within the Frank!Framework. This applies to Apache Tomcat and also for Frank!Runner. Please stop Frank!Runner. Restart Frank!Runner with an argument to set a Java property:

    frank-runner> start.bat -Dmy.hello="Hello there"
  5. When Frank!Runner is running again, please return to the Test Pipeline screen. Run adapter AccessProperties. The output should now be as follows:

    From stage LOC, I say My text is Hello there

Depending on your application server, there are different ways to set system properties. Details can be fond in chapter Administrator Manual.