Grails Goodness: Using External Configuration Files Per Environment

Grails 3 is build on top of Spring Boot and this adds a lot of the Spring Boot features to our Grails application. For example in Spring Boot we can store configuration properties in an external file. A default Grails application already adds application.yml in the grails-app/conf directory. If we want to specify different values for a configuration property for each environment (like development, test and production) we can use environment section in application.yml. We know this from previous Grails versions with a Groovy configuration file Config.groovy. But we can also create different configuration files per environment and set the value for the configuration property in each file. We can use the following naming pattern for the file: application-{env}.yml or application-{env}.properties. These files need be in:

  1. a config directory in the directory the application is running from
  2. the root of the directory the application is running from
  3. in a /config package on the classpath
  4. in the root of the classpath

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Grails Goodness: Defining Spring Beans With doWithSpring Method

Grails 3 introduces GrailsAutoConfiguration as the base class for a Grails application. We can extend this class, add a main method and we are ready to go. By default this class is the Application class in the grails-app/init directory. We can override several Grails lifecycle methods from the GrailsAutoConfiguration base class. One of them is doWithSpring. This method must return a closure that can be used by the Grails BeanBuilder class to add Spring beans to the application context. The closure has the same syntax as what we already know for the grails-app/conf/spring/resources.groovy file, we know from previous Grails versions.

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Grails Goodness: Passing System Properties With Gradle

In a previous post we learned how to pass Java system properties from the command-line to a Java process defined in a Gradle build file. Because Grails 3 uses Gradle as the build tool we can apply the same mechanism in our Grails application. We need to reconfigure the run task. This task is of type JavaExec and we can use the method systemProperties to assign the system properties we define on the command-line when we invoke the run task.

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Grails Goodness: Pass Configuration Values Via Environment Variables

Since Grails 3 is based on Spring Boot we can re-use many of the Spring Boot features in our Grails application. For example in a Spring Boot application we can use environment variables to give configuration properties a value. We simply need to follow some naming rules: the name of the configuration property must be in uppercase and dots are replaced with underscores. For example a configuration property feature.enabled is represented by the environment variable FEATURE_ENABLED.

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Grails Goodness: See Information About Plugins

In Grails we can use the list-plugins command to get a list of all available plugins. The list returns only the plugins that are available for the Grails version we are using. So if we invoke this command in Grails 3 we get a different list than a Grails 2.x version. To get more detailed information, like website, source code URL and dependency definition we use the plugin-info command.

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Grails Goodness: Custom Data Binding with @DataBinding Annotation

Grails has a data binding mechanism that will convert request parameters to properties of an object of different types. We can customize the default data binding in different ways. One of them is using the @DataBinding annotation. We use a closure as argument for the annotation in which we must return the converted value. We get two arguments, the first is the object the data binding is applied to and the second is the source with all original values of type SimpleMapDataBindingSource. The source could for example be a map like structure or the parameters of a request object.

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Grails Goodness: Set Log Level for Grails Artifacts

A good thing in Grails is that in Grails artifacts like controllers and services we have a log property to add log statements in our code. If we want to have the output of these log statements we must use a special naming convention for the log names. Each logger is prefixed with grails.app followed by the Grails artifact. Valid artifact values are controllers, services, domain, filters, conf and taglib. This is followed by the actual class name. So for example we have a controller SampleController in the package mrhaki.grails then the complete logger name is grails.app.controllers.mrhaki.grails.SampleContoller.

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Grails Goodness: Add Banner to Grails Application

Grails 3 is based on Spring Boot. This means we get a lot of the functionality of Spring Boot into our Grails applications. A Spring Boot application has by default a banner that is shown when the application starts. The default Grails application overrides Spring Boot’s behavior and disables the display of a banner. To add a banner again to our Grails application we have different options.

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Groovy @CompileStatic vs. Grails new @GrailsCompileStatic

Grails is built on Groovy which is known as a dynamic language. The dynamic nature of Groovy offers a lot of powerful features but also defers the detection of errors from compile time to runtime. To shorten the feedback cycle for your code Groovy has a handy annotation which will make sure that your classes is are statically compiled. This will give you fast feedback for a lot of mistakes and you also will benefit from the increased performance offered by the static complication.
Unfortunately in Grails this annotation prevents you from using the very useful dynamic GORM methods like list(), get() and the dynamic finder methods. Groovy does not recognize these Grails methods during compile time; see the example below.

Grails version 2.4 comes with a new annotation called @GrailsCompileStatic. This annotation is able to recognize specific Grails code constructs and will make sure they will be accessed in a dynamic way.