Backwards compatibility when changing Spring Boot externalized configuration

Is there a recommended way to introduce restructurings/renamings into an externalized configuration while keeping backwards compatibility for consumers still relying on the old configuration structure?

For example, given a library used the following configuration structure defined via @ConfigurationProperties in the past:

    old-property: true
    custom-property: 1234

A new version of that library redefines the configuration to something like this:

  a-property: true
  another-property: 1234

Is there a good way to deprecate the old structure while keeping compatibility for existing consumers for some time? Consumers using the new version of the library should still be able to use and have that automatically mapped to my-library.a-property.

I’m aware of the functionality to use additional configuration metadata to mark a property as deprecated, but I’m explicitly looking for a way to support both versions to ease migration.


I looked into how Spring Boot handled the deprecation phase for logging.file (which was replaced by and as they implemented the fallback directly in code I decided to try something similar by creating the new @ConfigurationProperties in a @Bean method which handles setting the values from old property names if available.

Given the new configuration structure looks like this (using Lombok for brevity):

import lombok.Data;

public class MyLibraryConfigurationProperties {

    private String aProperty;
    private String anotherProperty;


The @Bean method now takes care of reading the old value and applying it to the properties:

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.core.env.Environment;

public class MyLibraryConfiguration {

    @ConfigurationProperties(prefix = "my-library")
    public MyLibraryConfigurationProperties myLibraryConfigurationProperties(Environment environment) {
        MyLibraryConfigurationProperties config = new MyLibraryConfigurationProperties();

        // fallback to old property if available
        if (environment.containsProperty("")) {
            // here we could also log warnings regarding the deprecation

        return config;

If the new value is also set via config, it will override the value set from the old property.

Source: stackoverflow