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From David Weintraub <>
Subject Re: Replacing build variables in my application property files
Date Tue, 26 May 2009 17:14:28 GMT
We do something similar. However, all build files we produce are
placed in a target directory (much like Maven does). This makes it
easy to clean up after a build because we only need to delete a single

As part of our build process, we also have to do parameter
replacements. We do this by having the files that need these
replacements have a suffix of *.template added on to the end.

We then use the <copy> task to copy the files over. We do this in two
steps. The first copies the files over, but skips all *.template
files. The next <copy> task now copies over the *.template files.

We use a <glob> mapper to remove the *.template suffix and a <filters>
and <filtersfile> to do the filtering during the <copy> task:

    <!-- Copy the configuration files that don't contain tokens -->
        <copy todir="${target.dir}/work"
            <fileset dir="${src.dir}/main/resources">
                <exclude name="**/*.template"/>

        <!-- Copy the configurable files and replace any tokens -->
        <copy todir="${target.dir}/work"
            <fileset dir="${src.dir}/main/resource">
                <include name="**/*.template"/>
            <mapper type="glob"
                from="*.template" to="*"/>
            <filterset begintoken="@" endtoken="@">
                <filtersfile file="${}"/>

On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 12:36 PM, Avlesh Singh <> wrote:
> I am dealing with a web application which has a huge list of build
> parameters. This list ranges from multiple data sources, to REST based API
> Url's, to HTTP connection properties ...  I need to replace these values at
> build time in several confugiration/properties files residing in the
> applications classpath. To name a few - Hibernate property files, Spring
> property files etc.
> Currently, I am accomplising this by having replacable tokens (e.g
> _build.property_) in the above mentioned files. As a part of the build
> process (mostly the "war" target), I replace these tokens (using the
> replaceToken task) with their corresponding build property values. The only
> unfortunate part about all this is that my build.xml file looks horrible,
> mostly because, the files that I modified, need to be restored back to their
> original state. Only the distribution war for the application is desired to
> have those replaced values.
> I have a few questions:
>   1. Is there a better way of achieving this?
>   2. If no, is a wrapper task worth an ant contribution? I am basically
>   talking about a task which, given a fileset, would replace all occurences of
>   ${} in those files.
> Cheers
> Avlesh

David Weintraub

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