All three major IDEs (IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse and Netbeans) provide either plugins or built-in features for code completion in files in a Spring Boot project:

Besides completion, you also see, that all properties are typed (and validated), and if present a Javadoc is shown.

Fortunately this feature can also be used for custom defined properties. There are 2 prerequisites for that:

  • You have to use classes annotated with @ConfigurationProperties which holds fields that are mapped to your properties
  • You have to add the spring-boot-configuration-processor plugin as dependency to your project

Part 1: @ConfigurationProperties

Spring Boot provides the annotation @ConfigurationProperties which can be used on classes, that hold the property values at runtime.

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix = "hornetq_health")
public class HornetQHealthConfigurationProperties {

     * Threshold per queue name.
    private Map<String, Integer> thresholds;

    private Integer count;

    private List<String> list;

The property name is generated from the prefix attribute plus the field names, in this case there are three properties available:

  • hornetq_health.thresholds
  • hornetq_health.count
  • hornetq_health.list

Javadoc must be on the field, not on the getter or setter to take effect.

Part 2: Configure the spring-boot-configuration-processor plugin

To activate the plugin, just add it as optional dependency in your POM:


If you recompile (or make) the project, the plugin will create a JSON file in the path target/classes/META-INF/spring-configuration-metadata-json. The file contains a list of all properties with type and Javadoc information and will be evaluated by the IDE plugins.

Enable mapping of the configuration properties

There are two ways to enable the population of the configuration properties classes

  • Add the annotation @EnableConfigurationProperties on one of your configuration classes
  • Add the annotation (@EnableConfigurationProperties(HornetQHealthConfigurationProperties.class) on the bean, where you inject the configuration properties class (replace the class name attribute with your own properties class)

Download the example

You can clone the repository with an example from my Github account: