Using App Tokens

Apps can make use of tokens where the replacement can be configured depending on the environment (e.g. dev, uat, prod, etc). Tokens take the format @[A-Z\.]+@, for example @MY.TOKEN@, and can be included in any text file used by your app. There are two mechanisms used when finding token replacements.

Property Files

BRJS will first attempt to locate a token replacement in the <app-dir>/app-properties/default.propertiesfile, but will subsequently look for overrides in an environment specific .properties file, for example <app-dir>/app-properties/

Properties files should have the format:

MY.TOKEN=my token replacement

dev is the default environment when running brjs serve and prod is the default environment when running brjs build-app. To explicitly set the environment, use the -e flag with these commands, for example:

./brjs serve -e prod

which will first read properties from <app-dir>/app-properties/, and will then look for overrides in <app-dir>/app-properties/ Tokens can be included in any text based files served via BRJS, for example JavaScript; HTML and XML.

Non J2EE apps must provide a replacement for all properties used within the app — if a replacement is not provided an exception will be thrown — whereas J2EE apps (i.e. those that have a WEB-INF directory) can opt to provide some tokens via JNDI (see below).

Note: Apps that use different properties files for different environments will need to build their apps once for each environment.

JNDI Replacement

J2EE apps can use JNDI to provide token replacements. This gives the advantage that a single artifact can be generated, where the JNDI tokens can be configured differently on each of the target environments. To use JNDI tokens in development, configure <app-dir>/WEB-INF/jetty-env.xml to provide the replacements, for example:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE Configure PUBLIC "-//Jetty//Configure//EN" "">
<Configure id="webAppCtx" class="org.eclipse.jetty.webapp.WebAppContext">
    <!-- required to stop Jetty warning that no transaction manager has been set -->
    <New id="tx" class="">

    <!-- define the token and it's replacement -->
    <New class="">
        <Arg><Ref id='webAppCtx'/></Arg>
        <Arg type="java.lang.String">My JNDI token replacement</Arg>
        <Arg type="boolean">true</Arg>

In production, how JNDI is configured will depend on the J2EE App Server you are deploying to.

The J2EE filter responsible for the JNDI token replacement only filters requests with set file extensions; by default, a regular expression of js|xml|json|html|htm|jsp is used. To add or remove extensions set the extensionRegex init parameter for the filter within your app's web.xml, for example:


BRJS System Tokens

Tokens beginning BRJS. are system tokens and cannot be overridden within .properties files or JNDI. The following system tokens are currently supported:

  • BRJS.APP.NAME: The name of the app.
  • BRJS.APP.VERSION: The app version — either automatically generated or specified by using the -v flag.
  • BRJS.APP.LOCALE: If used in an index page will be replaced with the page's locale, otherwise replaced with the app's default locale.
  • BRJS.BUNDLE.PATH: A relative path to the directory containing the app's bundles — this should be used by library code needing to reference bundles since the relative URL will change depending on the versioning mechanism in use by the app.

Token Format Ambiguity

The token format `@[A-Z\.]+@` is occasionally used by other libraries for things such as date placeholders, and can lead to ambiguity as to whether or not it's a token that should be replaced by BRJS. In order to prevent apps from being built and deployed with un-replaced tokens, BRJS will throw an exception if a token replacement can't be found, but this behaviour results in exceptions for libraries where the intention is to use the literal characters rather than a token.

This can be resolved by adding a token replacement in `app-properties/` which changes the token to a format not used by BRJS — for example, the lowercase version of the characters. Consider the `amCharts` library that uses the token `@AAAA@` to represent a date replacement. Here, adding the replacement `@AAAA@ = @aaaa@` within `app-properties/` fixes the exception without requiring a change to the library's source code.

The necessary token replacement configuration for libraries known to be problematic is provided below. Please raise a pull request to add additional libraries.


# amcharts date tokens