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Spring Boot: Profiles

Spring Boot has a concept of profiles, which are different contexts in which your application might run.

The first thing to note is that Maven profiles and Spring Boot profiles are different concepts with the same name, which can be very confusing! Be sure, before you read on, that you aren’t confusing the two!

The use case for Spring Profiles

For example, we might define profiles for:

  • development
  • production
  • test

Or for:

  • h2
  • postgres

It is possible to have more than one profile active; there are pros and cons to this. It is helpful to separate concerns, but it can also be difficult to make sure that every combination of profiles works properly.

Defining which Spring Boot profile runs


On localhost: you can can include an option on the mvn spring-boot:run command as documented here. For example, to run with the production and postgres profiles, you can use:

mvn,postgres spring-boot:run


For Heroku, the command that runs your application by default (unless you override it in a Procfile) (as documented here) is:

java -Dserver.port=$PORT $JAVA_OPTS -jar target/*.jar

So, you can override the default profile by defining an Environment Variable (Heroku calls these Config Vars) called JAVA_OPTS and setting the value to this, for example, to set the active profiles to production and postgres:,postgres