Last updated: January 26, 2021
Working with your Spring Boot application in IntelliJ
Integrating a Spring Boot application with IntelliJ is not difficult, as IntelliJ is designed for this scenario. However, there are a few things to consider that will make our lives easier.
Import your sources
Since we already have the first version of our CarParts microservice available, we use the import function of IntelliJ to create the project. This function is available either in the initial popup or, if we have already an opened project in IntelliJ, under "File → New → Project from existing sources". A project in IntelliJ can include several applications (so-called modules). In case we want to add our source code to an existing project, we can do this with "File → New → Modules from existing sources".
Import project from existing sources
In the popup we select
build.gradle (Gradle) or
(Maven) - IntelliJ will then automatically recognize everything else.
If we have several
pom.xml in our project, we select the top one.
Now we can already edit the
application.yml and configure our database
connection. Here we either use the environment variables (the part before the first
JDBC_DATABASE_URL) or adjust the fallback behind it, what we prefer
Adjusting our database connection
With a right click on the project and "Open Module Settings" we are at the project-specific settings - in our case we have to select the correct JDK for Java 8.
Selecting the JDK for our project
In the general settings ("File → Settings") there is also a preference for Gradle which I prefer to adjust. Under "Build → Build Tools → Gradle" the two settings "Build and run using" and "Run tests using" can be changed to IntelliJ.
Adjusting gradle preferences
Please also check out this article for the proper setup of Lombok in IntelliJ.
Starting the application
Now our Spring Boot application is ready to be launched. IntelliJ provides
the build tasks directly - we can start the application with
bootRun (Gradle) or
spring-boot:run (Maven). But we can also start our application with
our own RunConfiguration. For this purpose we create a new configuration of
the type "Application" under "Run → Edit Configurations"
- the settings for our CarPart application are as follows.
Creating a run configuration for our Spring Boot microservice
If we have a multi-module application, we select the hightest module ("web.main") at "Use classpath of module". In this way, we have all references modules ("base") included as well.
Now we can start our application from IntelliJ! If everything works,
our application should be available at
Using the local profile
If we don't want to commit our database settings to the version control, there
is also a nice way around it. In the application configuration we already entered
-Dspring.profiles.active=local and thus the profile "local" is
automatically active. Therefore we can also store our database settings in a new
This file is automatically taken up by Spring Boot when the application starts
with the corresponding profile. Since this file is listed in the
is not added to git and can be edited separately by each developer. Instead we may add another
application-local.example, ready to be copied and customized.