Detailed Insight into Reloading of Configuration Files

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Most of the modern applications have an inbuilt capability to reload their configuration file while they are running on the server. Here the developer can even modify the application without any need for restarting the application. In such application, the messaging engine of the application has access to all the updates even when it is not re-started.

For a forced reloading of configuration files, the developers can use various tools to send a command to the system. The simple point is that a reload of the configuration file is a simple and fast process when compared to shutting down and restart of the entire application.

Major Goals Involved while Reloading of Configuration Files

  • For a system administrator/operator to trigger a reloading of configuration files, it must be a simple process.
  • While we prepare to reload a configuration file, care must be taken to save the original one. A system will have runtime errors if there is a fault in the new configuration file. In such a case the system must revert to the old configuration file to avoid any downtime.
  • When the system is undergoing the change from an old configuration file to a new configuration file, the applications should switch smoothly. The developer/administrator must ensure this, he must also ensure that the applications are running with a ‘consistent configuration file’.
  • It is also important for the application itself to provide immediate feedback so that the user knows what the application is doing at the given time. The notification, logging in and out and the statistics about the reloaded configuration file should also be available.

How does Reloading of Configuration Files Work?

In the case where a developer requires information to change in a running application he either must restart the server or update it to use a new configuration file entry. The developer can update and then reload a configuration file for a running application. Here are some points that the developer needs to keep in mind regarding the reloading of configuration files when it is on the target machine. The developer can use for following options to seek support from the applications too.

  • If the application is enabled to reload, then the developer has to restart the messaging engine for updates to get into effect.
  • While developer gives a ‘PUSH’ to the applications, the ‘custom script’ which is being run can be further used to send the ‘SIGHUP’ command for the applications that support this functionality.
  • Developers can also use another option to find any kind of change done in the timestamp and then reload the required configuration file.
  • The developer can also insert a ‘Configuration timestamp variable’ in the configuration files of the applications. They can update this process after carrying out any kind of application deployment work.
  • Moreover, developers can also check the ‘Timestamp Property’, this is very similar to the ‘Timestamp detection’ process/property.

Developers have several ways to and tools available to reload a configuration file. They can even use system commands to do so. Reloading of configuration files is a simple and straightforward process. Developers can use commands that they feel fit for the application where they wish to reload a configuration file properly.

In configuration file hell? Take a look at Config, the easiest way to manage your application configuration across all your servers and environments.

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