Creating a custom FileRepository

Adding your own file repository is done by providing a custom implementation of FileRepository which hands out a custom implementation of FileResource of FolderResource. All consumer code should only work against these 2 interfaces.

Guidelines for FileResource and FolderResource

Valid FileRepository implementations should adhere to the following conventions, no matter the underlying storage engine:

  • FileResource and FolderResource instances must be returned if they can potentially be created. The actual existence of resources should be checked with calls to exists().

  • FileResource writing should never fail on the creation of intermediate folder resources. The latter should be created automatically when writing to a file resource.

  • Calls to exists() should return true if the resource exists from a consumer point of view. This usually means that the contents of a folder can be queried without throwing exceptions.

    This is especially relevant for storage engines the do not truly support standalone folders (like Amazon S3).

  • Calls to FolderResource.create() should return true only if the storage engine created the actual folder. If create() was true, subsequent calls to exists() should return true as well.

  • Calls to FolderResource.create() should return false if the storage engine does not support standalone folders. An exception should never be thrown in this case.

  • Calls to FolderResource.delete(boolean) or FileResource.delete() should not throw an exception if delete failed, but return false instead.

Further implementation details can be found in the Javadoc attached to the interfaces involved.

Useful base classes

FileManagerModule provides some classes which can be used as a base for custom implementations.


AbstractFileRepository is a general purpose base class for file repository implementations. Developers usually only need to implement :

FileResource buildFileResource( FileDescriptor descriptor );
FolderResource buildFolderResource( FolderDescriptor descriptor );

All specifics are to be implemented in the actual FileResource and FolderResource implementation.

The AbstractFileRepository provides all external repository methods and supports automatic generation of unique file descriptors, with support for a PathGenerator.


AbstractExpiringFileRepository can be used as a base class for file repositories that want to use expiration semantics as they are present in ExpiringFileRepository and CachingFileRepository.

The abstract base class implements the expiration, eviction and shutdown semantics. Implementations need to provide the actual FileResource implementation and implement what needs to happen upon expiry.

Temporary file support

In addition to the FileResource interface, a resource can implement the FileResource.TargetFile interface as well. This interface provides access to a write-safe File instance of the resource.

interface TargetFile
     * @return physical file instance
    File getTargetFile();

Only repositories providing TargetFile implementations can be used as the temp repository.

See also the section on temporary files.