What is the FileManager?

The FileManager is the central component for translating a FileDescriptor into its FileResource and as such gaining access to the actual file data.

It allows you to:

  • create new file resources (for saving new files)

  • retrieve existing file resources

  • delete file resources

  • check the existence of a file resource

  • create native temporary files (File instances)

  • retrieve a specific FileRepository

FileManagerModule automatically creates and exposes a single FileManager service which can be used throughout the application. The single FileManager component has an index of all available file repositories.

Example working with the FileManager
private FileManager fileManager;

FileResource newResource = fileManager.createFileResource( "someRepository" ); (1)
newResource.copyFrom( physicalFile ); (2)

FileResource retrieved = fileManager.getFileResource( physicalFile.getFileDescriptor() ); (3)
1 create a new FileResource in the repository with id someRepository
2 copy some data to the newly created file resource
3 fetch the same FileResource again by its assigned FileDescriptor

Creating file resources

A file resource is uniquely identified by its FileDescriptor. The latter also determines the actual file repository into which the resource should be stored.

The FileManager will route a request to the appropriate repository based on the repository id in the FileDescriptor.

A valid FileDescriptor will always result in a FileResource instance being created. This does not mean there is an actual physical item behind it, a physical item is often only created when data is written to the resource.

When you receive a FileResource it should have been validated by the backing FileRepository and you should be able to write to it. If your descriptor would result in an invalid resource, an exception should be thrown.

Checking if physical data for a resource already exists can be done by calling FileResource.exists().

Examples creating file resources
fileManager.createFileResource(); (1)
fileManager.createFileResource( "images" ); (2)
fileManager.getFileRepository( "images" ).createFileResource(); (3)

fileManager.getFileResource( FileDescriptor.of( "my-repo:myfile.txt" ) ); (4)
1 create a unique file resource in the default repository - a new, unique FileDescriptor will be assigned and this file resource is guaranteed not to exist yet.
2 create a unique file resource in the images repository (identical to 3)
3 fetch the images repository, and create a unique file resource in it (identical to 2)
4 get the FileResource for the descriptor, this will potentially create a new resource if it does not exist yet, or return the existing instance

Whenever a repository cannot be found - which is the equivalent of an invalid FileDescriptor, an exception should be thrown. See the page on file repositories for information on how to register a FileRepository.

Predefined repository ids

FileManager has 2 predefined repository ids:


Represents the default file repository.


Represents the repository for temporary files.

The default file repository

FileManager is an interface which extends FileRepository. Even though the FileManager is a facade to access all known repositories, it is itself also a repository.

Whenever you call a repository method directly on the FileManager, that method call will be forwarded to the repository registered with id default. As such the following two statements are equivalent:

fileManager.getFileRepository( "default" ).createFileResource()

You can change the actual implementation of the default repository by manually registering a FileRepository with id default. The default repository can be any type of implementation.

Creating temporary files

FileManager can also be used to quickly create native temporary files:

File file = fileManager.createTempFile();

Behind the scenes FileManager will actually create and allocate (initialize with empty data) a new FileResource on the FileRepository with id temp. It will then directly return the physical File that the resource represents.

The File returned is unique, can safely be used for writing to and can be deleted or transferred to another file resource when ready.

The default temp repository is a LocalFileRepository in the temp folder defined by the system property. You can change the actual implementation of the default repository by manually registering a FileRepository with id temp.

Repository limitation

The temp repository is limited by the fact that the FileResource it returns must also implement FileResource.TargetFile to give access to the physical target File. As temporary files are almost always used for near storage (performance), a LocalFileRepository is mostly used.

See the separate section on temporary files for information on regular file repositories with expiration mechanics.