when the PropertyPlaceholderConfigurer is used, the default properties (defined in the bean code) get overridden by the values that are defined in the properties file. If the properties file did not exist, the bean will not be crezted. I would like to make the properties file optional. Also looked at the PropertyOverrideConfigurer. Still can't figure out how to make the bean work with default values when the properties file is absent. Any clue is greatly appreciated.