This page applies to an earlier version of the AppDynamics App IQ Platform.
For the latest documentation, see the 4.5 Documentation.

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You can use system properties to set the Java agent configuration properties dynamically.

This configuration approach is useful when you have multiple JVMs running on a single machine. In this type of environment, you can use values passed at JVM startup to identify the node.

The JVMs may be in the same tier or on different tiers in the AppDynamics model. In either case:

  • All of the common information should be configured using controller-info.xml.
  • All of the information unique to a JVM should be configured using the system properties (-D option) in the startup script.
  • Information in the startup scripts always overrides the information in the controller-info.xml file.

See the what system properties are available for the Java Agent, see Java Agent Configuration Properties

Referencing System Properties

You can reference system properties from the command line or in the agent configuration file to specify the node name, tier name, or other agent configuration properties dynamically. 

For example, consider an Java application started with a script named The script defines a system property as follows:$1

The property will get the value of the first argument passed when starting the script. For example, the following command to start the JVM would bind the property to the value ecommerce01: ecommerce01

You can use this value in your agent configuration by setting the -Dappdynamics.agent.nodeName property at startup as follows.


Or, you can use the value in the controller-info.xml file, using the following format: 


For example:


Note that is simply the name of a sample system property used here to identify the node. Use an appropriate system property that is available in your environment for the Java agent node name. 

To have tier names assigned dynamically as well, supply a dynamic value to the tier name property, as follows:

java -javaagent:<agent_home>/javaagent.jar -Dappdynamics.agent.tierName=$tierName -Dappdynamics.agent.nodeName=$nodeName

Combining Properties

You can combine multiple system properties to name nodes or tiers. For example, in controller-info.xml, combine properties as follows:


You can combine system properties with literals. In the following example "_" and "inventory" are literals.


You can use existing system properties for the Controller host and port settings as well; however, combining properties as shown here is not supported for those settings.