Java Platform, Standard Edition Deployment Guide; section 21 at
The customer's description of the problem:
At issue is the following statement from paragraph 21.1.2:
"The deployment.system.config property is the URL to the system (enterprise-wide) deployment.properties file. This property can be used by system administrators to centrally administer or "lock-down" user-specific configuration settings. For local files, use the file protocol in the URL, for example, file:///C:/Windows/Sun/Java/Deployment/deployment.properties."
More specifically, the "example" in the above narrative.
The notation 'deployment.system.config=file:///C:/Windows/Sun/Java/Deployment/deployment.properties', does not work.
Instead, the following syntax (seemingly) MUST be used, else the contents of the deployment.config (and consequently, the deployment.properties file) are essentially IGNORED. The two files (config and properties) may as well not exist, otherwise:
Use this notation, instead "deployment.system.config=file\:\\C\:\\Windows\\Sun\\Java\\Deployment\\deployment.properties"
Note the change from forward slashes to backslashes, as well as the necessary 'escaping' done by the 'double-backslash'.
Apparently, this is important.
I have proven this, as I've tried both syntaxes. The Oracle documentation fails, while the escaped backslashed notation succeeds.