How to Create Maven Projects? [With Coding Examples]

In this article, we’ll tackle some general questions about Maven, such as, “What is Maven?” and discover how you can work on Maven project ideas. You’ll find out how to start Maven projects and the basics you should be familiar with. 

What is Maven?

Apache Maven is a project management tool for Java-based projects. It started as a tool to handle tasks in the Jakarta Turbine project. Maven’s developers wanted a standard method to create and manage the project as there were various projects under the Jakarta Turbine one. As a result, they created Maven, which has become one of Apache’s most popular tools. 

Maven projects have easier to build processes and have uniform systems for the same. Accessing project information is very easy with Maven because of its proper and straightforward storage method. 

Maven creates projects through POM (project object model), which ensures uniformity among all Maven projects. If you have worked on one Maven project in the past, you won’t face any difficulty working on another. This is one of the biggest reasons why Maven got so popular among developers. 

How to Create Maven Projects?

Before you create your project in Maven, you’ll need a place where it can be stored. So, we’ll make a directory and start a shell there. To do all this, you have to open your command line and run the Maven goal below:

mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.mycompany.app -DartifactId=my-app -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart -DarchetypeVersion=1.4 -DinteractiveMode=false

Remember that the code might take some time to execute if you run it right after installing Maven. It happens because Maven downloads the latest plugin jars and other relevant artifacts into your selected repository. Sometimes, you might have to run the command several times for it to succeed. That happens because their remote servers time out sometimes, but it’s not a serious problem, and you can fix it. 

After you run the command we mentioned above, you’ll see the following directory with the same as its artifactId. The directory would be:

cd my-app

You’d see that the directory has the following project structure:

my-app

|– pom.xml

`– src

    |– main

    | `– java

    | `– com

    | `– mycompany

    | `– app

    | `– App.java

    `– test

        `– java

            `– com

                `– mycompany

                    `– app

                        `– AppTest.java

Here, the src/main/java directory has the source code, the pom.xml is the Project Object Model, and the src/test/java has the test source. 

Our code executes the goal archetype:generate. Our code also passes in multiple parameters to this goal. The ‘archetype’ prefix is the name of the plugin, which gives the goal. So our archetype:generate goal creates a small and simple project based on maven-archetype-quickstart. We can say that plugins are only multiple goals grouped for a particular task. 

Read: Library Management System Project in Java

What is POM?

It is the center of Maven projects and their configuration. The pom.xml file is a configuration file that stores most of the necessary information for building a project in your desired manner. The POM file can be quite massive and complex, but it isn’t necessary to know about its technical aspects to use it properly. The POM for our project is the following:

<project xmlns=”http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0″ xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”

 xsi:schemaLocation=”http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd”>

 <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

 <groupId>com.mycompany.app</groupId>

 <artifactId>my-app</artifactId>

 <version>1.0-SNAPSHOT</version>

 <properties>

   <maven.compiler.source>1.7</maven.compiler.source>

   <maven.compiler.target>1.7</maven.compiler.target>

 </properties>

 <dependencies>

   <dependency>

     <groupId>junit</groupId>

     <artifactId>junit</artifactId>

     <version>4.12</version>

     <scope>test</scope>

   </dependency>

 </dependencies>

</project>

Here is a simple run-through of essential POM elements:

  • project: The highest element in every pom.xml file
  • groupId: The identifier of the project’s creator group. It is always unique and is one of the most critical identifiers of a project. 
  • url: It shows the location (the site) of the project. 
  • modelVersion: It shows the version of the object model the current POM is employing. While the object model’s version doesn’t change often, it’s crucial for keeping the project stable.
  • build: It performs tasks related to the management of plugins, declaring the directory structure, etc. 
  • version: It shows the artifact’s version your project has generated. Version management is quite tricky, and Apache Maven helps you substantially with that. 

There are many POM elements, and if you want to work on many Maven project ideas, it would be best to get familiar with them. However, you don’t need to be familiar with all of them if you’re a beginner.

Building Maven Projects

After the stuff we did in the earlier section, you’d have to use the following command line:

mvn package

It will print multiple actions with the following ending:

[INFO] ————————————————————————

[INFO] BUILD SUCCESS

[INFO] ————————————————————————

[INFO] Total time: 2.953 s

[INFO] Finished at: 2019-11-24T13:05:10+01:00

[INFO] ————————————————————————

You might wonder why this command didn’t have a prefix (like archetype:generate). That’s because it is a phase and not a goal. A build lifecycle is a proper sequence of various phases. Maven executes phases in the arrangement you provide. 

Checkout: How to Code, Compile and Run Java Projects

Using Maven with Java 9 (or later versions)

If you want to use Java 9 or later versions, you would have to use version 3.6.0 of maven-compiler-plugin and set maven.compiler.release to the Jave release you wish to target. That’s because the default version of Maven uses older versions of maven-compiler-plugin, which are incompatible with Java 9 and its later versions. Here’s an example of using Maven with later versions of Java:

  1.    <properties>
  2.        <maven.compiler.release>11</maven.compiler.release>
  3.    </properties>
  4.  
  5.    <build>
  6.        <pluginManagement>
  7.            <plugins>
  8.                <plugin>
  9.                    <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
  10.                    <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
  11.                    <version>3.8.1</version>
  12.                </plugin>
  13.            </plugins>
  14.        </pluginManagement>
  15.    </build>

As all Maven project ideas are based on Java, it would be best to know how to use this tool with later versions. 

Learn More About Maven

Maven is a fantastic tool for any software professional or project manager. Not only does it help you in keeping things manageable, but it also keeps them simple and easy to comprehend. You can learn a lot about Apache Maven by working on a few Maven project ideas.

We hope that you found this article useful. If you have any thoughts or questions, you can let us know through the comments. We’d love to hear from you. 

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