Creating Different Types of Artifacts (JAR, WAR, etc.) using Maven

Artifacts are essential components in software development that packages and distributes code in a standardized format. In Maven, an open-source build automation tool, creating different types of artifacts such as JAR (Java Archive) files, WAR (Web Application Archive) files, and more is straightforward. This article will guide you through the process of creating various types of artifacts using Maven.

Prerequisites

To follow along, ensure you have Maven installed on your system. If you haven't installed Maven yet, visit the official Apache Maven website (https://maven.apache.org/download.cgi) and download the appropriate version for your operating system.

Creating a JAR Artifact

A JAR artifact is a package format that contains compiled Java classes, resources, and metadata files. To create a JAR artifact using Maven, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the root directory of your Maven project.
  2. Verify the presence of a pom.xml file, which contains the project's configuration and dependencies.
  3. Execute the following Maven command: mvn package.
    • This command triggers the package phase of the Maven build lifecycle, which compiles the source code and packages it into a JAR file.
    • The resulting JAR artifact is typically located in the target/ directory.

Creating a WAR Artifact

A WAR artifact is primarily used for packaging web applications, including JSP files, HTML pages, and static resources like JavaScript and CSS files. To create a WAR artifact using Maven, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the root directory of your Maven project.
  2. Verify the presence of a pom.xml file, which contains the project's configuration and dependencies.
  3. Execute the following Maven command: mvn package.
    • This command triggers the package phase of the Maven build lifecycle, similar to creating a JAR artifact.
    • The resulting WAR artifact is, by default, located in the target/ directory and has the .war extension.

Creating an Uber JAR Artifact

An Uber JAR (also known as a fat JAR or shaded JAR) is a JAR artifact that contains all of its dependencies, allowing it to be executed with a single command. This is particularly useful for creating standalone applications that can be easily distributed without worrying about external dependencies. To create an Uber JAR artifact using Maven, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the root directory of your Maven project.
  2. Verify the presence of a pom.xml file, which contains the project's configuration and dependencies.
  3. Add the Maven Shade Plugin to your pom.xml file: xml <build> <plugins> <plugin> <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId> <artifactId>maven-shade-plugin</artifactId> <version>3.2.4</version> <executions> <execution> <phase>package</phase> <goals> <goal>shade</goal> </goals> <configuration> <transformers> <transformer implementation="org.apache.maven.plugins.shade.resource.ManifestResourceTransformer"> <mainClass>com.example.Main</mainClass> </transformer> </transformers> </configuration> </execution> </executions> </plugin> </plugins> </build>
    • This configuration adds the Maven Shade Plugin, which will generate the Uber JAR artifact during the package phase.
    • Make sure to replace com.example.Main with the fully qualified name of the main class in your project.
  4. Execute the following Maven command: mvn package.
    • This command will trigger the package phase, including the shading process, creating an Uber JAR artifact.
    • The resulting Uber JAR artifact will be located in the target/ directory and typically has the -shaded.jar suffix.

Conclusion

Thanks to Maven's efficient build system, creating different types of artifacts such as JAR, WAR, and Uber JAR becomes incredibly streamlined. By following the steps outlined in this article, you'll be able to package your code, dependencies, and resources effortlessly, ensuring smooth distribution and deployment of your software projects.

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