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by Gertrude Pieper last modified 2010-08-27 13:59

Maven is a tool for the management and construction of software projects, especially for those based on Java. Maven has similar goals to make and ant, but with greater emphasis on the configuration by convention.

Maven is hosted by the Apache Software Foundation, and can be found at:

The main goals of Maven are:

  • Facilitate the process of compilation and construction of the project.
  • Generate quality documentation for the project.
  • Provide development guidelines based on best practices.
  • To facilitate seamless migration to new features of Maven.

Setting up a Maven project is done through the pom.xml file, which describes the main properties of the project and its dependencies with other modules and external components, as well as the Maven configuration to be applied. On the Maven website there is a reference guide on the pom.xml file format

Following the philosophy of configuration by convention, Maven defines a standard project structure:

|-- pom.xml
`-- src
    |-- main
    |   |-- java
    |   `-- resources
    `-- test
        |-- java
        `-- resources

If we follow this structure (but if it is different, it can be configured) with a basic configuration, we can perform the typical tasks of any Java project, already predefined in Maven:

  • Compilation of code.
  • Packaging in .jar, .war or .ear files.
  • Generation of javadoc and other reports.
  • Implementation of unit tests.
  • etc.

Each task is determined by a Maven objective, with its name passed as a parameter. Example:

mvn install

There are two main versions of Maven: 1.0 and 2.0. The latter version is used in gvSIG.

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