Maven by Example

6.2. The Simple Parent Project

A multi-module project is defined by a parent POM referencing one or more submodules. In the simple-parent/ directory, you will find the parent POM (also called the top-level POM) in simple-parent/pom.xml. See simple-parent Project POM.

simple-parent Project POM. 

<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/maven-v4_0_0.xsd">
    <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

    <groupId>org.sonatype.mavenbook.multi</groupId>
    <artifactId>simple-parent</artifactId>
    <packaging>pom</packaging>
    <version>1.0</version>
    <name>Multi Chapter Simple Parent Project</name>

    <modules>
        <module>simple-weather</module>
        <module>simple-webapp</module>
    </modules>

    <build>
        <pluginManagement>
            <plugins>
                <plugin>
                    <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
                    <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
                    <configuration>
                        <source>1.5</source>
                        <target>1.5</target>
                    </configuration>
                </plugin>
            </plugins>
        </pluginManagement>
    </build>

    <dependencies>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>junit</groupId>
            <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
            <version>3.8.1</version>
            <scope>test</scope>
        </dependency>
    </dependencies>
</project>

Notice that the parent defines a set of Maven coordinates: the groupId is org.sonatype.mavenbook.multi, the artifactId is simple-parent, and the version is 1.0. The parent project doesn’t create a JAR or a WAR like our previous projects; instead, it is simply a POM that refers to other Maven projects. The appropriate packaging for a project like simple-parent that simply provides a Project Object Model is pom. The next section in the pom.xml lists the project’s submodules. These modules are defined in the modules element, and each module element corresponds to a subdirectory of the simple-parent/ directory. Maven knows to look in these directories for pom.xml files, and it will add submodules to the list of Maven projects included in a build.

Lastly, we define some settings which will be inherited by all submodules. The simple-parent build configuration configures the target for all Java compilation to be the Java 5 JVM. Since the compiler plugin is bound to the lifecycle by default, we can use the pluginManagement section do to this. We will discuss pluginManagement in more detail in later chapters, but the separation between providing configuration to default plugins and actually binding plugins is much easier to see when they are separated this way. The dependencies element adds JUnit 3.8.1 as a global dependency. Both the build configuration and the dependencies are inherited by all submodules. Using POM inheritance allows you to add common dependencies for universal dependencies like JUnit or Log4J.