One of the most straightforward uses of Nexus is to browse the structure of a repository. If you click on the Repositories menu item in the Views/Repositories menu, you should see the following display. The tophalf of Figure 5.4, “Browsing a Repository Storage” shows you a list of groups and repositories along with the type of the repository and the repository status. To browse the artifacts that are stored in a local Nexus instance, click on the Browse Storage tab for a repository as shown in Figure 5.4, “Browsing a Repository Storage”.
When you are browsing a repository, you can right-click on any file and download it directly to your browser. This allows you to retrieve specific artifacts manually or examine a POM file in the browser. In addition, artifacts as well as directories can be deleted using right-click.
When browsing a remote repository you might notice that the tree doesn’t contain all of the artifacts in a repository. When you browse a proxy repository, Nexus is displaying the artifacts that have been cached locally from the remote repository. If you don’t see an artifact you expected to see through Nexus, it only means that Nexus has yet to cache the artifact locally. If you have enabled remote repository index downloads, Nexus will return search results that may include artifacts not yet downloaded from the remote repository. Figure 5.4, “Browsing a Repository Storage”, is just an example, and you may or may not have the example artifact available in your installation of Nexus.
A Nexus proxy repository acts as a local cache for a remote repository, in addition to downloading and caching artifacts locally, Nexus will also download an index of all the artifacts stored in a particular repository. When searching or browsing for artifacts, it is often more useful to search and browse the repository index. To view the repository index, click on the Browse Index tab for a particular repository to load the interface shown in Figure 5.5, “Browsing a Repository Index”.