Maven Concepts - Dependencies

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External

Internal

Dependency Operations

Maven dependency Plugin Operations

Overview

Declaration

Dependencies are declared inside a <dependencies> element. An individual dependency is declared inside a <dependency> element:

<dependencies>

    ...

    <dependency>
        <groupId>groupId</groupId>
        <artifactId>artifactId</artifactId>
        <version>version</version>
        <exclusions>
            <exclusion>
                <groupId></groupId>
                <artifactId></artifactId>
            <exclusion>
        </exclusions>
        <type>type</type>
        <scope>scope</scope>
    <dependency>

   ...

</dependencies>

Transitive Dependencies

Maven walks the dependency graph of your direct dependencies, allowing you to avoid the need to discover and specify those libraries by hand. This is possible because Maven reads the project files of the dependencies, recursively, from their repositories. There is no limit on the number of recursive levels Maven can walk.

Since the transitive dependency graph can grow pretty large, Maven offer a series of features that can be used to limit and manage the extent of the graph (dependency mediation, dependency management, dependency scope, excluded dependencies, optional dependencies).


The transitivity is interrupted when a dependency is declared <provided>.

Dependency Mediation

Dependency mediation is used when multiple version of the same artifact are found while building the transitive graph.

The default mediation mechanism is "nearest definition", where the "closest" dependency in the graph dictates the version. However, a certain (different) version can be guaranteed by declaring it explicitly in the dependency management section of the POM.

If two dependency versions are at the same depth, the declaration order counts: the first declaration wins.

Dependency Scope

The dependency scope is a declarative feature that allows you to only include dependencies appropriate for the current stage of the build. It is declared inside the <dependency><scope> element. The scope is similar to a Gradle configuration.

There are 6 scopes:

compile

The default scope, when none is specified. Compile dependencies are available in all classpaths of the project and propagated to dependent projects.

provided

Makes the dependencies available on the compilation and test class path, but does not includes the dependencies in the artifacts - because "provided" dependencies are assumed to be provided by the deployment environment.

The provided scope is not transitive, meaning that once a dependency was declared <provided>, its dependencies won't be transitively added to the classpath.

runtime

Places the dependencies in the runtime and test classpaths, but not in the compile classpath.

test

This scope indicates that the dependency is not required for normal use of the application. The dependency is placed on the test compilation and test execution classpaths.

system

Similar with "provided", except that the dependency artifact must be specified in the POM - it is not looked up in a repository:

     ...
    <dependency>
        <groupId>javax.sql</groupId> 
        <artifactId>jdbc-stdext</artifactId>
        <version>2.0</version>
        <scope>system</scope> 
        <systemPath>${java.home}/lib/rt.jar</systemPath>
    </dependency> 

    ...

    <dependency>
        <groupId>sample</groupId>
        <artifactId>com.sample</artifactId>
        <version>1.0</version>
        <scope>system</scope>
        <systemPath>${project.basedir}/src/main/resources/yourJar.jar</systemPath>
    </dependency>
    ...

import

This scope is only used with a dependency of the type "pom" in <dependencyManagement> section. The effect is inclusion of the dependencies specified in the POM's <dependencyManagement> section. This is used to implement the Bill of Materials (BOM) pattern. Since they are replaced, dependencies with a scope of "import" do not participate in limiting the transitivity of a dependency.

How Scopes Affect Transitivity

If a dependency is set to the scope in the left column, transitive dependencies of that dependency with the scope across the top row will result in a dependency in the main project with the scope listed at the intersection. No scope listed means the dependency will be omitted:

compile provided runtime test
compile compile - runtime -
provided provided - provided -
runtime runtime - runtime -
test test - test -

Dependency Management

If project POMs are declared hierarchically, a useful feature is dependency management, that allows dependency information inheritance amongst hierarchical projects. The dependency management is a Maven feature that provide the following functions:

1. It allows for the centralization of the dependency information. The dependency management can be used to specify versions for dependencies whose version were not specified directly in the <dependencies> section.

2. Dependency information inheritance. When you have a set of projects that inherit a common parent you can put all the information about the dependencies in the <dependencyManagement> section of the common POM and have simpler references to artifacts in child POMs. If a dependency is incompletely declared in a child pom and it is not present in the parent's <dependencyManagement> section, the build will fail.

3. It allows project authors to declare specific versions for their dependencies, when those dependencies are encountered in the transitive dependency graph (you can see it as a mask that applies to the transitive dependency graph).

Configuration:

<dependencyManagement>

Excluded Dependencies

Dependencies that are pulled in with the transitive dependency graph can be explicitly excluded with the <exclusion> element.

Optional Dependencies

Optional dependencies do are not included in the transitive dependency graph. Optional means "excluded by default".

BOM

BOM ("bill of materials") is a pattern that allow projects to import managed dependencies from another project.

This is accomplished by declaring a special BOM artifact, as described below, which is essentially a versioned list of dependencies. The BOM specifies a dependency graph to chose from, not a dependency. The concrete dependencies still need to be declared, but with a BOM, Maven will prioritize artifacts specified by the BOM over other artifacts, when resolving transitive dependencies.

BOM Declaration

A project ("bom-exporter") can declare a "bill of materials" that specifies versions for a set of artifacts. Usually, these artifacts have been tested together, and they are known to work well together. This effectively incapsulates the set of versions and associates an unique version to the incapsulated list. The BOM is declared as a "pom"-packaged artifact.

This is an example of a BOM declaration:

<project ...>
  <groupId>com.test</groupId>
  <artifactId>bom</artifactId>
  <version>1.0</version>
  <packaging>pom</packaging>
  <properties>
    <project1Version>2.0</project1Version>
    <project2Version>3.0</project2Version>
  </properties>
  <dependencyManagement>
    <dependencies>
      <dependency>
        <groupId>com.test</groupId>
        <artifactId>project1</artifactId>
        <version>${project1Version}</version>
      </dependency>
      <dependency>
        <groupId>com.test</groupId>
        <artifactId>project2</artifactId>
        <version>${project2Version}</version>
      </dependency>
    </dependencies>
  </dependencyManagement>
</project>

The BOMs are usually assembled by vendors. An example of vendor-assembled BOMs are the JBoss EAP BOMs.

Using the BOM

A dependent project declares is intention to use one or more dependencies declared in the BOM by:

  1. declaring the BOM dependency with an "import scope" scope and specifying a BOM version in its <dependencyManagement> section of the POM. Note that the declaration inside the <dependencyManagement> section is essential, BOM import won't work otherwise.
  2. declaring specific dependencies in the <dependencies> section of the POM, without specifying any version - the version will be inferred transitively based on versioning information provided by the BOM.

The declaration of the BOM in <dependencyManagement> introduces the dependency graph declared by the BOM into the current project dependency resolution algorithm.

<project ...>
  <groupId>X</groupId>
  <artifactId>x</artifactId>
  <version>1.0</version>
  <packaging>jar</packaging>
 
  <dependencyManagement>
    <dependencies>
      <dependency>
        <groupId>com.test</groupId>
        <artifactId>bom</artifactId>
        <version>1.0</version>
        <type>pom</type>
        <scope>import</scope>
      </dependency>
    </dependencies>
  </dependencyManagement>
  <dependencies>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>com.test</groupId>
      <artifactId>project1</artifactId>
    </dependency>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>com.test</groupId>
      <artifactId>project2</artifactId>
    </dependency>
  </dependencies>
</project>

Example of using a JBoss BOM:

<project ...>
  <dependencyManagement>
    <dependencies>
      <dependency>
        <groupId>org.jboss.bom</groupId>
         <artifactId>eap6-supported-artifacts</artifactId>
         <version>6.4.15.GA</version>
         <type>pom</type>
         <scope>import</scope>
       </dependency>
    </dependencies>
  </dependencyManagement>

  <dependencies>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>org.jboss.spec.javax.servlet</groupId>
      <artifactId>jboss-servlet-api_3.0_spec</artifactId>
      <scope>provided</scope>
    </dependency>
  </dependencies>
</project>

Related:

JBoss EAP BOMs