There are few things that I’ve been missing in Maven, that are available in Gradle out of the box (and no, I don’t want to start a holy Gradle vs. Maven war). One of those was a Gradle wrapper; I wanted to create projects which are pretty environment agnostic and download whatever needed straight form the internet. While the build and dependency management tools do their job I was always struggling with the dependency management itself. Until now.
Yeah - good question. Why on Earth would I need to have a dependency management tool as a 'compile time' dependency. In my particular case it was Jenkins fault, I wanted my continuous integration environment to be just an infrastructure: an operating system, latest Java installation, Git - and the project brings what’s ever required by itself. That is keeping the CI infrastructure robust with minimal project specific dependencies.
I remember 'good old times' when certain project had to be built on particular swarms due to concrete Maven version being present or some system libraries being pre-installed. This approach doesn’t scale and I was eager to fix it.
While the wrapper isn’t a problem for Gradle, my Maven projects were still problematic. Until I found a maven-wrapper - a copy of the Gradle wrapper ported for use with Apache Maven. 
As described on the project’s wiki:
the Maven Command Line Wrapper will auto-download and install Apache Maven from the Internet and then run your Maven goals.
If you are ok with manual installation, all that’s needed is copying
mvnw files and
maven folder to your project - from say an example project.
This will make the file structure look pretty much like this.
sample ├── maven │ ├── maven-wrapper.jar │ └── maven-wrapper.properties ├── src │ └── main │ └── java ├── mvnw ├── mvnw.bat └── pom.xml
Now instead of running
mvn clean install we can just go with
./mvnw clean install that will do the thing.
From my perspective that was quite handy - I didn’t have to maintain a particular version of Maven in my CI environment. I had it defined together with a project. A first little success.
Automate all the things
Coping files is so nineties, so the next step would be to automatically get the wrapper through the Maven build process. This sounded reasonable, cause as the developer I obviously had Maven installed locally and the wrapper was targeting the continuous integration builds, not developers' machines.
Nothing easier, the Maven wrapper comes with a handy build plugin.
<plugin> <groupId>com.rimerosolutions.maven.plugins</groupId> <artifactId>wrapper-maven-plugin</artifactId> <version>0.0.4</version> <configuration> <mavenVersion>3.3.1</mavenVersion> </configuration> </plugin>
mvn wrapper:wrapper does the job and the wrapper is installed.
That worked like a charm for a simple (very simple) project, a single project. But hey! we are doing enterprise here - our projects' structure is hardly ever flat!
So if my project gets slightly more complicated (with submodules), the Maven wrapper tasks, defined on the parent project - is repeated for each and every module. The output gets cumbersome and far from ideal.
sample ├── maven │ ├── maven-wrapper.jar │ └── maven-wrapper.properties ├── module | ├── maven │ | ├── maven-wrapper.jar │ | └── maven-wrapper.properties | ├── mvnw | ├── mvnw.bat | └── pom.xml ├── module2 | ├── maven │ | ├── maven-wrapper.jar │ | └── maven-wrapper.properties | ├── mvnw | ├── mvnw.bat | └── pom.xml ├── mvnw ├── mvnw.bat └── pom.xml
I see a
MavenWrappersOverflowException. However, as this is purely related to the Maven life cycle and parent-child relationship ('mother issues' everywhere) - this is fixable with the configuration itself.
<plugin> <groupId>com.rimerosolutions.maven.plugins</groupId> <artifactId>wrapper-maven-plugin</artifactId> <version>0.0.4</version> <inherited>false</inherited> (1) <configuration> <mavenVersion>3.3.1</mavenVersion> </configuration> </plugin>
By default, plugin configuration should be propagated to child POMs, so to break the inheritance, you could uses the
Now, we just need to run the goal for this particular project (while in the parent project’s folder). This will generated the wrapper only where it’s needed.
mvn wrapper:wrapper -N (1)
-Nargument stands for non-recursive builds, which prevents Maven from building submodules (only builds the project contained in the current directory).
Just one thing: with the wrapper plugin and Polyglot for Maven  I’ve gradually lost interest in any other build tools ;-)