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Maven 2: Features


Maven is a high-level, intelligent project management, build and deployment tool provided by Apache's software foundation group. Maven deals with application development lifecycle management. Maven was originally developed to manage and to minimize the complexities of building the Jakarta Turbine project. But its powerful capabilities have made it a core entity of the Apache Software Foundation projects. Actually, for a long time there was a need to standardized project development lifecycle management system and Maven has emerged as a perfect option that meets the needs. Maven has become the de- facto build system in many open source initiatives and it is rapidly being adopted by many software development organizations.

Maven was borne of the very practical desire to make several projects at Apache work in a consistence manner. So that developers could freely move between these projects, knowing clearly how they all worked by understanding how one of them worked. 

If a developer spent time understanding how one project built it was intended that they would not have to go through this process again when they moved on to the next project. The same idea extends to testing, generating documentation, generating metrics and reports, testing and deploying. All projects share enough of the same characteristics, an understanding of which Maven tries to harness in its general approach to project management. 

On a very high level all projects need to be built, tested, packaged, documented and deployed. There occurs infinite variation in each of the above mentioned steps, but these variation still occur within the confines of a well defined path and it is this path that Maven attempts to present to everyone in a clear way. The easiest way to make a path clear is to provide people with a set of patterns that can be shared by anyone involved in a project.

The key benefit of this approach is that developers can follow one consistent build lifecycle management process without having to reinvent such processes again. Ultimately this makes developers more productive, agile, disciplined, and focused on the work at hand rather than spending time and effort doing grunt work understanding, developing, and configuring yet another non-standard build system.

Maven: Features 

  1. Portable: Maven is portable in nature because it includes: 
    • Building configuration using maven are portable to another machine, developer and architecture without any effort 
    • Non trivial: Maven is non trivial because all file references need to be relative, environment must be completely controlled and independent from any specific file system.
  2. Technology: Maven is a simple core concept that is activated through IoC container (Plexus). Everything is done in maven through plugins and  every plugin works in isolation (ClassLoader). Plugings are downloaded from a plugin-repository on demand.

Maven's Objectives:
The primary goal of maven is to allow the developers to comprehend the complete state of a project in the shortest time by using easy build process, uniform building system, quality project management information (such as change Log, cross-reference, mailing lists, dependencies, unit test reports, test coverage reports and many more), guidelines for best practices and transparent migration to new features. To achieve to this goal Maven attempts to deal with several areas like:

  • It makes the build process easy
  • Provides a uniform building system
  • Provides quality related project information
  • Provides guidelines related to development to meet the best goal.
  • Allows transparent migration to new features.


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