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Alta Maven Plugin


This plugin takes as input a set of Maven artifacts specified as a subset of the project dependencies or as an explicit list of artifacts and produces a set of outputs with information about these artifacts. Different types of output are supported. Conceptually they all form a map like structure as described by the following table:

Type of output Goal Name (key) Value
Maven project property alta:generate-properties Property name Property value
File alta:generate-files File name File content
Resource alta:generate-resources 
Resource name File content

Both the key (property or file name) and the value (property value or file content) are specified as configurable templates that are evaluated for each artifact. The template language uses a simple %property% syntax. For example, %groupId%:%artifactId%:%version% would evaluate to the Maven coordinates of the artifact. This syntax was chosen to avoid conflicts with Maven property substitution (${property}) and the syntax used by maven-invoker-plugin (@property@). The complete list of supported properties can be found here.


All this sounds fairly abstract. A concrete example will help to better understand how the plugin works. Assume that the plugin is used on a project with the following dependencies:


Further assume that the name and value templates are configured as follows:

Name META-INF/versions/%groupId%/%artifactId%
Value %version%

With this configuration the alta:generate-resources goal would produce the following four resources corresponding to the transitive dependencies of the project:


Each of these files would contain the version of the corresponding Maven artifact.

Note that this assumes that the plugin is configured to process the right set of dependencies. The full configuration is shown below:


For more examples and use cases, see the links in the left-hand side navigation bar.

As suggested by the example shown above, the name template (resp. value template) is always specified by the name parameter (resp. value parameter), irrespective of the goal being used. As we will see below, there is also an altName parameter (but no corresponding altValue parameter).

Duplicate key handling

Obviously, the template specified for the key may yield the same value for multiple artifacts. In some cases it even makes sense to use a fixed value. The plugin joins multiple values for the same key using a configurable separator. One of the samples shows how this can be used to join information from multiple artifacts into a single Maven project property. Note that a duplicate key results in an error if no separator is specified.

Unresolvable properties and null values

Not all properties are defined for all artifacts. For example, the classifier property can be null and the bundle.* properties are only defined for Maven artifacts that are also OSGi bundles. To deal with properties that can be null or undefined, the following extended syntax is supported:


If the property is defined, then the prefix and suffix will be added to its value. If it is undefined or null, then the default value will be used instead. E.g. the following expression would add the artifact classifier prefixed with a dash:


Another approach is to use the altName parameter. If the name template is unresolvable (i.e. if one of the expressions refers to an unresolvable property and doesn't specify a default value), then altName will be used instead of name. Finally, if altName isn't resolvable either (or isn't specified), then that artifact is simply skipped,