The metadata about an archetype is stored in the archetype-metadata.xml file located in the directory META-INF/maven of its jar file.
The metadata file stores the additional properties, with corresponding default values.
It also stores the project's generated files in filesets.
Finally it also stores inner modules of the archetype, which enable the creation of multi-module projects using a single archetype.
A minimal archetype-metadata.xml file looks like:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <archetype-descriptor name="basic"> <fileSets> <fileSet filtered="true" packaged="true"> <directory>src/main/java</directory> <includes> <include>**/*.java</include> </includes> </fileSet> </fileSets> </archetype-descriptor>
This example above shows:
The main properties that are used by the Velocity engine during a project's file generation are groupId, artifactId, version and package.
It is possible to define additional properties that must be valued before the file generation.
These additional properties can be provided with default values, which enable not to ask the user for there values.
Additional properties are defined in the archetype-metadata.xml file with:
<archetype-descriptor name="basic"> <requiredProperties> <requiredProperty key="property-with-default"> <defaultValue>default-value</defaultValue> </requiredProperty> <requiredProperty key="property-without-default"/> </requiredProperties> ... </archetype-descriptor>
Here two additional properties are defined: property-without-default and property-with-default .
Be aware that the property keys can not contain any dots as they are Velocity properties.
The filesets contained in the archetype-metadata.xml file defines the way the project's files located in the jar file are used by the Archetype Plugin to generate a project.
Filesets must define the directory where the files will be searched for which is also the directory where the project's files will be generated. The first is the directory inside the archetype jar file, the second is the directory in the generated project's tree.
Filesets also defines the inclusion/exclusion of files "à la " ant. This provide a powerful way to describe a large set of files to be selected for the generation process.
Filesets can be filtered, which means the selected files will be used as Velocity templates. They can be non-filtered, which means the selected files will be copied without modification.
Filesets can be packaged, which means the selected files will be generated/copied in a directory structure that is prepended by the package property. They can be non-packaged, which means that the selected files will be generated/copied without that prepend.
A fileset is defined in the archetype-metadata.xml with this fragment:
... <fileSets> <fileSet filtered="true" packaged="true"> <directory>src/test/java</directory> <includes> <include>**/*.java</include> </includes> <excludes> <exclude>AllTest.java</exclude> </excludes> </fileSet> </fileSets> ...
This example shows a fileset that will select all the java files in the src/test/java directory of the archetype resources, except the AllTest.java file that is located at the root of this directory.
This filset also is packaged and filtered.
Inner modules of an archetype are used to create a multi module Maven 2 project from a single archetype.
Modules in the archetype-metadata.xml file are defined like:
<archetype-descriptor name="multi-module"> <fileSets> ... </fileSets> <modules> <module name="SubProject" id="subproject" dir="sub-project"> <fileSets> ... </fileSets> </module> </modules> </archetype-descriptor>
In the example above, the archetype multi-module contains a module named SubProject . This module is located in the sub-project directory of the archetype. It also has the artifactId subproject .
The attributes name, id and dir of the module are used to determine the directory where to generate that module's files, they also are used to determine the artifactId of the Maven 2 project corresponding to this module.
The <requiredProperties> element is only allowed as a child of <archetype-descriptor> .
Modules are allowed in <archetype-descriptor> and in <modules> (no limit is given).
<archetype-descriptor> and <modules> must define at least one <fileSet> each to be valid.
It is possible to define default values for required properties by defining say the groupId and giving it a default:
... <requiredProperties> <requiredProperty key="groupId"> <defaultValue>com.company.department</defaultValue> </requiredProperty> </requiredProperties>
Filesets can be defined from the root directory of the module/project by having an empty <directory> element:
... <fileSet filtered="true" packaged="true"> <directory></directory> <includes> ... </includes> <excludes> ... </excludes> </fileSet>