Using Plugin Tools Java Annotations

Since version 3.0 of the maven-plugin-plugin, you can use Java5 annotations to generate the plugin descriptor file.

NOTE With annotations, your Mojo super class does not have to be in the same project. Provided that the super class also uses annotations, it can now come from reactor projects or external dependencies. By default all dependencies are scanned, but this can be reduced with the mojoDependencies parameter. As javadoc doclets are still useful for @since, @deprecated and comments, the sources are still scanned. So if you use an external dependency, you must still provide an artifact with sources (sources classifier) to provide documentation (the tooling will skip error if this artifact sources is missing).


Information for plugin descriptor generation is specified using 4 annotations:

  • 2 class-level annotations:
    • @Mojo: This annotation will mark your class as a Mojo,
    • @Execute: Used if your Mojo needs to fork a lifecycle,
  • 2 field-level annotations:
    • @Parameter: Used to configure your Mojo parameters,
    • @Component: Used to configure injection of Plexus components or Maven context components.

For more information on these annotations, see the corresponding documentation.

Notice that Plugin Tools Java Annotations are named after Plugin Tools Javadoc Tags with following little differences:

Plugin Tools Javadoc Tags Plugin Tools Java Annotation
@goal "goal-name" @Mojo( name = "goal-name" )
@phase "<phase-name>" @Mojo( defaultPhase = LifecyclePhase.<phase> )

POM configuration

To be able to use these Java annotations, you need to add some configuration to your plugin POM:

  • add maven-plugin-annotations dependency, preferably with provided scope,
  • override Maven core's default-descriptor execution phase to process-classes,
    <!-- dependencies to annotations -->
      <optional>true</optional> <!-- annotations are not used at runtime because @Retention(value=CLASS), they are needed only to build the plugin -->
          <!-- if you want to generate help goal -->