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Maven: The Definitive Guide

Cover of Maven: The Definitive Guide by Sonatype Company Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Profile Activation

In the previous section, we showed you how to create a profile that overrides default behavior for a specific target environment. In the previous build, the default build was designed for development, and the production profile exists to provide configuration for a production environment. What happens when you need to provide customizations based on variables such as operating systems or JDK version? Maven provides a way to “activate” a profile for different environmental parameters. This is called profile activation.

Take the following example. Assume we have a Java library that has a specific feature available only in the Java 6 release—the Scripting Engine as defined in JSR-223 (see You’ve separated the portion of the library that deals with the scripting library into a separate Maven project, and you want people running Java 5 to be able to build the project without attempting to build the Java 6 specific library extension. You can do this by using a Maven profile that adds the script extension module to the build only when the build is running within a Java 6 JDK. First, let’s take a look at our project’s directory layout and how we want developers to build the system.

When someone runs mvn install with a Java 6 JDK, you want the build to include the simple-script project’s build; when they are running in Java 5, you would like to skip the simple-script project build. If you failed to skip the simple-script project build ...

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