Java build tools in VS Code
This document will give you an overview of how work with your Java build tools in Visual Studio Code. It covers the Maven for Java extension as well as other tools.
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Maven is a software tool that helps you manage Java projects and automate application builds. The Maven for Java extension for Visual Studio Code provides fully integrated Maven support, allowing you to explore Maven projects, execute Maven commands, and perform the goals of build lifecycle and plugins.
Exploring Maven project
Once a Maven project is loaded, the extension will be activated and it will automatically scan for
pom.xml files in your workspace and displays all Maven projects and their modules in the side bar.
Resolve unknown type
The Maven extension also supports searching Maven Central to resolve unknown types in your source code. You can do this by selecting the Resolve unknown type link shown on hover.
Working with POM.xml
The extension provides code snippets and auto completion for adding Maven dependencies based on local Maven repositories. See how easy it is to add a new dependency to your
pom.xml with those convenient features.
The extension also enables you to generate effective POM.
You can also use the command Maven: Add a Dependency (or
maven.project.addDependency) to help add a new dependency to
pom.xml. The process is interactive.
You can also add dependencies through the project view, which calls the same Maven command.
Furthermore, VS Code also supports showing dependencies in a tree view, which allows you to inspect all dependencies in your project at a single place and check for potential issues.
Execute Maven commands and goals
By right-clicking each Maven project in the explorer, you can conveniently run Maven goals.
The extension also preserves the history of goals for each project, so you can quickly rerun the previous command, which is useful when you're running a long custom goal.
There are two ways to rerun a goal:
- Command Palette > Select Maven: History > Select a project > Select command from the history.
- Right-click a project > Click History > Select command from history.
You can also specify your favorite commands in settings for future execution.
For each plug-in you use with your project, the extension also provides you an easy way to access the goals within each plugin.
To debug Maven goals, right-click on a goal and start debugging. The Maven extension will call the Java debugger with the right parameters. This is a handy, time-saving feature.
Generate project from Maven Archetype
Another handy feature provided by this extension is to generate a Maven project from Archetype. The extension loads archetypes listed in local/remote catalogs. After selection, the extension sends
mvn archetype:generate -D... to the terminal.
There are two ways to generate a Maven project:
- From the Maven explore, click +.
- Right-click on a folder and select Generate from Maven Archetype.
VS Code supports basic Gradle Java project (not including Android). There are also a couple third party extensions available for writing
.gradle files as well as running Gradle tasks.
In addition to Maven, there's also a Bazel extension if you use Bazel to build and test your project.
Read on to find out more about: