Last updated Jul 16, 2024

Working with Maven

While the SDK conceals many of the complexities of Maven, it is helpful to understand how it is used, particularly when you are troubleshooting or using advanced Maven features. This page discusses concepts behind Maven and how it is used with the SDK.

What is Maven?

Calling Maven a 'build tool' would be an understatement. But if you have no experience with Maven yet, start by thinking of it as a tool for simplifying your life by building your plugin. Quoting the Maven home page:

Maven is a software project management and comprehension tool. Based on the concept of a project object model (POM), Maven can manage a project's build, reporting and documentation from a central piece of information.

Maven is particularly useful, because it can automatically manage massive dependency trees, especially transitive dependencies where Plugin X depends on Product Y, which depends on Shared Library Z. Using Maven, you should be able to quickly and easily retrieve all the dependencies that your plugin will need, and create a working development environment in just a few steps.

Maven and the Atlassian Plugins SDK

Maven is bundled with the Atlassian Plugin SDK, so you do not need to install it manually. Even if you already have Maven on your system, you should use the one bundled with the SDK, since the SDK requires a specific version of Maven. The version bundled with the SDK is already configured for the SDK, so you do not need to specify repositories. The Atlassian Plugin SDK includes a correctly-configured Maven settings.xml file.

The Atlassian SDK wraps Maven commands with its own interactive, script-based commands. The SDK commands offers command-line help and auto-completion, easing development tasks.

Running Maven commands

If you already know Maven, you may want to invoke Maven commands directly. When running Maven commands against your project, make sure that you use the version of Maven bundled with the Atlassian Plugin SDK. This is important if you have a local version of Maven installed, as well as the Atlassian Plugin SDK.

The simplest way is to use the atlas-mvn wrapper command instead of mvn. You can invoke any Maven command by preceding it with the 'atlas-' prefix.

For example:

atlas-mvn clean

The command performs the same function as the Maven command mvn clean, which removes build artifacts from the current project.

If you have multiple versions of Maven on your system, you should use the SDK command wrapper to ensure that the correct Maven version is executed. Alternatively, you can put the bundled Maven on your path. (Run atlas-version to discover the location of the SDK's Maven instance binary file.)

For information on the standard SDK command format, see Working with the SDK.

Verifying your Maven settings

The Maven settings file, settings.xml, controls the general behavior of Maven. For instance, it identifies the repositories used to resolve plugin dependencies. It also specifies development environment properties. For example, the settings.xml file is where you configure your proxy settings if you need to connect to the Internet through a web proxy.

The location of settings.xml

This file is located in the following directory:


When installed with the Atlassian SDK, the settings.xml is pre-configured with the Atlassian repositories needed to build plugin projects. If you want to include additional repositories in the default profile, you can add them to the file.

Adding the Atlassian plugin repository

We recommend that you use the Maven instance installed with the SDK, which is already configured to rely on the required repositories. However, if for some reason you are attempting to use a settings.xml file that was not bundled with the Atlassian SDK, you will likely encounter problems resolving dependencies required by the SDK commands. To prevent such problems, add the pluginGroups and profile elements to your local settings.xml file:


Colour-coding your Maven output

If you are using the Atlassian Plugin SDK in a Unix, Linux, or macOS environment, you can ensure that your Maven output comes in true colour. Just set the MAVEN_COLOR environment variable to true:

export MAVEN_COLOR=true

Your Maven output will look something like this: mavencolourisedoutput.png

Using the AMPS Maven plugin directly

The Atlassian Plugin SDK is built on top of the Atlassian Maven Plugin Suite (AMPS). AMPS extends the Maven build environment specifically for developing Atlassian plugins. When you create a project with the Atlassian Plugin SDK, AMPS is automatically configured as the build environment for your project.

This page provides more information about AMPS. You won't normally need to use AMPS directly, since the Atlassian Plugin SDK wraps AMPS commands with its own script-style commands. However, in some cases, you may wish to invoke AMPS commands directly or specify configuration settings for AMPS, which you can do in the project POM.

For information on configuring AMPS settings, see the AMPS Build Configuration Reference.

AMPS architecture

As a suite of Maven plugins, AMPS combines multiple plugins, conventions, and POM configuration.

Diagram: AMPS architecture:


The product-specific configuration is as follows:


AMPS plugin













Basic Commands

AMPS commands are of the form mvn PRODUCT:CMD, where:

  • PRODUCT is the name of the product plugin above, for example jira, and
  • CMD is one of the commands listed below.


  • mvn confluence:run
  • mvn confluence:create
  • mvn jira:install
  • mvn jira:debug

In the table below, replace PRODUCT with the name of Atlassian product for which you are developing a plugin. Fisheye and Crucible use the same plugin, so PRODUCT should be replaced with fecru if you are developing for either of those products.


Create a plugin skeleton from a Maven archetype, specific to the Atlassian product for which you are developing.
Examples: mvn confluence:create or mvn jira:create


Download the product binaries (if not already downloaded), install your plugin, start the product with the container (application server) of your choice and your deployed plugin.
Examples: mvn confluence:run or mvn jira:run


As for PRODUCT:run, but with remote debugging enabled.


Start the product with the container of your choice, run all it/** integration tests, then shut down the product.


Run the unit tests, excluding it/**.


Creates a zip of the current product's home directory for use in future runs of the SDK.


Copy all runtime and compile-scoped dependencies into META-INF/lib.


Install your plugin (via the PDK).


Uninstall your plugin (via the PDK).


This section describes how to run the following commands:

Creating a new Confluence plugin from scratch

To create a new Confluence plugin skeleton, go to the directory where you want to create the plugin and type:

mvn confluence:create

Running a plugin in a product

To run an arbitrary plugin in Confluence, go to the plugin's project directory and type:

mvn confluence:run

Specifying the version of the product

To run your plugin with Confluence 3.4:

mvn confluence:run -Dproduct.version=3.4

To run your plugin with Jira 4.2:

mvn jira:run -Dproduct.version=4.2

Specifying an application server (servlet container)

To run that plugin but with Confluence 3.4 and Tomcat 7:

mvn confluence:run -Dproduct.version=3.4 -Dcontainer=tomcat7x

Running your plugin in debug mode from your IDE

To run that plugin in debug mode from your IDE, set up an IDEA run configuration that executes from the project directory:

mvn confluence:run -Dcontainer=jetty6x

Writing integration tests

To write a new plugin for Confluence, with integration tests, but with a minimal POM XML and not extending any other POM:


Running integration tests against a different product

Say you had a Refapp plugin, but wanted to run your integration tests against Confluence:

mvn package confluence:integration-test

Running your plugin in multiple products

Say you want to run the plugin in multiple products simultaneously. In three separate tabs in your terminal (command window), type:

mvn refapp:run
mvn confluence:run -Dproduct.version=3.4
mvn jira:run -Dproduct.version=4.2

You can now test your plugin on three products side by side in your browser. This also means you can redeploy your plugin simultaneously:

mvn package confluence:install refapp:install

Specifying the version of AMPS

The short form of the mvn PRODUCT:run and mvn PRODUCT:create commands will use the latest version of the AMPS plugins. If you want to run a specific version of an AMPS command, use the longer form of the command. For example:

mvn com.atlassian.maven.plugins:confluence-maven-plugin:8.2.3:create

Atlassian Maven repositories

Atlassian provides various Maven repositories for Plugin Developers. We recommend using the Atlassian Plugin SDK to make sure you've got the correct settings for using our servers.

The Plugin SDK handles almost all of this Maven tweaking for you. The SDK includes an embedded Maven installation and a settings.xml that will be kept up to date as necessary. We believe it makes the plugin development process much easier. For more information, see here.

Atlassian Maven proxy

The Atlassian Maven proxy sits in front of all of our other Maven repositories, as well as third-party repositories like iBiblio and Codehaus. This should provide all the artifacts needed to build our products and plugins. In the basic case, this is the only repository you need to know about.


Atlassian 3rd-party repository

The third-party repository contains JARs that we are allowed to re-distribute or re-host, but which we do not own.

It is contained in

Atlassian public repository

The Atlassian public repository contains all artifacts owned by Atlassian necessary to build a plugin for our products. It contains binaries, source and Javadoc for our open-source components, and binaries and javadoc for our closed-source components.

It is contained in

Developing plugins with Maven

Maven is included in the Atlassian SDK, so you do not normally need to install it yourself. The version that the SDK bundles is Maven 3.

AMPS Build Configuration Reference

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