Creating Liferay Plugins with Maven

Liferay offers many archetypes to help create Maven projects for multiple plugin types, including portlet, theme, hook, and layout template plugins. We provide archetypes for each of these plugin types for various versions of Liferay, so you almost certainly have the archetype you need.

Archetype is Maven’s project templating toolkit. Let’s use it to create a Liferay portlet project. With Archetype, you can use the same steps we detail below to generate Liferay plugin projects of any type.

We’ll demonstrate two ways of creating Liferay plugins with Maven: using Liferay IDE and using the command line. First, let’s learn how to use Maven archetypes to generate a Liferay plugin project using Liferay IDE:

  1. Navigate to FileNewLiferay Plugin Project.

  2. Assign a project name and display name. For our example, we’ll use sample-portlet and Sample for the project name and display name, respectively. Notice that upon entering sample-portlet as the project name, the wizard conveniently inserts Sample in grayed-out text as the portlet’s default display name. The wizard derives the default display name from the project name, starts it in upper-case, and leaves off the plugin type suffix Portlet because the plugin type is automatically appended to the display name in Liferay Portal. The IDE saves the you from repetitively appending the plugin type to the display name; in fact, the IDE ignores any plugin type suffix if you happen to append it to the display name.

  3. Select Maven (liferay-maven-plugin) for the build type. Notice that some of the options for your plugin project changed, including the Location field, which is set to the user’s workspace by default. Choose the parent directory in which you want to create the plugin project. It is a best practice to create a parent project for your Maven plugins, so they can all share common project information. See section Using a Parent Plugin Project for details.

  4. Specify the Artifact version and Group id. For our example, we’ll use 1.0-SNAPSHOT and com.liferay.sample for the artifact version and group id, respectively.

  5. Specify the active profile that you’d like your Liferay plugin project to use. If you don’t remember your active profile or haven’t created one, click the Select Active Profiles … icon immediately to the right of the text field. If you have any active profiles, they will be listed in the menu on the left. To select an existing profile, highlight its profile ID and select the illuminated right arrow button to transfer it to the menu on the right. Otherwise, if you don’t have any existing profile, click the green addition button to create a profile and give it an ID.

    If you’re specifying a new profile, the wizard will still create your plugin, but it will need further attention before it is deployable. You’ll need to specify the necessary properties within the new profile; we’ll demonstrate specifying these properties in the Configuring your Liferay Maven Project section of this chapter.

    You also have the option to create a profile based on a Liferay runtime. To do this, select the Create New Maven Profile Based on Liferay Runtime button to the far right of the Active profiles text field. Specify the Liferay runtime, New profile id, and Liferay version. For the new profile location you can choose to specify your profile in the settings.xml (recommended) or your project’s pom.xml. When creating your Maven profile based on a Liferay runtime, the IDE automatically populates the new profile with the required properties, and no additional profile configuration is needed for the plugin.

  6. Select the Portlet plugin type and then click Finish.


Great! You’ve successfully created a Liferay portlet project using Maven in Liferay IDE! Next, let’s run through steps for creating your Liferay Maven plugins using the command line.

  1. Open the command prompt and navigate to the parent directory in which you want to create the plugin project. Archetype will create a sub-directory for the plugin project you create.

  2. Execute the command

    mvn archetype:generate

    Archetype starts and lists the archetypes available to you. You’re prompted to choose an archetype or filter archetypes by group / artifact ID. The output looks similar to the following text:

    39: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-hook-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay hooks.)
    40: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-layouttpl-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay layout templates.)
    41: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay portlets.)
    42: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-icefaces-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay ICEfaces portlets.)
    43: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-jsf-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay JSF portlets.)
    Choose a number or apply filter (format: [groupId:]artifactId, case sensitive contains):
  3. To find the right Liferay archetype for your project, you can either scroll up to find it or apply filters to narrow the set of results. Filtering on liferay as your group ID, and a plugin type (portlet, hook, theme, etc.) can help you focus on more applicable Liferay archetypes.

    Entering liferay:portlet as a filter gives a listing of Liferay portlet archetypes:

    Choose a number or apply filter (format: [groupId:]artifactId, case
    sensitive contains): : liferay:portlet Choose archetype:
    1: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-archetype
    (Provides an archetype to create Liferay portlets.)
    2: remote ->
    com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-icefaces-archetype (Pr
    ovides an archetype to create Liferay ICEfaces portlets.)
    3: remote -> com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-jsf-archetype
    (Provide s an archetype to create Liferay JSF portlets.)
    4: remote ->
    chetype (Provides an archetype to create Liferay Faces Alloy portlets.)
    5: remote ->
    com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-primefaces-archetype (
    Provides an archetype to create Liferay PrimeFaces portlets.)
    6: remote ->
    com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-portlet-richfaces-archetype (P
    rovides an archetype to create Liferay RichFaces portlets.) Choose a
    number or apply filter (format: [groupId:]artifactId, case sensitive co
    ntains): :
  4. Choose an archetype by entering its number.

  5. You’re prompted to choose the archetype version. Enter the number corresponding to the Liferay version for the archetype. However, you’re not required to select the archetype version that corresponds with your Liferay instance; older archetype versions are compatible with updated Liferay bundles.

    The snapshot below illustrates choosing the archetype version:


    Figure 9.10: You’re prompted by Maven Archetype to enter the archetype version.

  6. Enter values for the groupId, artifactId, version, and package coordinates (properties) of your project. Here are some examples:

    groupId: com.liferay.sample
    artifactId: sample-portlet
    version: 1.0-SNAPSHOT
    package: com.liferay.sample

    This process is illustrated in the snapshot below:


    Figure 9.11: When creating your portlet plugin, you must enter your groupId, artifactId, version, and package properties.

    For more information on defining Maven coordinates, see

  7. Enter the letter Y to confirm your coordinates.

    Maven’s Archetype tool creates a Liferay plugin project directory with a new pom.xml file and source code.


Figure 9.12: Your archetype and its dependencies are now available in your local repository.

Following these steps using Liferay IDE or the command line, you can use Archetype to generate all your Liferay projects!

Plugin projects generated from a Liferay archetype are equipped with a POM that’s ready to work with a parent project. It inherits the values for liferay.version and properties from the parent.

When your plugin is created, you can package and deploy your project to a specified Liferay instance. You can even install and deploy the individual plugin to a remote repository.

Next we’ll go through some brief examples to demonstrate deploying your plugins to Liferay Portal using Maven.

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