Installing and Managing Liferay Maven Artifacts

To create Liferay plugins using Maven, you’ll need the archives required by Liferay (e.g., required JAR and WAR files). This won’t be problem–Liferay provides them as Maven artifacts. This tutorial explains how to install the Maven artifacts required for Liferay plugin development.

So how do you get the Liferay artifacts? The exact process depends on whether you’re building plugins for Liferay EE or Liferay CE. If you’re building plugins for Liferay EE, you’ll have to install the Liferay Artifacts manually from a zip file. You can do the same if you’re building plugins for Liferay CE, but there’s a simpler option available: you can automatically install CE artifacts from the Central Repository. Alternatively for Liferay CE, if you absolutely must have the latest pre-release changes from the Liferay CE source repository, you can build the Liferay CE artifacts yourself.

This tutorial demonstrates the following three ways of installing Liferay’s published artifacts:

  • Installing Artifacts from a Zip File

  • Installing Artifacts from the Liferay Repository

  • Installing Artifacts from the Central Repository

First, consider the manual process of downloading and installing Liferay artifacts from a zip file.

Installing Artifacts from a Zip File

Whether you’re building plugins for Liferay EE or CE, you can get the Liferay artifacts by manually installing them from a zip file. The zip files provide a means to install the artifacts to a Maven repository of your choice.

Downloading a Liferay EE Artifact Zip File:

You can download the Liferay EE artifacts package from Liferay’s Customer Portal by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to www.liferay.com and sign in.

  2. Go to the Customer Portal by clicking your profile picture in the Dockbar and selecting Customer Portal.

  3. Select Liferay Portal from the Downloads panel.

  4. Inside Filter by:, select the appropriate Liferay version in the first field and select the For Developers value in the second field.

    maven-customer-portal.png

    Figure 1: You can download the Liferay Maven EE artifacts from the Liferay Customer Portal.

  5. Click Download under the desired Liferay Portal [Version] Maven.

    The Liferay Maven EE artifacts package downloads to your machine.

Downloading a Liferay CE Artifact Zip File:

You can download Liferay CE artifacts from SourceForge by following these steps:

  1. Open your browser to Liferay Portal on SourceForge → http://sourceforge.net/projects/lportal/files/Liferay Portal/.

  2. Select the Liferay version for which you need Maven artifacts. For example, if you need Maven artifacts for Liferay Portal 6.2.0 CE GA1, select version 6.2.0 GA1.

    maven-select-download.png

    Figure 2: After selecting the Liferay version, select the Liferay Portal Maven zip file to download.

  3. Select the appropriate zip file. The zip files use naming convention liferay-portal-maven-[version]-[date].zip.

    The Liferay Maven CE artifacts package downloads to your machine.

You can extract the Liferay artifacts package zip file anywhere you like. The zip file not only includes the Liferay artifacts, but also includes a convenient script to install and deploy the artifacts to your repositories.

If you’re using Liferay CE and you want the latest pre-release artifacts from the Liferay CE source repository, you can get them–but you’ll have to build them yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easy. If you’re interesting in building the artifacts from Liferay’s source code, please see the Building Maven Artifacts from Source tutorial.

Once you’ve downloaded Liferay release artifacts as a zip file or built them from source, you’ll need to install them to your Maven repository. You’ll learn how to do that next.

Installing Artifacts to a Repository

Follow these steps to install the Liferay release artifacts to your local Maven repository:

  1. If you downloaded a Liferay artifacts zip file, navigate to the liferay-portal-maven-[version]directory. This is the root directory extracted from the Liferay artifacts zip file. If you built the artifacts from source, navigate to the time-stamped directory containing the artifacts in your Local Liferay Portal CE source project’s root directory, (e.g., liferay-portal/20121105174417071).

  2. To install the artifacts to your local repository, execute

    ant install
    

    Your console shows output from the artifacts being installed from the Liferay Maven package into your local repository, typically located in your ${USER_HOME}/.m2/repository directory.

Your local repository now contains the Liferay artifacts required to build Liferay plugins. Wasn’t that easy?

If you want to share your Liferay artifacts with teammates, you’ll have to deploy them to a release repository server.

Deploying Artifacts to a Repository

You may find it worthwhile to share your Liferay artifacts with teammates.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make sure you’ve created a repository server to hold the Liferay Maven artifacts. If you haven’t, see the Managing Maven Repositories section of the Setting Up Maven tutorial for instructions.

  2. Make sure the repository that will hold your Liferay artifacts is specified as a server in Maven’s settings.xml file. If it isn’t, see the Configuring Local Maven Settings section of the Setting Up Maven tutorial for instructions on adding an entry for the server.

    Here’s an example setting for a repository server named liferay-releases:

    <servers>
        ...
        <server>
            <id>liferay-releases</id>
            <username>admin</username>
            <password>admin123</password>
        </server>
        ...
    </servers>
    
  3. Navigate to the directory holding the Liferay artifacts you want to install to your Maven repository. If you unzipped the artifacts from a downloaded zip file, the artifacts are in a directory that follows the naming convention liferay-portal-maven-[version]. If you built the artifacts yourself, they’ll be in a time-stamped directory in your liferay-portal repository directory.

  4. Create a build.[user name].properties file in this directory. In the new properties file, specify values for the properties lp.maven.repository.id and lp.maven.repository.url. These refer to your repository’s ID and URL, respectively.

    Here are some example property values:

    lp.maven.repository.id=liferay-releases
    lp.maven.repository.url=http://localhost:8081/nexus/content/repositories/liferay-releases
    

    Note: If you created a repository in Nexus, as demonstrated in the Managing Maven Repositories section of the Setting Up Maven tutorial, you can specify that repository’s ID and URL.

  5. To deploy to your release repository server, execute the following command:

    ant deploy
    

    Your console shows output from the artifacts being deployed into your repository server.

To verify your artifacts are deployed, navigate to the Repositories page of your Nexus server and select your repository. A window appears below displaying the Liferay artifacts now deployed to your repository.

maven-verify-deployment2.png

Figure 3: Your repository server now provides access to your Liferay Maven artifacts.

Congratulations! You’ve downloaded the Liferay artifacts, installed them to your local repository, and deployed them to your release repository server for sharing with teammates.

Did you know that Liferay has its own Maven repository for artifacts? Let’s learn how to install artifacts from Liferay’s repository next.

Installing Artifacts from the Liferay Repository

If you’d like to access Liferay’s CE artifacts without downloading and installing a .zip file, you can configure Maven to automatically download and install them from Liferay’s own repository: https://repository.liferay.com. The first time you use Maven to compile a Liferay plugin project, Maven automatically downloads the required artifacts from the Liferay Maven repository into your local repository, if they’re not found in your local repository or any of your configured repository servers. You’ll see it happen when you package your Liferay plugins.

In order to access artifacts from the Liferay Maven repository, you’ll need to configure Maven to look for them there.

First, specify the Liferay Repository’s credentials in your project’s parent pom.xml file as follows:

<repositories>
    <repository>
        <id>liferay-public-releases</id>
        <name>Liferay Public Releases</name>
        <url>https://repository.liferay.com/nexus/content/repositories/liferay-public-releases/</url>
        <releases>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </releases>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </snapshots>
    </repository>
</repositories>

<pluginRepositories>
    <pluginRepository>
        <id>liferay-public-releases</id>
        <url>https://repository.liferay.com/nexus/content/repositories/liferay-public-releases/</url>
        <releases>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </releases>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </snapshots>
    </pluginRepository>
</pluginRepositories>

Next, when interacting with the Liferay Repository, you’ll need to use specialized commands to access it. Use the following command to access the CE repo:

mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=https://repository.liferay.com/nexus/content/repositories/liferay-public-releases

Liferay makes its artifacts available on Maven’s Central Repository as well. As with using Liferay’s Maven repository, the Maven’s Central Repository enables you to automatically download and install Liferay Maven artifacts. Let’s see how.

Installing Artifacts from the Central Repository

Liferay offers an option for automatic download and installation of Liferay Maven artifacts publicly available on the Central Repository, located at http://search.maven.org/#search|ga|1|liferay maven. They are updated with Liferay releases (e.g., 6.0.6, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.20, 6.1.30, 6.2.0-RC5, etc.). The first time you use Maven to compile a Liferay plugin project, Maven automatically downloads the required artifacts from the Central Repository into your local repository if they’re not found in your local repository or any of your configured repository servers. You’ll see it happen when you package your Liferay plugins.

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Building Liferay Maven Artifacts

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