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What is Maven dependency?

A dependency is an external object or library on which a Maven project depends for compilation, build, and execution. In Java, a dependency is usually a Java Archive (JAR) file that contains compiled code or other resources that are required for the project. Maven defines dependencies in the POM (Project Object Model) file. The POM defines the external artifacts and the versions of those artifacts. When you build your Maven project, your Maven build system will automatically download and include these dependencies. This ensures that your project will have access to the classes and resources you need during build and execution. Importance of Dependencies Dependencies help a project be modular, maintainable, and reusable by allowing developers to seamlessly integrate external functionality into their projects.

Developed by Apache Group, Maven is an open-source tool to build, publish, and deploy software projects. In Maven, a dependency is an archive file like JAR, ZIP, etc., that your project needs to compile, build, test, and run. These project dependencies are defined in the pom.xml file.

When executing a maven build or goal, these project dependencies are resolved and then fetched from the local repository. You can also install the dependencies manually.

There are two types of Maven dependencies:

  • Direct dependency: It allows you to explicitly include dependencies in your project using <dependency> tags.

  • Transitive dependency: These dependencies are required by direct dependencies Maven automatically includes in your project.

To list all your project's and transitive dependencies, use the mvn dependency:tree command.

Here are some of the advantages that Maven offers for your web projects.

  • Manages all the project management processes, including building, documentation, releasing, and distribution.
  • Boost the building process and the project's performance.
  • When creating projects in different environments, developers don't have to worry about dependencies, processes, etc.
  • The pom.xml file in Maven makes it easy to add new dependencies.

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