How to use generic ZIP bundles


The need is to consume content of a dedicated type provided as binary content in a maven repository. An example for this might be to consume java script files, technically provided as a zip archive. In such as a scenario, consuming a dedicated archive might require to also consume archives or content required by the directly consumed component. For example, java script files might use other java script classes, contained in a dependent component. Here it is extremely useful to get all the dependent content just by establishing a dependency to the initially desired component. The know-how about the further dependent stuff is typically only available at the directly consumed component. It should be urgently avoided to force consumers to know about internal dependencies.

In Maven dependencies are declared with a specific type. This type is mapped to a technical artifact suffix. By default, type and suffix are identical - for example, a zip dependency is mapped to a .zip artifact. The definition of such a type additionally allows to declare the usage of a transitive dependency resolution. For example, there is a type "js" that is mapped to the suffix .zip and declares such a transitive resolution. As a result referring to an "js" artifact means to resolve the .zip file of the directly addressed maven coordinates including all js dependencies, declared by this component.

Such a type definition is defined in a components.xml that typically comes with a maven plugin.

Consuming (transitive) archive dependencies

  1. Provide a maven plugin for the desired type.

    How artifacts should be handled is described by an artifact handler defined inside the components.xml of a maven plugin.

    There are two properites that are important for our use case.

    1. extension. The extension defines the file appendix that represents the main artifact of the corresponding type.
    2. includesDependencies. Defines whether or not an artifact of the corresponding type includes its dependencies. This property needs to be set to false if transitive dependencies should be resolved.

    The components.xml file looks typically like this:

          <role-hint>js</role-hint> <!-- The type of the dependency as used inside the dependency section -->
            <extension>zip</extension> <!-- The file extension of the main artifact. -->
            <includesDependencies>false</includesDependencies> <!-- Describes whether or not this artifact contains it dependencies. -->
  2. The plugin described in the last section needs to be incorporated into the pom of the project that makes use of the dependency resolution for additional (transitive) archives.
          <extensions>true</extensions> <!-- Important. If not present the artifact handler 
                                             defined in the components.xml is not taken into account -->
  3. Configure the way you want to consume the archive component. The way how a dependency type is handled is defined inside the configuration section of the xcode-maven-plugin. Within the tag additionalPackagingTypes the packaging type is mapped to a usage type:

    USAGE_TYPE could be as follows:

    1. COPY - the archive component will be copied locally after resolving the dependency.
    2. UNPACK - the archive component will be unpacked locally after resolving the dependency.
    3. BUNDLE - the archive component will be unpacked and represented as Bundle after resolving the dependency.
  4. Add a dependency to the archive component you want to use into the dependencies section in your pom.xml.


        <type>js</type> <!-- The type is defined here -->
    • Download the archive dependency locally

      Open a Terminal and go to the folder containing the pom.xml of your project. Run the following command: mvn initialize

    • Result As a result of the above command execution, you will get a folder named target/xcode-deps/<type> into your project, where the dependent archive component will be downloaded and processed according to the usage type you have defined.


  • COPY The archive is copied into target/xcode-deps/<type> "as it".
  • UNPACK The archive is unpacked into target/xcode-deps/<type>
  • BUNDLE The archive is unpacked into target/xcode-deps/<type>/<artifactId>.bundle . By convention folders with suffix ".bundle" are displayed as bundles.