Maven Dependency Scopes

Maven dependency scope attribute is used to specify the visibility of a dependency, relative to the different lifecycle phases (build, test, runtime etc). Maven provides six scopes i.e. compile, provided, runtime, test, system, and import.

Table of Contents

1. Compile Scope
2. Provided Scope
3. Runtime Scope
4. Test Scope
5. System Scope
6. Import Scope
7. Transitivity Resolution

Maven dependency scope – compile

This is maven default scope. Dependencies with compile scope are needed to build, test, and run the project.

Scope compile is to be required in most of the cases to resolve the import statements into your java classes sourcecode.

<dependencies>
	<dependency>
		<groupId>log4j</groupId>
		<artifactId>log4j</artifactId>
		<version>1.2.14</version>
		<!-- You can ommit this because it is default -->
		<scope>compile</scope>
	</dependency>
</dependencies>

Maven dependency scope – provided

Maven dependency scope provided is used during build and test the project. They are also required to run, but should not exported, because the dependency will be provided by the runtime, for instance, by servlet container or application server.

<dependency>
    <groupId>javax.servlet</groupId>
    <artifactId>servlet-api</artifactId>
    <version>3.0.1</version>
    <scope>provided</scope>
</dependency>

Maven dependency scope – runtime

Dependencies with maven dependency scope runtime are not needed to build, but are part of the classpath to test and run the project.

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.thoughtworks.xstream</groupId>
    <artifactId>xstream</artifactId>
    <version>1.4.4</version>
    <scope>runtime</scope>
 </dependency>

Maven dependency scope – test

Dependencies with maven dependency scope test are not needed to build and run the project. They are needed to compile and run the unit tests.

<dependency>
	<groupId>junit</groupId>
	<artifactId>junit</artifactId>
	<version>4.12</version>
	<scope>test</scope>
</dependency>

Maven dependency scope – system

Dependencies with system are similar to ones with scope provided. The only difference is system dependencies are not retrieved from remote repository. They are present under project’s subdirectory and are referred from there. See external dependency for more detail.

<dependency>
  <groupId>extDependency</groupId>
  <artifactId>extDependency</artifactId>
  <scope>system</scope>
  <version>1.0</version>
  <systemPath>${basedir}\war\WEB-INF\lib\extDependency.jar</systemPath>
</dependency>

Maven dependency scope – import

import scope is only supported on a dependency of type pom in the dependencyManagement section. It indicates the dependency to be replaced with the effective list of dependencies in the specified POM’s dependencyManagement section.

<dependencyManagement>
    <dependencies>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>other.pom.group.id</groupId>
            <artifactId>other-pom-artifact-id</artifactId>
            <version>SNAPSHOT</version>
            <scope>import</scope>
            <type>pom</type>
        </dependency>   
    </dependencies>
</dependencyManagement>

Maven dependency transitivity resolution

When you include a maven dependency and it has it’s own other dependencies (i.e. transitive dependencies) then you may want to be clear about the scope of these transitive dependencies as well.

Let’s understand about maven transitive dependencies with a simple table. In this table, if a dependency is set to the scope in the left column, transitive dependencies at top row will result in a dependency with the scope listed at their intersection.

Dependency
compile
provided
runtime
test
compile
compile
runtime
provided
provided
provided
runtime
runtime
runtime
test
test
test

Drop me your questions in comments section.

Happy Learning!!

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6 thoughts on “Maven Dependency Scopes”

  1. Hi,

    I have 2 projects A(child) and B(parent). child project (A) is refered in project B dependency. during mvn built the child project dependency jars are not being published or defined in the lib directory of the WAR file. what is the scope i should use to get all the dependencies of the child project should be loaded in the lib directory of the WAR ?

    Reply
  2. Is scope also define the phase of resolution of dependencies. Like if scope is test, then will it only resolve till maven test has done

    Reply
  3. java.lang.AbstractMethodError: javax.ws.rs.core.UriBuilder.uri(Ljava/lang/String;)Ljavax/ws/rs/core/UriBuilder;
    javax.ws.rs.core.UriBuilder.fromUri(UriBuilder.java:119)
    org.glassfish.jersey.servlet.ServletContainer.service(ServletContainer.java:291)
    org.glassfish.jersey.servlet.ServletContainer.service(ServletContainer.java:221)
    org.apache.tomcat.websocket.server.WsFilter.doFilter(WsFilter.java:52)

    Reply
  4. Hi ,
    I want some specific jars at compile/build time but don’t want to include in a final executable jar. I have used “provided” scope but that is not working. Can you please help in that .

    Regards
    Vipin

    Reply

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