Configuring Maven Build Profiles - Maven Tutorial

php Copy code

Apache Maven provides a powerful feature called build profiles that allows you to customize the build process based on different environments or specific requirements. Build profiles help you manage configuration, dependencies, and other build aspects for different scenarios, such as development, testing, and production. In this tutorial, we will explore how to configure Maven build profiles to customize your builds in Apache Maven.

Introduction to Build Profiles

A build profile in Maven defines a set of configuration values and actions that are activated under certain conditions. These conditions can be based on different factors such as environment variables, operating system, Maven properties, or explicit profile activation. By using build profiles, you can have different configurations for different build environments without modifying the project's POM file.

Configuring build profiles involves the following steps:

  1. Defining build profiles in the POM file
  2. Configuring profile activation
  3. Defining profile-specific configuration
  4. Activating profiles during the build

Defining Build Profiles

To define build profiles in your project's POM file, you need to add the <profiles> element as a sibling of the <build> element. Each profile is defined within the <profiles> element using the <profile> tag.

Here's an example of defining two build profiles, "development" and "production":




php Copy code

Configuring Profile Activation

Profile activation determines when a profile should be activated during the build. Activation can be based on different criteria such as Maven properties, operating system, JDK version, and more. You can configure activation using the <activation> element within each profile.

For example, to activate the "development" profile when the Maven property env is set to dev, you can add the following configuration:




php Copy code

Defining Profile-Specific Configuration

Within each profile, you can define profile-specific configuration for plugins, dependencies, resources, and other build aspects. This allows you to customize the build behavior for each profile.

For example, you can configure different dependencies for the "development" and "production" profiles:




less Copy code

Activating Profiles during the Build

To activate profiles during the build, you can use the -P option followed by the profile identifier.

For example, to activate the "development" profile during the build, you can use the following command:

mvn clean install -P development

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Missing or incorrect activation criteria, resulting in profiles not being activated as expected
  • Overcomplicating profile-specific configuration, leading to complex and hard-to-maintain builds
  • Not properly documenting the purpose and usage of different profiles
  • Activating multiple profiles that conflict with each other, causing unexpected build behavior
  • Not testing and verifying the behavior of each profile during the build process

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I activate multiple profiles simultaneously?

    Yes, you can activate multiple profiles by separating their identifiers with commas. For example, mvn clean install -P profile1,profile2 will activate both "profile1" and "profile2" during the build.

  2. Can I deactivate a profile that is activated by default?

    Yes, you can deactivate a default profile by using the !profileId syntax. For example, mvn clean install -P !defaultProfile will deactivate the "defaultProfile" profile during the build.

  3. Can I define profile-specific properties?

    Yes, you can define profile-specific properties in the POM file using the <properties> element within each profile. These properties can be used in the profile-specific configuration or for other purposes within the build.

  4. Can I inherit configuration from a parent profile?

    Yes, you can use the <parent> element to inherit configuration from a parent profile. This allows you to define common configuration in a parent profile and extend or override it in child profiles.


Maven build profiles provide a powerful mechanism for customizing your build process based on different environments or specific requirements. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can define and configure build profiles, activate them during the build, and tailor your build for specific scenarios. Avoid common mistakes and ensure proper testing and documentation to maintain reliable and flexible build configurations. With Maven build profiles, you can efficiently manage various build configurations and automate the process of building your projects in different contexts.