POM.xml in Maven

What is a POM?

  • A Project Object Model or POM is the fundamental unit of work in Maven.
  • It is an XML file that contains information about the project and configuration details used by Maven to build the project.
  • It contains default values for most projects.
  • Examples for this is the build directory, which is target; the source directory, which is src/main/java; the test source directory, which is src/test/java; and so on.
  • When executing a task or goal, Maven looks for the POM in the current directory. It reads the POM, gets the needed configuration information, then executes the goal.

Super POM

The Super POM is Maven’s default POM. All POMs extend the Super POM unless explicitly set, meaning the configuration specified in the Super POM is inherited by the POMs you created for your projects.

You can see the Super POM for Maven 3.6.3 in Maven Core reference documentation.

Minimal POM

The minimum requirement for a POM are the following:

  • project root
  • modelVersion – should be set to 4.0.0
  • groupId – the id of the project’s group.
  • artifactId – the id of the artifact (project)
  • version – the version of the artifact under the specified group

Example :


A POM requires that its groupId, artifactId, and version be configured. These three values form the project’s fully qualified artifact name. This is in the form of <groupId>:<artifactId>:<version>. As for the example above, its fully qualified artifact name is “com.mycompany.app:my-app:1“.

Also, as mentioned in the first section, if the configuration details are not specified, Maven will use their defaults. One of these default values is the packaging type. Every Maven project has a packaging type. If it is not specified in the POM, then the default value “jar” would be used.

Furthermore, you can see that in the minimal POM the repositories were not specified. If you build your project using the minimal POM, it would inherit the repositories configuration in the Super POM. Therefore when Maven sees the dependencies in the minimal POM, it would know that these dependencies will be downloaded from https://repo.maven.apache.org/maven2 which was specified in the Super POM.

Reference Doc :

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