Increase your Maven Package’s Exposure by Adding it to JCenter

If you already distribute your Maven packages via Bintray, your packages can gain further exposure by including them in Bintray’s JCenter! (if you are not very familiar with Bintray’s support for Maven, please refer to the user guide and to my previous post).

JCenter is the repository with the biggest collection of Maven artifacts in the world. And it’s on the best software distribution platform around – Bintray. This is where you want your Maven packages to be! CDN speed, user exposure, and live statistics to monitor the use of your artifacts are some of the benefits you get from JCenter. And if you really want to, you can also have your project synced with the older Maven Central repository.

Submit an Inclusion Request to JCenter

To promote sharing of packages within the developer community, once you have uploaded a package to one of your repositories, you can submit a request to the owner of any other repository to have your package included in theirs. If your request is granted, your package can be found just like any other package in that repository. You still maintain full control over the package in your own repository, and any changes you make to it, such as delivering new versions, or even removing it, are automatically synced to the other repository in which it’s included. So to maximize exposure of your Maven package in Bintray, all you need to do is request to have it added to JCenter.
In order to submit a request, just click on the ‘Add to JCenter’ button:

Add Package To JCenter
Once a Bintray moderator approves your request, your package will be available on JCenter, and you will receive a message into your Bintray mailbox. You will also see that your package is now linked to JCenter:
Maven Projects Linked To JCenter

Sync with Maven Central

At this point you can also have JCenter sync your package to Maven Central if you need to serve frameworks still using this repository. All you need to do is click on the ‘Maven Central’ link as shown above. Remember that you need to provide your Sonatype user name to Bintray before the syncing, but don’t worry, Bintray will remind you to do so if you haven’t already added it to your profile under Accounts:
Accounts Sonatype
Bintray takes care of the rest. Please also refer to the step by step instructions for how to sync your artifacts with Maven Central.

Good luck, and keep your package front and JCenter!

Publishing Your Maven Project to Bintray

Bintray gives you everything you need to share your Maven project, and much more: you will be able to monitor downloads and users with the statistics that Bintray keeps for you. You can also share your project via Bintray’s JCenter repository (which is the largest public Maven repository out there), and effortlessly sync it with Maven Central, if you wish.

Just follow these 5 simple steps to upload your Maven project to Bintray:

1. Have your Maven project ready

  • For this use case we will assume we have a maven project with the following groupId: org.jfrog.example.bintray.maven

2. Create a Maven package in Bintray

  • Open a Bintray account if you have not done so before.
  • Use the default Maven repository under your account or create a new one. The is where your Maven files will be hosted.

Create New Maven Repository

  • Under the Maven repository create a new package for your project. The package is merely a logical container that holds metadata about your project and annotates your files to allow Bintray to collect package and version level statistics.
    A good name for your package would be your main artifactId, but any name that logically identifies your project will do just as well.
    In our case, a good example would be: maven-example

3. Add the Bintray distribution URL

Next thing you need to do is to add a distribution section to your project’s pom.xml, and specify the URL from which to distribute your project. We will use our Bintray Maven repository and package as the target for deployment (remember? files in Bintray are always associated with a logical software package).

<distributionManagement>
  <repository>
      <id>bintray-repo-maven-example</id>
      <url>https://api.bintray.com/maven/tamarjfrog/maven-repo/maven-example/;publish=1</url>
  </repository>
</distributionManagement>

For your project to be visible to others, Bintray requires that you publish it. One way to do that is to add the publish directive to the distribution URL as a matrix parameter (;publish=1) as I did in the above example. You can also publish your projects at a later time using  the Bintray UI or via REST.

This block also includes an <id> tag. The id can be any string, but it should match the id in the settings.xml file described in the next step.

4. Provide your credentials to Bintray

In order to work with Bintray you need to provide your Bintray username and API Key as upload credentials in the username and password tags of your Maven settings.xml file. The API Key can be found when editing your Bintray profile page.

<server>
  <id>bintray-repo-maven-example</id>
  <username>tamarjfrog</username>
  <password>***my-top-secret-api-key***</password>
</server>

5. Time to deploy!

You are almost there. This is the time to run

mvn deploy

The project will be built, uploaded to the the Bintray repository target URL you provided, and published. You can now see your files in your Maven package in Bintray.

Maven Package Files List.
At this point, you can add your project to JCenter, the most comprehensive public Maven repository, so your project is well exposed. To read more about that, stay tuned for my next post.

A sample project similar to what I used in this post can be found in GitHub: bintray-examples/maven-examples.

Good Luck!

Another one bites the Maven Central dust (and saved by Bintray)

Today, I encountered another very detailed blog post on the woes of publishing on Maven Central. Jose Maria Arranz (@jmarranz) explains why he doesn’t like Maven in general and publishing to Maven Central in particular (I am with him on a lot of valid points).

I can’t help quoting:

Fortunately when searching for how-to articles and commenting in Twitter, @jbaruch an employee of JFrog contacts with me offering Bintray.com alternative to publish to Maven Central, the people behind JCenter, I read the article “The easy way to maven central” and I was sold. Bintray provides a GUI to upload and self sign your artifacts if you provides your public and private GnuPG keys, and with a simple UI action you are published in JCenter repository, and providing the Sontaype user and password you can finally easily publish in Maven Central.

Bintray helped me to break the wall of Sonatype process. I’m saved!!

Currently I’ve released RelProxy on JCenter and Maven Central. For releasing I use Ant calling to Maven tasks to generate the required Maven artifacts and to generate a distribution zip with everything. Everything could be automated, I could add signing and uploading from Ant (or maybe by the POM) without Bintray, but Bintray auto-signing and uploading UI is enough for me, releasing is done from time to time and most of releasing process is already automated, and releasing in JCenter is a plus.

Note: Don’t forget JCenter, for instance Maven Central is no longer pre-configured in Google Android environment.

That’s what I call “success”!

Thanks for the kind words, Jose Maria! I am happy that we managed to help 🙂

Enjoy Bintray and use it as pain-free gateway to Maven Central

What does it means when some tool or framework has literally dozens of guides, pages long each?maven central dinosaur
It probably means that it is popular, or complicated to use. Usually, both.

That’s the story of Maven Central (a.k.a. Central Repository, a.k.a. repo1, a.k.a. ibiblio). Of course, there is a better alternative nowadays – Bintray is already a super-set of Maven Central, both in terms of UI, UX and content, but Maven Central is still “hardwired” into the super-popular Maven 2. As such, it is being used by many – by Maven users of course, but also by Ivy, and even by Gradle users (those not familiar with Bintray’s ‘jcenter()’ repo yet). That means that you (still) want your package to also end up  there.

But getting it there is painful… *Very* painful.

Maven Central #fail

Click to enjoy the comments 😛

To understand how painful, next time you take a break, here’s a nice old-school text quest.

So, you get the picture. There has to be a better way. Indeed there is. Why don’t you use a proper distribution platform, with easy and intuitive on-boarding, publishing and sharing, with rich near real-time statistics, downloadable logs, packages inclusion, watching and sharing abilities, and much more. You know, Bintray.

Here’s the deal:

First, some simple one-time setup needed to be done.

  1. Register to Bintray and set up auto-signing: Generate yourself a keypair, if you don’t have one. Add it to your profile, and setup your default Maven repo (or a new one) for signing with your GPG key: Bintray can then sign your jars automatically.
  2. Add your Sonatype account under “accounts”. If you don’t have one, follow this procedure (yeah, we know what you are saying when you see it, that’s the last “wtf” in this guide, we promise).
  3. Create and link your package: Import from a GitHub repo or create a new package for your Maven project (multi-module projects can map to a single package). Click on “Add to JCenter” to get your package linked to the largest Java Maven repository on the planet.
  4. Set up Maven up to deploy to Bintray by copy-pasting the pom.xml snippets from “Set me up!” guide, or use the bintray-gradle-plugin.

Now, for each release, it’s easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Deploy: Deploy files to Bintray by running your build tool*.
  2. Publish: Review the build artifacts in Bintray and publish the version files if satisfied. Don’t forget to advertise your new release using a single-click tweet.
  3. Sync: On the version page go to the Maven Central tab (the one with the dinosaur icon on it), enter your Sonatype password and click “Sync” and you’re done! Your package is now in https://oss.sonatype.org/content/repositories/releases and will be synced to Maven Central (and they usually take their time). In case of a sync problem, Bintray will automatically take care of any needed cleanup.

Next, you’ll probably feel the urge to to tweet something like this:

Don’t resist it. You are joining spring, netty, jenkins, joda-time, asciidoctor and many many others that already feel the same way.


* Remember: distribution platform is not for SNAPSHOT-s. Stay tuned for our post about oss.jfrog.org to see how you can get access to a free binary repository with one-click promotion to Bintray.