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1. INTRODUCTION

Microsoft Azure Blob Storage is a low-cost option to store your Maven or other binary artifacts. It’s an alternative to feature-rich Maven repository managers like Nexus, Artifactory when you don’t have the resources to install and maintain a server with the required software or the budget to subscribe to a hosted plan.

A choice I wouldn’t recommend is to store your artifacts in the SCM.

Deploying a Maven snapshot artifact to an Azure Blog Storage Container

This tutorial covers configuring Maven and setting up the Azure Blob Storage components to deploy your Java artifacts to.

2. SETUP AZURE BLOB STORAGE COMPONENTS

Login with your existing Azure account or Sign up to create a new one.

2.1. CREATE STORAGE ACCOUNT

Once you login, you would need to Creare a Storage Account.

  • First create a new Resource Group.

Creating a Resource Group Creating a Resource Group

  • Then continue creating a Storage Account.

Creating an Azure Storage Account Creating an Azure Storage Account

After validation and creation, you should now have a Storage Account.

2.2. CREATE STORAGE ACCOUNT CONTAINERS
  • Browse to the Account’s Containers.

Listing Account Containers Account Containers

  • Click on the + Container button to create the snapshot Container.

Creating an Account Container

  • Repeat the previous step to create the release Container.

3. CONFIGURING MAVEN AND APPLICATION TO BE DEPLOYED TO A STORAGE CONTAINER

Include these updates on the Maven and application side:

  • settings.xml
...
<servers>
  <server>
    <id>maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net</id>
    <username>mavenrepotutorial</username>
    <password>${azure-storage-user-secret-key}</password>
  </server>
</servers>
...

You could add these server settings in your existing ~/.m2/settings.xml or in a new file as done in this tutorial.

Server property Value Description
id maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net Identifier used in the repository and snapshotRepository configured in pom.xml.
username mavenrepotutorial The name used when creating the Storage Account.
password XXXX The Storage Account Access Key you can get from the next image. Don’t make this value public.


Storage Account Access Key Storage Account Access Key

Let’s now configure the artifact’s pom.xml:

  • pom.xml
<build>
...
  <extensions>
    <extension>
      <groupId>com.gkatzioura.maven.cloud</groupId>
      <artifactId>azure-storage-wagon</artifactId>
      <version>1.8</version>
    </extension>
  </extensions>
...
</build>
...
<distributionManagement>
  <snapshotRepository>
    <id>maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net</id>
    <url>bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot</url>
  </snapshotRepository>
  <repository>
    <id>maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net</id>
    <url>bs://mavenrepotutorial/release</url>
  </repository>
</distributionManagement>
...

Notice these ids match the one from settings.xml.
Also notice the urls match the Azure Storage Account name (mavenrepotutorial) and each Storage Container name (snapshot, release).

azure-storage-wagon is a Maven Wagon for Azure Storage, used to publish artifacts to a Storage Account.

4. DEPLOYING AN ARTIFACT TO A STORAGE CONTAINER

4.1. DEPLOYING A SNAPSHOT
mvn --settings settings.xml clean deploy -Dazure-storage-user-secret-key=XXXX
...
[INFO] --- maven-deploy-plugin:2.8.2:deploy (default-deploy) @ springboot-togglz-demo ---
Downloading from maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/maven-metadata.xml
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/springboot-togglz-demo-0-20200831.221412-1.jar
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/springboot-togglz-demo-0-20200831.221412-1.jar (31 MB at 1.4 MB/s)
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/springboot-togglz-demo-0-20200831.221412-1.pom
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/springboot-togglz-demo-0-20200831.221412-1.pom (5.0 kB at 24 kB/s)
Downloading from maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/maven-metadata.xml
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/0-SNAPSHOT/maven-metadata.xml (1.6 kB at 8.3 kB/s)
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/snapshot/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml (586 B at 2.9 kB/s)
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] BUILD SUCCESS
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
...

Deploying a Maven snapshot artifact to an Azure Storage Container Deploying a Maven snapshot artifact to an Azure Storage Container

4.2. DEPLOYING A RELEASE
mvn clean versions:set -DnewVersion=1.0.15
...
[INFO] Processing change of com.asimio.demo:springboot-togglz-demo:0-SNAPSHOT -> 1.0.15
[INFO] Processing com.asimio.demo:springboot-togglz-demo
[INFO]     Updating project com.asimio.demo:springboot-togglz-demo
[INFO]         from version 0-SNAPSHOT to 1.0.15
[INFO]
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] BUILD SUCCESS
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
...

This command updates the version of the artifact.

mvn --settings settings.xml clean deploy -Dazure-storage-user-secret-key=XXXX
...
[INFO] --- maven-deploy-plugin:2.8.2:deploy (default-deploy) @ springboot-togglz-demo ---
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/1.0.15/springboot-togglz-demo-1.0.15.jar
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/1.0.15/springboot-togglz-demo-1.0.15.jar (31 MB at 1.4 MB/s)
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/1.0.15/springboot-togglz-demo-1.0.15.pom
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/1.0.15/springboot-togglz-demo-1.0.15.pom (5.0 kB at 28 kB/s)
Downloading from maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml
Uploading to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml
Uploaded to maven-repo-tutorial.asimio.net: bs://mavenrepotutorial/release/com/asimio/demo/springboot-togglz-demo/maven-metadata.xml (638 B at 3.9 kB/s)
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] BUILD SUCCESS
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
...

Deploying a Maven release artifact to an Azure Storage Container Deploying a Maven release artifact to an Azure Storage Container

The same configuration is also helpful when fetching Java dependencies from a Storage Container.

5. CONCLUSION

Hosting Java artifacts using Azure Blob Storage would be valid for a solo developer or a small team already invested in Azure. Although a better choice than checking in the resulting artifacts into the SCM, it has some limitations. You won’t be able to Search for an artifact, which is convenient when you need to find out the artifactId, groupId and version of a dependency. Another limitation is maintenance. As the snapshot folder grows overtime, you would have to manually remove older versions.

A solution to these problems could be automated when using a feature-rich Maven repository manager like Nexus or Artifactory but as mentioned in the Introduction, it would also require more effort to set it up and a running server or a subscription to a paid plan. Azure Artifacts is another alternative which I might cover in the future.

Thanks for reading and as always, feedback is very much appreciated. If you found this post helpful and would like to receive updates when content like this gets published, sign up to the newsletter.

6. REFERENCES