How to add dependencies to a Maven project

08 December 2012
By Gonçalo Marques
In this tutorial you will learn how to include references to external libraries (dependencies) into a Maven project.

Used software

This tutorial considers the following software and environment:

  1. Ubuntu 12.04
  2. Maven 3.0.4
  3. Eclipse Juno (for additional tutorial steps)

Editing your pom.xml file

In this tutorial we will be adding Apache Commons Email library as a dependency to our Maven project. Start by opening your pom.xml file and add the Commons email dependency to the project. The groupId, artifactId and version to be used in the dependency element can be easily found in the online Maven global repository or in the official webpage of the dependency provider, ie Apache dependencies info is usually available at the Apache website, Spring dependencies info is usually available at the Spring website, etc.

After editing your pom.xml and adding the Commons Email dependency, the xml file should look like the following:

pom.xml after adding Commons Email dependency
<project xmlns=""

  <!-- ommiting other sections for clarity -->


    <!-- Commons Email dependency-->



Using the Commons Email dependency

Now that we added the Commons Email dependency to our project we can start using it in our classes:

Referencing Commons Email dependency in a Java class
package com.byteslounge;

import org.apache.commons.mail.EmailException;
import org.apache.commons.mail.SimpleEmail;

public class DependencyExample {

  public void sendEmail() throws EmailException {
    SimpleEmail email = new SimpleEmail();
    email.addTo("[email protected]");
    email.setFrom("[email protected]", "John Doe");
    email.setSubject("Some random message");
    email.setMsg("This is a random text message");

After defining the class you can issue the Maven build command. Note that the Commons Email library will be downloaded and added as a dependency to your project during the build process. Issue the following command in your project root directory:

mvn clean install

Updating the dependency references in Eclipse

If you are using Eclipse as your IDE you must refresh the project classpath so it knows about the dependencies you just added. To acomplish this you just need to issue the following Maven command after the build process finishes:

mvn eclipse:eclipse

Now the Commons Email jars are included in your project classpath:

Commons Email dependency in the Eclipse project classpath
Project folder structure

Download source code from this article

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About the author
Gonçalo Marques is a Software Engineer with several years of experience in software development and architecture definition. During this period his main focus was delivering software solutions in banking, telecommunications and governmental areas. He created the Bytes Lounge website with one ultimate goal: share his knowledge with the software development community. His main area of expertise is Java and open source.

GitHub profile:

He is also the author of the WiFi File Browser Android application: