Build an XP library


This guide takes you through the steps of building a custom library for Enonic XP

XP libraries are created in Maven style. This means libraries also may contain Java, and be published to standard Maven repositories.


An XP library enables packaging of code and resources for reuse across different apps. In addition to Java, libraries may contain JavaScript controllers, Content types, assets or other XP-specific resources.

During this exercise you will:

  • Create your own library from a template

  • Build and publish your library

  • Use the library in an application

  • Best practices whenb building a library

The code samples in the starter also demonstrates interfacing Java from JavaScript, and testing your library code

Create project

To set up a project locally, run the following command and complete the steps:

enonic project create -r starter-lib
Don’t have Enonic CLI? Visit the Getting started guide to install it.

Project structure

The project folder created in the previous step should now contain the following project structure:

build.gradle (1) (2)
build/ (3)
    java/ (4)
    resources/ (5)
  test/ (6)
1 The build script defining the tasks and dependencies for the project
2 Contains build artifact name and version, also specifies the XP version it is based on
3 Contains output files produced by the build
4 Contains sample Java code
5 Contains sample xp resources and JavaScripts
6 Contains sample code for automated testing of your library

Building the library

From the project folder created (i.e. myproject/), run this command:

enonic project build

This command now produces a .jar file in the folder build/libs/ i.e. build/libs/myproject.jar

Unlike apps, libraries can not be deployed and run by themselves.

Publishing the library

In order for other applications and projects to download and use the newly created library, it must first be published.

XP and the Gradle build system supports Maven style repositories. This means we may use the local filesystem as a repo. Run the following command to publish the .jar file to your local repo:

enonic project gradle publishToMavenLocal

If you used the default values when creating the project, you will find the library in your users home directory: .m2/repository/com/example/myproject/1.0.0-SNAPSHOT/myproject-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

Setting up and publishing to remote repositories is out-of-scope for this guide. For more details on this topic, check out Gradle’s documentation

Using the library

If you don’t have an existing app to start testing with, simply run enonic project create once more, and choose any other starter.

To use the newly published library in another XP application, you must add a dependency in your application’s build file.

The format of the dependency is: <group>:<name>:<version>.

Sample application build.gradle
dependencies {
    include "com.example:myproject:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"

Plain Java libraries normally use the compile statement, XP specific libraries should use include. Include works like compile, but additionally copies the contents of the library’s src/main/resources/ folder into the target application.

Specifying the name and version of the artifact to publish is not always enough. The build system also need to know which repository to look in.

For our example, the application needs to at least specify mavenLocal() as a source repository

Application build.gradle
repositories {
The example above adds both mavenLocal and Enonic’s public repository to your app.

When your build files are correctly configured, you may build the application from it’s project folder (i.e. myapp/), run this command to complete the build:

enonic project build

Similar to the library build, this command also produces a .jar file in build/libs/. i.e. build/libs/myapp.jar

To see the actual structure of the build, you may decompress the jar file

The library can now be used from any JavaScript controller in the app, simply by requiring the lib and calling any exported functions:

Example code to use the controller src/resources/lib/example/js-lib from the library
var myLib = require('/lib/example/js-lib');

exports.get = function (req) {
    var statement = myLib.hello('world');

    return {
        body: statement

Resource merging

JavaScript, assets, schemas and other resources in the library’s src/main/resources/ folder will be merged into the target application.

As such, files will be found in the same location they are placed in the library. This actually means that the target application can use any resource as if were created locally within the app.

The resource files of your application will always override same-name-files in a library. This may be useful if you want to replace one or more files from a library.

To avoid conflicts, library developers should give their controllers a unique name/path i.e. src/main/resources/lib/<unique-path-or-lib-name>.js. This simplifies use of exports, and prevents collision with other libraries used by the app.


In the end, an XP library is compiled into a standard Java Archive ().jar file). This means it may also contain Java classes.

Java packages and classes must be placed under path src/main/java. They will be compiled and included in the library by the Gradle build system.

Your project contains an example of how to add and use Java in your library.


Just like any other application or project, you may write tests to verify your code. The library starter includes examples on how to write tests and run them during compilation.

All tests must be placed under src/test/ Additionally, your build file must have testCompile statements to run tests.

build.gradle with support for running tests
dependencies {
    testCompile "com.enonic.xp:testing:${xpVersion}"
    testCompile 'org.mockito:mockito-core:2.+'
    testCompile 'junit:junit:4.12'