Welcome to the 5th post in the series. This is going to be a relatively small post where we will take a look at archetypes and how to update these and also discuss a standard layout for creating vRO Actions. At this stage, the focus is on ensuring that we have everything required when creating new projects, instead of having to add new files to the project or modify existing ones.
By now you have come across the term ‘archetype‘ when working with Maven. If you’re not a Java developer or ever worked with Maven before, then you likely have no idea what this means in the context of creating projects.
Here is a dictionary definition for archetype:
So if we look at the first definition, we can think of a Maven archetype as a model for our projects. In essence, think of an archetype as a ‘template’ for Maven projects.
Notice what happens when we create a project for the first time, we would execute a command similar to this:
mvn archetype:generate -DinteractiveMode=false -DarchetypeGroupId=com.vmware.pscoe.o11n.archetypes -DarchetypeArtifactId=package-actions-archetype -DarchetypeVersion=1.5.11 -DgroupId=com.simplygeek.library -DartifactId=nsx
We specify ‘archetype:generate‘, which tells Maven that the project should be generated from an existing archetype. We also specify ‘archetypeGroupId‘, ‘archetypeArtifactId‘, and ‘archetypeVersion‘, which tells Maven how to find the archetype.
Once we have executed the above command, Maven will download several artefacts that it requires for the project. Once this task completes, you will have a directory structure that looks something like the following (depending on what type of project you are creating):
The ‘src‘ directory also includes a ‘main‘ and ‘test‘ subdirectory that includes a sample Action and unit test.
This directory structure and the files have been predefined inside of an archetype. When a new project is created, Maven downloads this archetype and unpacks the contents to form the project directory. This means that every project that we create will look the same.
But what if we want to change this, or perhaps add additional files or update existing ones? Well, it’s quite easy, we just have to locate the artefact for the archetype and update it.
Update Existing Archetype
If you think back to the very first post, we downloaded the vRealize Build Tools package from the VMware flings website. From within this package, there was an ‘iac-maven-repository.zip‘ file, which we copied to a CI server (I used the Artifactory server in my first post). This file includes all the archetypes that are used for our projects.
Depending on which project type you create, the following archetypes are available:
Inside each of these directories, there is a ‘<version>/<archetype>-<version>.jar‘ file and an associated pom file. For a JS based project, you will see:
The jar file is just a zip file and can be opened with any zip software. When you open this file (I’m using 7Zip on WIndows) then you will see two folders, ‘META-INF‘ and ‘archetype-resources‘.
If you navigate into ‘archetype-resources‘, you will see the same folder structure that you get when creating a new project. Read More