Gradle plugin to ease projects that use xsds and the ant jaxb task
Groovy Java
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Latest commit f0dbfb8 Mar 30, 2015


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In compliance with the gradle plugin submission guidelines, this plugin's id is now fully qualified.

It changed from jaxb to com.github.jacobono.jaxb. This affects how you apply the plugin (apply plugin: 'com.github.jacobono.jaxb')

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Gradle plugin that defines some conventions for xsd projects and provides some processing to ease some of the maintenance of these projects by:

  • Hooking in ant tasks to parse the xsd with the xjc task.
  • Generates code from xsds per unique namespace.
  • Generates an xsd dependency tree, to parse namespaces in their order of dependencies, from the base namespaces up.
  • Generating an episode file for every unique namespace in a set of xsd files
  • Defining a convention to place generated episode files
  • Ability to define xsd projects to depend on one another, so that when parsing, what a project depends on is also parsed

Using The Plugin

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Now in the gradle plugins repo ❗️

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new group id com.github.jacobono matches gradle plugin id.

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Using Gradle 2.1 plugins script block

plugins {
    id 'com.github.jacobono.jaxb' version '1.3.6'

Using Straight-Up JCenter

buildscript {
  repositories {

  dependencies {
    classpath 'com.github.jacobono:gradle-jaxb-plugin:1.3.6'

apply plugin: 'com.github.jacobono.jaxb'

Setting Up The JAXB Configurations

You need the jaxb configuration to run the xjc task, but that is the only task that has an external dependency.

Any version of jaxb that you care to use will work. I try to stay with the latest releases.

    dependencies { 
      jaxb 'com.sun.xml.bind:jaxb-xjc:2.2.7-b41'
      jaxb 'com.sun.xml.bind:jaxb-impl:2.2.7-b41'
      jaxb 'javax.xml.bind:jaxb-api:2.2.7'

Plugin Tasks

There are only two tasks.

  • xjc
    • runs xjc ant task on each .xsd in the dependency tree.
    • needs to be run manually.
  • xsd-dependency-tree
    • Builds a dependency tree from all .xsd files configured to be parsed.
    • Finds each unique namespace and groups files containing that namespace
    • Analyzes xsd dependencies and places them in the correct place in the dependency tree so that the namespaces can be parsed in order using their generated episode files to bind, allowing other projects to use the episode files generated from the namespace in the tree.
      • This keeps all namespaces decoupled and prevents a big episode blob containing everything that was parsed.

xjc depends on xsd-dependency-tree so you don't need to run the tree task at all.

Plugin Conventions

There are two conventions that can be overridden and one is nested in the other.

The jaxb convention defines the conventions for the whole plugin, and the xjc convention defines the conventions for the xjc ant task.

You can change these defaults with a closure in your build script.

    jaxb {
      xjc {

JAXB Plugin Convention

There are 4 overrideable defaults for this JAXB Plugin. These defaults are changed via the jaxb closure.

  • xsdDir
    • ALWAYS relative to project.rootDir
      • Defined by each project to tell the plugin where to find the .xsd files to parse
  • episodesDir
    • ALWAYS relative to project.rootDir
      • i.e. "episodes", "schema/episodes", "xsd/episodes", "XMLSchema/episodes"
      • All generated episode files go directly under here, no subfolders.
  • bindingsDir
    • ALWAYS relative to project.rootDir
      • i.e. "bindings", "schema/bindings", "xsd/bindings", "XMLSchema/bindings"
      • User defined binding files to pass in to the xjc task
      • All files are directly under this folder, no subfolders.
  • bindings
    • customization files to bind with
    • file name List of strings found in bindingsDir
    • if there are bindings present, xjc will be called once with the glob pattern **/*.xsd to snag everything under xsdDir. Fixes #27.

XJC Convention

These defaults are changed via the nested xjc closure. Several sensible defaults are defined to be passed into the wsimport task:

parameter Description default type
destinationDir (R) generated code will be written to this directory src/main/java String
extension (O) Run XJC compiler in extension mode true boolean
header (O) generates a header in each generated file true boolean
producesDir (O)(NI) aids with XJC up-to-date check src/main/java String
generatePackage (O) specify a package to generate to none String
args (O) List of strings for extra arguments to pass that aren't listed none List<String>
removeOldOutput (O) Only used with nested <produces> elements, when 'yes' all files are deleted before XJC is run 'yes' String
taskClassname (O) Enables a custom task classname if using something other than jaxb String
  • (O) - optional argument
  • (R) - required argument
  • (NI) - not implemented / not working

For more in depth description please see -- or substitute the version you are using.


destinationDir is relative to project.projectDir. It is defaulted to src/main/java, but can be set to anywhere in project.projectDir.


producesDir is not currently used in the plugin. But it was meant to be in there so that if no xsd changes have happened, then no code generation would take place. Hasn't worked yet.


taskClassname is the class to be used to run the xjc task. Useful if JAXB2 is desired to be used.

Extra Arguments

args passes arbitrary arguments to the xjc ant task. This is useful when activating JAXB2 plugins.


Default Example using JAXB

If the default conventions aren't changed, the only thing to configure (per project) is the xsdDir, and jaxb dependencies as described above.

jaxb {
  xsdDir = "schema/folder1"

Default Example using JAXB2

Customized to use the same xjc task that xjc-mojo uses.

dependencies {
  jaxb "org.jvnet.jaxb2_commons:jaxb2-basics-ant:0.6.5"
  jaxb "org.jvnet.jaxb2_commons:jaxb2-basics:0.6.4"
  jaxb "org.jvnet.jaxb2_commons:jaxb2-basics-annotate:0.6.4"

jaxb {
  xsdDir = "some/folder"
  xjc {
     taskClassname      = "org.jvnet.jaxb2_commons.xjc.XJC2Task"
	 generatePackage    = ""
     args               = ["-Xinheritance", "-Xannotate"]

Defining The Plugin For All Projects

I like to create a convention for xsd projects to have a suffix of -schema. I find it easy to then write:

subproject { project ->
  if("-schema")) { 
    apply plugin: 'com.github.jacobono.jaxb'

    dependencies { 
      jaxb 'com.sun.xml.bind:jaxb-xjc:2.2.7-b41'
      jaxb 'com.sun.xml.bind:jaxb-impl:2.2.7-b41'
      jaxb 'javax.xml.bind:jaxb-api:2.2.7'

applying the plugin to all schema projects.

Other Features

Depend On Another Project

This lets gradle know that the xjc task of a project is dependent on the xjc task of another project. This can be achieved with:

dependencies {
  jaxb project(path: ':common', configuration: 'jaxb')

I like how this expresses that xsd's definitely depend on other xsd's outside of their parent folder xsdDir.

This will run the xjc task on common before running the xjc task of of the project this is defined in.


You can find some examples in the examples folder


If you think this plugin could be better, please fork it! If you have an idea that would make something a little easier, I'd love to hear about it.