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Implements some JAXB plugins to generate advanced contract scenarios from XSD
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A collection of JAXB / XJC plugins to generate advanced contract scenarios from XSD

Current Version: 1.15.0

This module is a collection of several plugins for the JAXB2 (Java API for XML binding) "XSD to Java Compiler" (XJC). These plugins are intended to add support for additional contracts to the classes generated by XJC. Currently, there are 7 plugin classes:

  1. fluent-builder: Generates a builder class for every class generated. Builders are implemented as inner classes, static methods are provided for a fluent builder pattern in the form MyClass.builder().withPropertyA(...).withPropertyB(...).build(). Builders also contain "copy..." methods to initialize the builder from another instance. Partial copying is also supported in the same way as in copy. This is particularly useful together with -Ximmutable (see above), but not usable together with -Xconstrained-properties (see below). fluent-builder offers a bunch of cool stuff usually not found in standard builder generators, such as generating builder from existing instances with optional partial copying, chained builders, <choice> expansion, etc.
  2. immutable: Will make generated classes immutable. Only makes sense together with "fluent-builder" plugin (see below), or any other builder or initialisation facility, like the well-known "value-constructor" plugin.
  3. group-contract: When using <attributeGroup> or <group> elements in an XSD, they are transformed as interface definitions, and any complexTypes using the groups will be generated as classes implementing this interface.
  4. clone: Will generate a simple deep "clone" method for the generated classes based on the heuristic that it only makes sense to traverse further down in the cloned object tree for members of types that are actually cloenable themselves.
  5. copy: Similar to "clone", will generate a simple deep "createCopy" method. The java API contract for the java.lang.Cloneable interface and the rules for overriding Object.clone() are defective by design. So the "copy" plugin uses its own API to realize the desired behavior. Also can generate a "partial createCopy" method, that takes a PropertyTree object which represents an include/exclude rule for nodes in the object tree to clone. Excluded nodes will not be cloned and left alone. Optionally, corresponding copy constructors can also be generated.
  6. constrained-properties: Will generate a complexTypes element members as bound and/or constrained properties as per the JavaBeans spec.
  7. meta: Generates a nested class representing a static metamodel of the generated classes. In the "enhanced" version, this contains information about the type and the XSD element from which the property was generated, in "simple" mode, there are only constants for the property names.

How to get it

Full documentation on GitHub

Get the source on GitHub

Download this project as a .zip file

Download this project as a tar.gz file

Get it with Maven (Now hosted on maven central):


Version History

  • 1.0.0: Initial Version
  • 1.0.1: Added constrained-property plugin
  • 1.0.2: Added partial clone method generation
  • 1.0.3: Improvements in partial clone
  • 1.0.4: Added fluent builder and immutable plugins
  • 1.0.5: Added chainable fluent builder support
  • 1.1.0: New: -Ximmutable, Copy constructor support, fluent-builder copy from instance support, general fixes. Removed option to generate fluent builders without chained builder support.
  • 1.1.1: New: Type-safe selector support for partial clone/copy logic.
  • 1.1.2: Big fixes in selector logic
  • 1.1.3: Minor bug fixes in fluent-builder
  • 1.1.4: Fixed an error in fluent-builder where an initialization method wasn't properly overridden in derived builder classes, leading to the wrong builder type being returned when using chained sub-builders.
  • 1.1.5: Fixed error in Release Build process
  • 1.1.6: Fixed bug in group-contract plugin: Property names customised via binding info were generated incorrectly in the interface definitions.
  • 1.2.0: Major changes to the logic of partial cloning. The partial clone PropertyTree pattern replaces the previous PropertyPath, which had pretty unclear semantics. The new PropertyTree builders now just create a property tree, and on invocation of the "clone()" or "copyOf()" methods or the copy constructor, it is decided by an additional parameter whether the property tree should be considered an exclusion or an inclusion pattern. Additionally, the group-interface plugin has been modified to create interfaces also for the fluent builders, if the fluent-builder plugin is activated.
  • 1.2.3: Added "Copyable" interface and "createCopy" method which does the same thing as the "clone()" method, but doesn't suffer from the defective-by-design java.lang.Cloneable contract. It is planned to als add a "copyFrom" method to copy the state of another object into an existing object.
  • 1.3.1: Made fluent-builder plugin work in an "episode" (modular generation and compilation) context by also integrating compiled classes on the XJC classpath in the search for base and property classes.
  • 1.3.6: Also made group-interface work in an "episode" context, and fixed bug where empty interfaces were created if no implementation class for them could be found in the current module.
  • 1.4.0: group-interface is using its own episode file to maintain relationships to definitions in upstream modules. Command-line options for a specific plugin must now be given immediately after the plugin activation option ("-X..."). This way, name conflicts between plugin options are avoided. Static source files are generated via the JCodeModel.addResourceFile API, so a bug where the source files ended up in the root of the project tree should be fixed now. group-interface and fluent-builder now are working together more reliably.
  • 1.5.0: Added new Plugin "-Xmeta" to generate an inner class containing static meta information about the properties of a class. Internally, a common base class for plugins was extracted to help in command-line parsing and command-line documentation.
  • 1.5.1: Major updates to documentation, improvements to -Xmeta to expose static information about XSD definitions of properties.
  • 1.5.2:
    • Now hosted on Central
    • More updates to documentation
    • Customization of names of many generated source elements
    • Improved handling of CloneNotSupportedException in clone, copy, and fluent-builder plugins
  • 1.5.3:
    • Added maven "site" hosted on github pages
    • Improvements to javadoc comment generation
    • Improvements to documentation
  • 1.5.4:
    • Updates to generated documentation
    • changed groupId to net.codesup.util
  • 1.5.5:
    • immutable plugin: Added command line option to specify access level of default constructor
  • 1.5.6:
    • Added instance "newCopyBuilder" method generation
  • 1.5.7:
    • Fixed bug where partial copying in a builder didn't work
  • 1.5.8:
    • Bugfix: When generating builder interface, not all superinterfaces were declared in the "extends" clause.
    • Added command-line option to configure whether methods that could cause type clashes should be ommitted.
    • Added command-line option to configure suffix for instance fields of a builder holding sub-builders
  • 1.5.9:
    • fluent-builder: Added methods to initialize collection properties with an "java.util.Iterable" instance instead of collection.
    • fluent-builder: Made "add..." and "with..." methods for collection properties fall through if they are given a NULL arg for the item collection.
  • 1.6.0:
    • immutable: You can now have a "modifier" class generated that provides methods to modify the state of an otherwise immutable object anyway.
  • 1.6.1:
    • minor bugfixes
  • 1.6.2:
    • immutable: Introduced alternate collection type when generating immutable collection properties
    • made more names of generated items configurable
  • 1.6.3:
    • Added "fake" mode for immutable, only for test purposes
  • 1.6.4:
    • group-contract: when generating methods that could conflict with each other in cases where two interfaces are used at the same time as generic type parameter boundaries, an extra level of interfaces is declared so that the potentially problematic methods are in their own interface definition which can be omitted in your code if desired.
    • Issue #16 resolved.
    • clone: Resolved an issue with generating the "throws CloneNotSupportedException" declarations. Now they are only generated if actually needed.
    • Put "modifier" generation into separate plugin class.
  • 1.6.5:
    • fluent-builder: Changed logic of static "copyOf" method to allow widening type conversion of input parameter.
  • 1.6.6:
    • fluent-builder: Changed type parameter names to make name conflicts less likely
  • 1.6.7:
    • Fixed a bug in fluent-builder generation that could prevent builder chaining under some circumstances
  • 1.6.8:
    • Integrated a fix from JulianPaoloThiry
    • Improved fluent builder to support building of sub-objects defined in a choice. All possible have a buidler method now, so, for example, in XHTML, instead of doing somethoin like htmlBuilder.withPorH1orH2(H1.builder().withContent("bla").build()).... you can do htmlBuilder.withH1().withContent("bla").end().....
  • 1.6.9:
    • Fixed errors in release workflow
  • 1.6.10:
    • Changes in group-contract plugin when handling XSD input sources.
  • 1.7.0:
    • Modified fluent builder behavior so that it creates a deep copy of all child objects passed to the builder methods, if the child object is an instance of a JAXB-generated class from the same compilation unit or one of its episode-dependencies.
  • 1.8.0:
    • Made behavior introduced in 1.7.0 switchable with command-line parameter, because it isn't desirable in many cases.
    • Improved site and documentation generation
  • 1.9.0:
    • Refactored out common classes to jaxb-plugin-lib module
    • Fixed override of choice expansion builder methods
    • Fixed possible name clashes with choice expansion
  • 1.10.0:
    • Added visitor pattern to meta plugin
    • Added property access via meta plugin
  • 1.11.0:
    • Made "visit" method return "this" for easier chaining.
  • 1.11.1:
    • Fixed bug in constant name generation
  • 1.11.1:
    • Fixed regression bug in builder where non-copied objects were not saved
  • 1.12.0
    • Enable visitor to visit root object
  • 1.13.0
    • Fixed instance access to static field generation in meta plugin
    • Fixed choice expansion to work with collections not only of complexTypes, but of simpleTypes as well
  • 1.14.0
    • Added "visit" Method to generated interfaces.
  • 1.15.0
    • Moved "visit" Method to "Lifecycle" interfaces.



jaxb2-rich-contract-plugin is a plugin to the XJC "XML to Java compiler" shipped with the reference implementation of JAXB, included in all JDKs since 1.6. It is targeted on version 2.2 of the JAXB API. In order to make it work, you need to:

  • Add the jar file to the classpath of XJC
  • Add the JAXB 2.2 XJC API to the classpath of XJC, if your environment is running by default under JAXB 2.1 or lower.
  • Add the corresponding activating command-line option to XJC's invocation, see below for details of each of the plugins
  • Each of the plugins, except "-Ximmutable", has one or more sub-options to fine-control its behavior. These sub-option must be given after the corresponding main "-X..." activation option, to avoid naming conflicts. Names of sub-options can be given dash-separated or in camelCase.
  • The "immutable" and "constrained-properties" plugins are mutually exclusive. An object cannot be both immutable and send change notifications.

From Maven

You should add "maven-jaxb2-plugin" to your <build> configuration. Then add "jaxb2-rich-contract-plugin" as an XJC plugin ("plugin for plugin") to the maven plugin declaration. The following cheat sheet shows all possible options reflecting their default values:

                        <!-- Put this in if your default JAXB version is 2.1 or lower,
                        or if &quot;tools.jar&quot; isn't in your classpath -->

Note: the <extension/> flag must be set to "true" in order to make XJC accept any extensions at all.

Note: jaxb2-rich-contract-plugin implements JAXB and XJC APIs version 2.2. You most likely will have to add the dependencies to these libraries to your classpath effective at XJC runtime. See the <dependencies> element above on how to do this.



Many GUI applications use data binding to connect the data model to the view components. The JavaBeans standard defines a simple component model that also supports properties which send notifications whenever the are about to be changed, and there are even vetoable changes that allow a change listener to inhibit modification of a property. While the JAvaBeans standard is a bit dated, data binding and property change notification can come in handy in many situations, even for debugging or reverse-engineering existing code, because you can track any change made to the model instance.


constrained-properties generates additional code in the property setter methods of the POJOs generated by XJC that allow PropertyChangeListeners and VetoableChangeListeners to be attached to any instance of a XJC-generated class.

Currently, indexed properties are NOT supported in the way specified by JavaBeans, but instead, if a property represents a collection, a collection proxy class is generated that supports its own set of collection-specific change notifications, vetoable and other. This decision has been made because by default XJC generates collection properties rather than indexed properties, and indexed properties as mandated by JavaBeans are generally considered "out of style".


  • The JavaBeans standard is only loosely implemented in the generated classes.
  • Indexed Properties as defined in JavaBeans are not supported.
  • The CollectionChange behavior implemented by the classes is not yet documented and non-standard.




-constrained={y|n} (y)

switch "constrained" property contract generation on/off. Default: yes

-bound={y|n} (y)

switch "bound" property contract generation on/off. Default: yes

-setterThrows={y|n} (n)

Declare setXXX methods to throw PropertyVetoException (yes), or rethrow as RuntimeException (no). Default: no

-generateTools={y|n} (y)

Generate helper classes needed for collection change event detection. Turn off in modules that import other generated modules. Default: yes



Another way to create a deep copy of an object tree. This adheres to the java.lang.Cloneable contract, but isn't as versatile as -Xcopy.


The clone plugin generates a deep clone method for each of the generated classes, based on the following assumptions:

  • Objects implementing java.lang.Cloneable and are cloneable by their "clone" Method.
  • Objects not implementing java.lang.Cloneable or primitive types are assumed to be immutable, their references are copied over, they are not cloned.


The -cloneThrows option should in fact never have existed.


There is currently no way for the plugin to determine whether an object in the object graph that isn't cloneable actually is immutable so its reference can be copied. So, there is no guarantee that cloned object graphs are really independent of each other, as mandated by the java.lang.Cloneable contract.




-cloneThrows={y|n} (y)

Declare CloneNotSupportedException to be thrown by 'clone()' (yes), or suppress throws clause and wrap all CloneNotSupportedExceptions as RuntimeException (no). If you set this to no, the resulting code will violate the java.lang.Cloneable contract, since it is stated that an object that cannot be cloned should throw CloneNotSupportedException, and nothing else. This option has been added, however, to support legacy code that doesn't catch CloneNotSupportedExceptions.



Sometimes it is necessary to create a deep copy of an object. There are various approaches to this. The "copy" plugin defines its own interface, contract, and definitions that are somewhat different from the standard java "java.lang.Cloneable" contract. The entry point generated in the source code is called createCopy, there are optionally also copy constructors.


The copy plugin generates a deep clone method for each of the generated classes, based on the following assumptions:

  • Instances of any other classes implementing the com.kscs.util.jaxb.Copyable interface are copyable by the same semantics as "this".
  • Objects implementing java.lang.Cloneable and not throwing "CloneNotSupportedException" are also reliably cloneable by their "clone" Method.
  • Objects not implementing java.lang.Cloneable or primitive types are assumed to be immutable, their references are copied over, they are not cloned.
  • Optionally, generates a "partial createCopy" method that takes a PropertyTree instance which represents a specification of the nodes in the object tree to copy. The PropertyTree is built up by an intuitive builder pattern:

    final PropertyTree excludeEmployees = PropertyTree.builder().with("company").with("employees").build();
  • There is also a type-safe way to build a PropertyPath instance by using a generated classes' Selector sub structure. The following will generate the same selection as above:

    final PropertyTree excludeEmployees = Business.Select.root().company().employees().build()

Then, you would partially clone an object tree like this:

    final BusinessPartner businessPartnerCopy = businessPartner.createCopy(excludeEmployees, PropertyTreeUse.EXCLUDE);

Which is the same as

    final BusinessPartner businessPartnerCopy = businessPartner.copyExcept(excludeEmployees);

This way, the copy of the original businessPartner will have no employees attached to the contained company. It is also possible to copy only a specific subset of the original object tree, excluding everything else. The inverse result of the above would be generated by:

    final BusinessPartner businessPartnerCopy = businessPartner.createCopy(excludeEmployees, PropertyTreeUse.INCLUDE);


    final BusinessPartner businessPartnerCopy = businessPartner.copyOnly(excludeEmployees);

which will result in a businessPartnerCopy where every property is set to null, except the company property, and in the attached company object, every property is null except "employees".

This works for single and multi-valued properties, where for multi-valued properties, the property tree applies to all elements of the list of values in the same way. As of yet, there is no way to make a tree apply only to specific indexes in generated lists.


  • The -narrow option is a somewhat special use case and should be used carefully.




-partial={y|n} (y)

Generates an additional 'createCopy'-method and copy-constructor (if constructors are to generated at all) that takes a PropertyTree instance to restrict the copy operation to selected nodes in the object tree.

-generateTools={y|n} (y)

Generate utility classes as source code. If you say "no" here, you will have to add the plugin JAR to the runtime classpath of the generated class domain.

-constructor={y|n} (y)

Generates a copy constructor on each of the classes generated from the current XSD model.

-narrow={y|n} (n)

Uses copy constructors for all child nodes in the object tree as long as they are available. This will cause the new instance to be as narrow as possible to the declared types.

-selectorClassName=<string> (Selector)

Name of the generated nested "Selector" builder class, used to build up a property tree for partial copy functionality. This setting will also affect the "fluent-builder" plugin if it is active and set to "copy-partial=y".

-rootSelectorClassName=<string> (Select)

Name of the generated nested static "Select" entry point class to be used by client code for the "partial copy" feature. This setting will also affect the "fluent-builder" plugin if it is active and set to "copy-partial=y".



In most object-oriented programming languages, there are constructs to define a "contract", that concrete implementations of complex types will implement. In Java, for example, there is the interface, in Scala there are "traits", and so on. The XML Schema Definition Language (XSD) in contrast, has no explicit construct to ensure a complex type meets a pre-defined contract. There are, however, the group and attributeGroup elements, that could be considered a way to achieve just that: A complexType that uses a <group> or an <attributeGroup> will expose the properties defined in these group definitions. Looking at it that way, you could say that the complexType "implements" the contract defined by the group or attributeGroup.


The group-contract plugin now tries to model that case in the generated source code. For every groupand attributeGroup definition in the XSD model (or in any upstream XSD model that is included via the "episode" mechanism, for that matter), it generates an interface definition with all the getter, and optionally setter, methods of the properties defined via the group or attributeGroup definition.

Then, it declares every class that was generated from a complexType that uses the group or attributeGroup as implementing just that interface. This way, all classes generated from XSD complexTypes that use the same group definitions, will share a common contract and can be treated in a common way by client code.

If the "fluent-builder" plugin is also activated, the interface definition can optionally include the declarations of the "with..." and "add..." methods of the generated builder class as a nested interface declaration, so you can even rely on a common "builder" contract for classes using the same group and attributeGroup definitions.

For example, you may wish to add "XLink" functionality to your generated classes. If the group-contract plugin is activated, you can define a complexType in XSD that supports the "simple" attributes by adding to its XSD definition:

<complexType name="some-type">
    .... (model group of the type...)
    <attributeGroup ref="xlink:simpleAttrs"/>

Which will generate a class something like:

public class SomeType implements SimpleAttrs {

And an interface definition like:

public interface SimpleAttrs {
    String getHref();
    void setHref(final String value);
    // ... more properties ...

    // this part is generated only if fluent-builder is also active
    interface BuildSupport<TParentBuilder >{
            public SimpleAttrs.BuildSupport<TParentBuilder> withHref(final String href);
            //... more properties ...

Similar effects could be achieved by subclassing complexTypes, but since there is no multiple inheritance, inheritance hierarchies can get overly complex this way, and inheritance is less flexible than interface implementations.

Note: The group-contract plugin supports JAXB modular compilation, i.e. the "episode" mechanism implemented in the JAXB reference impplementation. However, due to the lack of extensibility of the current default episode data structures and processing, this plugin has to manage its own "episode" file. There are two command line options to control the names of the "upstream" episode file, i.e. the file name the plugin should look for when using other modules, and the "downstream" file, i.e. the file name that should be generated for use by other modules.




-declareSetters={y|n} (y)

Also generate property setter methods in interface declarations.

-declareBuilderInterface={y|n} (y)

If the "fluent builder plugin" (-Xfluent-builder) is also active, generate interface for the internal builder classes as well.

-supportInterfaceNameSuffix=<string> (Lifecycle)

If this is set, methods that could cause type conflicts when two generated interfaces are used together as type parameter bounds, will be put in another interface named the same as the original interface, but with the suffix specified here.

-upstreamEpisodeFile=<string> (/META-INF/jaxb-interfaces.episode)

Use the given resource file to obtain information about interfaces defined in an upstream module (refer to "-episode" option of XJC).

-downstreamEpisodeFile=<string> (/META-INF/jaxb-interfaces.episode)

Generate "episode" file for downstream modules in the given resource location.



Generally it is advisable to make your business classes immutable as much as possible, to minimise side effects and allow for functional programming patterns.


This plugin simply makes all "setXXX" methods "protected", thus preventing API consumers to modify state of instances of generated classes after they have been created. This only makes sense together with another plugin that allows for initialization of the instances, like e.g. the included fluent-builder plugin. For collection-valued properties, -Ximmutable wraps all collections in a Collections.unmodifiableCollection, so collections are also made immutable. Because JAXB serialization has a number of constraints regarding the internals of JAXB serializable objects, it wasn't advisable to just remove the setter methods or replace the collections with unmodifiable collections. So, a bit of additional code will be created that leaves the old "mutable" structure of the class intact as much as is needed for JAXB, but modifies the public interface so objects appear immutable to client code.


  • Access level "protected" may not be strict enough to prevent state changes.
  • If you activate plugins like "fluent-api" or the like, these plugins may circumvent the protection provided by the immutable plugin.




-fake={y|n} (n)

Do not actually make anything immutable. For test and debug purpose only.

-overrideCollectionClass=<string> (null)

Modify collection getters to be declared to return a custom type implementing java.lang.Iterable instead of List.

-constructorAccess=<string> (public)

Generate constructors of an immutable class with the specified access level ("public", "private", "protected", "default"). By specification, JAXB needs a public no-arg constructor for marshalling and unmarshalling objects to an from XML. It turns out, however, that many implementations support protected constructors as well. This option has been included since it doesn't make sense to construct an empty object which then cannot be modified, But anyway, use with caution.



In general, you may wish to implement application logic in a way so that objects are initialized once and then are immutable. For traditional programming languages, like Java, for example, this is not always feasible in practice, because legacy code and libraries have to be used.

With the modifier plugin, you can make the public interface of your classes immutable via the immutable plugin, but at the same time provide a handle to modify the state of your objects anyway vi a reference that needs to be queried explicitly.

This plugin is intended for use while refactoring existing code to a more "functional" and thread-friendly code base. Eventually, your code should work so this plugin can be deactivated in your XJC configuration.


This plugin creates an inner class with public setXXX methods, and getXXX methods for collection properties that return a writable version of the collection the property is implemented by.

If the group-contract plugin is also activated, these constructs will also be generated into the interfaces.




-modifierClassName=<string> (Modifier)

Name of the generated inner class that allows to modify the state of generated objects.

-modifierMethodName=<string> (modifier)

Name of the generated method that allows to instantiate the modifier class.



There already is the widely used "fluent-api" plugin for XJC. That, however isn't a real builder pattern since there is no distinction between initialization and state change in fluent-api.

fluent-builder now creates a real "Builder" pattern, implemented as an inner class to the generated classes.


fluent-builder creates a builder class with a "fluent interface", and a number of methods to create builder instances. The builder class is generated as a static inner class to all of the value object classes generated with XJC. It supports the "episode" mechanism to generate builder code seamlessly across multiple compilation schema modules.

Example use in code:

    MyElement newElement = MyElement.builder().withPropertyA(...).withPropertyB(...).addCollectionPropertyA(...).build();

Additional Features

"Choice Expansion"

In standard JAXB, if you define a <choice> group in an XSD complexType definition with cardinality "many", the generated code will only contain a generic collection of "java.lang.Object" type, named something like "AorBorC...".

However, fluent-builder will determine exactly which types are actually possible in this collection, and will generate individual "addXXX" methods for each of them.

So, imagine you have generated code from the XHTML 1.0 schema, and you wish to use fluent-builder to generate an XHTML document programmatically. Now, again imagine you have already created the "html" and "head" elements, and you are about to populate the "body" eith a table.

Without fluent-builder, you would do something like:

Body body = new Body();
Table table = new Table();
Tr tr = new Tr();
Td td = new Td();
td.setContent("Hello World");

With fluent-builder, you can achieve the same more intuitively:

Body.builder().addTable().addTr().addTd().withContent("Hello World").end().end().end().build();
Object Deep-Copy strategies and Behaviors

In addition, new instances can be created as copies of existing instances using the builder, with an optional modification by other builder methods:

Static Deep Copy
    MyElement newElement = MyElement.copyOf(oldElement).withPropertyA(...).withPropertyB(...).build();

Or, similar to the java clone() method, creating a runtime copy of a reference:

Polymorphic Deep Copy
    MyObj myObj = oldObj.newCopyBuilder().with... .build();
Partial Copy (Static and Polymorphic)

The "partial" copy introduced in the "copy" plugin will work here as well, with both static (copyOf()) as well as polymorphic (newCopyBuilder()) behaviors:

    PropertyTree selection = MyElement.Select.root().propertyA().propertyAB().build();
    MyElement newElement = MyElement.copyExcept(oldElement, selection).withPropertyA(...).withPropertyB(...).build();
    MyObj myObj = oldObj.newCopyBuilder(selection, PropertyTreeUse.EXCLUDE).with.... .build();
Static vs. Polymorphic Deep Copy

The difference between copyOf() and newCopyBuilder() is their respective polymorphic behavior. newCopyBuilder() always returns a builder instance that corresponds to the current runtime type of the object upon which the newCopyBuilder() method was invoked. I.e., using newCopyBuilder(), you always get an object of exactly the same type as before as soon as you call build().

In contrast, MyClass.copyOf(), being a static method, always returns an object of the class on which it is called, MyClass in this case. You can pass an object of any base type (from the same XSD model or one referenced via "episode") or any derived type of MyClass to copyOf(), and you still get an instance of MyClass as soon as you call build(). If you pass an instance of a more general class than MyClass to MyClass.copyOf(), the generated code will only copy the fields that exist in the argument object, and will leave all additional fields uninitialized. You should then initialize them with the other builder methods.

Chained Builder Support

Often, properties of generated classes represent containment or references to generated classes in the same model. The fluent-builder plugin lets you initialise properties of such a type (and of types declared in upstream modules via the "episode" feature) - if it isn't an abstract type - by using sub-builders ("chained" builders) in the following way, given that both A and B are types defined in the XSD model, and A has a property of type B, and B has three properties of type String, x,y, and z:

    A newA = A.builder().withB().withX("x").withY("y").withZ("z").end().build();

Of course, this plugin is most useful if immutable is also activated.


  • It generates a large amount of code.
  • Note: Shared builder instances are NOT thread-safe by themselves.




-rootSelectorClassName=<string> (Select)

Name of the generated nested static "Select" entry point class to be used by client code for the "partial copy" feature. This setting will only have an effect if the "deep-copy-plugin" isn't also active. If it is, the "copy" plugin's settings will take precedence.

-newBuilderMethodName=<string> (builder)

Name of the generated static method to instantiate a new fluent builder. Can be set to handle naming conflicts.

-newCopyBuilderMethodName=<string> (newCopyBuilder)

Name of the generated instance method to instantiate a new fluent builder intitialized with a copy of the current instance.

-copyToMethodName=<string> (copyTo)

Name of the generated "copyTo" method.

-builderFieldSuffix=<string> (_Builder)

Suffix to append to the field holding the builder, change to prevent name clashes.

-generateTools={y|n} (y)

Generate utility classes as static source code artifacts. If no, the plugin JAR must be in compile- and runtime classpath.

-narrow={y|n} (n)

Uses copy constructors for all child nodes in the object tree as long as they are available. This will cause the new instance to be as narrow as possible to the declared types. Abstract types and types not generated from this XSD-model will always be copied by their "clone()"-method.

-copyPartial={y|n} (y)

Generates an additional 'copyOf'-method that takes a PropertyTree instance to restrict the copy operation to selected nodes in the object tree.

-selectorClassName=<string> (Selector)

Name of the generated nested "Selector" builder class, used to build up a property tree for partial copy functionality. This setting will only have an effect if the "deep-copy-plugin" isn't also active. If it is, the "copy" plugin's settings will take precedence.

-builderClassName=<string> (Builder)

Name of the generated nested builder class. Can be set to handle naming conflicts.

-builderInterfaceName=<string> (BuildSupport)

Name of the generated nested builder interface. Can be set to handle naming conflicts.

-copyAlways={y|n} (n)

If true, generate code of fluent-builder "withXXX" methods so that all objects passed to the builder are inherently deep-copied.

-buildMethodName=<string> (build)

Name of the generated "build" method that concludes building and returns the product. Can be set here to handle naming conflicts.

-endMethodName=<string> (end)

Name of the generated "end" method that concludes a nested builder and returns to the outer builder. Can be set here to handle naming conflicts.



Sometimes, you need information about the properties of a class, or you wish to have a constant for the names of properties. The "meta" plugin creates an inner class (the name of which can be controlled by a command-line option), and adds a constant field for each property. If the -extended=y command-line option is specified, these constants will hold instances of the PropertyInfo class, on which the name, type, multiplicity (collection or not) and default value (from XSD) are exposed. Without -extended, the constants are simply string constants holding the property names.

As a new feature in version 1.10, a visitor pattern has been added that allows to visit all properties of an object graph.




-generateTools={y|n} (y)

Generate helper class used to represent extended metadata as source code. If this is set to "n" and "-extended=y", the plugin JAR will have to be in the runtime classpath of the client application.

-extended={y|n} (n)

Generate extended meta data for each property: Name, type, multiplicity, default value.

-camelCase={y|n} (n)

Generate names of constant meta fields like field names, instead of Java constant name convention.

-metaClassName=<string> (PropInfo)

Name of the generated meta-information nested class.

-allowSet={y|n} (y)

Allow property values to be set via property meta information.

-visitMethodName=<string> (visit)

Name of the method to apply a visitor.

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