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A Gradle plugin to run the XJC binding compiler during a build
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Gradle XJC Plugin

Invokes the xjc binding compiler from a Gradle build.


Applying the plugin

To use the XJC plugin, include either of the following in your build script:

New Plugins DSL (Gradle 2.1+)

plugins {
    id 'org.unbroken-dome.xjc' version '1.4.2'

Traditional (Gradle 1.x/2.0)

buildscript {
    repositories { jcenter() }
    dependencies {
        classpath 'org.unbroken-dome.gradle-plugins:gradle-xjc-plugin:1.4.2'

apply plugin: 'org.unbroken-dome.xjc'


Just by applying the plugin, your project will now a task named xjcGenerate with sensible defaults - if these work for you, then you can just run gradle build and the xjc tool will run and generate code for you.

The parameters to the xjcGenerate task correspond to the parameters to the xjc command line tool, but use the Gradle constructs (e.g. source sets) where it is more comfortable. The following table lists some common parameters to the xjcGenerate task.


xjcGenerate {
    source = fileTree('src/main/schema') { include '*.xsd' }
    bindingFiles = fileTree('src/main/jaxb') { include '*.xjb' }
    catalogs = fileTree('src/main/catalog') { include '*.cat' }

Common Parameters

Parameter Type Command-line equivalent Default / convention value
source FileTree all *.xsd files under src/main/schema
bindingFiles FileCollection -b all *.xjb files under src/main/schema
outputDirectory File -d build/xjc/generated-sources

Additional Parameters

The following parameters are used less commonly, to fine-tune the generation process or in special scenarios. Please refer to the xjc command line tool documentation for their exact meaning.

Parameter Type Command-line equivalent Default / convention value
catalogs FileCollection -catalog not set
episodes File all modules in the xjcEpisode configuration
episodeTargetFile File -episode build/xjc/sun-jaxb.episode
extension boolean -extension false
packageLevelAnnotations boolean -npa (true if not present) true
pluginClasspath FileCollection -classpath all modules in the xjcClasspath configuration
quiet boolean -quiet false
readOnly boolean -readOnly false
strictCheck boolean -nv (true if not present) true
targetPackage String -p not set
targetVersion String -target use latest version
verbose boolean -verbose false

The following parameters are specific to the Gradle plugin and have no command-line equivalent:

Parameter Type Description Default value
catalogResolutionClasspath Configuration Where to look for imported schemas when using the maven: or classpath: URI scheme in catalogs (see below) compileClasspath (compile in older Gradle versions)
urlSources FileCollection Files containing URLs of remote schemas (see below) All *.url files under src/main/schema

Additionally, the following parameter may be used to control the output code generation:

Parameter Type Description Default value
encoding String Encoding for generated Java files UTF-8
docLanguage String Desired language for Javadoc comments in generated code (e.g. "en-US") JVM's default Locale

Remote schemas

If the schema cannot or should not be located in the local file system, place a file with the extension .url into src/main/schema which contains the URL of the remote schema (a WSDL for example).

Multiple URLs can be placed into one file, one URL per line. Alternativly multiple files with one line each can be used.

The location of such URL listing files can be configured using the urlSources property of the xjcGenerate task.


# remote.url
xjcGenerate {
    urlSources = fileTree('src/main/schema') { include '*.url' }

Including Generated Code in the Compilation

By default, the output directory of the code generation is added to the main source set, and the xjcGenerate task is added as a dependency of compileJava. That means that code generation will happen first, and the two sets of source code (generated and hand-written code) will be compiled together. This is the behavior that most users will expect.

You can switch off this behavior by setting xjc.includeInMainCompilation to false. In this case, the xjcGenerate task is available, but not automatically run with a gradle build.

Using a separate source set

To place the generated code in a different source set, include the task's output directory in it:

xjc {
    includeInMainCompilation = false

sourceSets {
    generated { srcDir xjcGenerate.outputDirectory }

Using XJC plugins

XJC allows to hook into and extend the code-generation process by using plugins. A plugin might, for example, add equals() and toString() methods into generated classes.

Specifying the plugin classpath

The plugin JARs must be on the classpath for the xjc invocation. With the xjc Gradle plugin, you can do this very comfortably by adding dependencies to the xjcClasspath configuration:

dependencies {
    xjcClasspath 'org.jvnet.jaxb2_commons:jaxb2-basics:0.11.1'

Specifying extra arguments

Most XJC plugins need to be activated and/or configured using command-line arguments. You can specify these extra arguments in the extraArgs parameter to the xjcGenerate task:

xjcGenerate {
    extraArgs = [

The plugin will automatically use the JAXB extension mode if there are parameters starting with -X present, regardless of the extension flag.

Using Episodes

An episode file is a special file that contains information about the generated classes and can be imported by subsequent xjc runs to re-use the generated code. If the episode file is placed in the "magic" location META-INF/sun-jaxb.episode inside a JAR file, it will be picked up automatically by dependent builds. This is convenient when an import hierarchy of XML schemas should be reflected in a dependency hierarchy of JARs.

Importing Episodes

To specify episodes to be imported into the xjc build, add the libraries containing them to the xjcEpisode configuration:

dependencies {
    xjcEpisode 'org.example:my-model:1.2.3'

These dependencies should resolve to JAR files; if they contain a META-INF/sun-jaxb.episode entry it will be imported by the current xjc invocation.

Of course, you may use a different configuration, like compileClasspath, as the source of episode JARs:

xjcGenerate {
    episodes compileClasspath

Including the Episode File in the JAR

By default, an episode file will be generated under build/xjc/sun-jaxb.episode, but it will not be included in the build's JAR artifact. If you would like to do so, set the xjc.includeEpisodeFileInJar flag to true:

xjc {
    includeEpisodeFileInJar = true

which would place the episode file under META-INF/sun-jaxb.episode in the JAR.

Working with Catalogs

Catalogs can be used to map the URI of an imported schema (specified using <xsd:import>) to an actual URL or file from where it can be read. This is especially useful if the imported URI is only symbolic, or you cannot (or do not want to) change the importing schema.

To use a catalog, first specify the location of the catalog file(s) in the XjcGenerate task configuration, for example:

xjcGenerate {
    catalogs = fileTree('src/main/catalog') { include '*.cat' }

In the catalog file you can use the REWRITE_SYSTEM instruction to map an URI to the actual location of the schema, e.g.


The classpath: and maven: URI Schemes

This plugin supports two special URI schemes in catalogs, the classpath: and maven: scheme. They are inspired (and largely compatible) with the JAXB2 Maven Plugin, in order to simplify a migration from Maven to Gradle in projects that use XJC code generation.

The classpath: interprets the rest of the URI as the path to a classpath resource. This is especially useful for multi-step code generation where a library JAR contains the schema, an episode file and generated code:

// build.gradle

dependencies {
    implementation 'com.example:my-model:1.2.3'

xjcGenerate {
    episodes compileClasspath         // compileClasspath includes all "implementation" dependencies

And assuming that the my-model JAR contains an XSD resource at schemas/my-model.xsd, you could write the catalog file as follows:

# catalog file
REWRITE_SYSTEM "" "classpath:schemas/"

And then reference it in the importing schema:

<!-- The schemaLocation will be mapped to the JAR classpath resource thanks to the catalog -->
<xsd:import namespace=""
            schemaLocation="" />

By default, all JARs in the special configuration xjcCatalogResolution are taken into account, which inherits all dependencies from compileClasspath (unless includeInMainCompilation is set to false - see below). You can add dependencies to this configuration, or use a custom configuration by setting the catalogResolutionClasspath property on the XjcGenerate task.

When using catalogs together with a separate source set (i.e. setting includeInMainCompilation to false), you will need to specify the catalog resolution dependencies manually. The reason for this is that usually your compileClasspath will include the XJC-generated files itself, which would lead to a circular task dependency.

The maven: scheme works similar to the classpath: scheme, but allows you to specify additional Maven coordinates to filter the dependency. The syntax is (without spaces)


where all parts are optional, and trailing colons may be omitted.

Note that in contrast to the Maven JAXB2 Plugin, the dependency isn't resolved ad-hoc: it must still be listed in your Gradle build script.

You can think of the maven: scheme as an extension to classpath: with a filter for the JARs to be searched for resources. (In fact, classpath: is defined as an alias for maven::!.)

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