Maven testing

One of the bothering thing being a contractor is that you often happen to work on a project with a skip tests flag set on all developers computer.

One of the thing I tend to do when on such project is enabling tests and trying to fix as much as possible (often the fixes are easy to do).

Multi module testing

By design, surefire plugin make the build fail if there is a test failure. While this is ok in single module, when working with multi-module project it can be nice to run all tests on all modules regardless of the failures happening in some modules.

Maven is a great tool and allows such a behavior very easily, it allows two command line switches for that :

  • --fail-at-end : will fail the build at the end if there is test failures
  • --fail-never : will never fail the build, even if there is test failures

Flags behavior differences

There is one thing to understand when using the --fail-at-end flag, it will fail the build at end for a module with test failure but it will also prevents building of dependent modules.

With a small example it become obvious. Let’s say that we have a multi project containing the following :

  • core : containing model objects and services
  • web : containing web views for browser access
  • javafx : containing desktop application classes

It is straightforward to see that web and javafx modules will depends on the core module.


If using the --fail-at-end flag, a test failure in the core module will prevent building the web and javafx module completely : you will not be able to track tests failure before fixing the ones from core (at least on a single build command).


If using the --fail-never flag, a test failure in the core module will be reported but the build and tests of the web and javafx modules will be built and their respective tests errors will also be reported.

Tired of typing

If you find that typing --fail-at-end is too long, remember yourself it short alias : -fae.

The same is also available for the --fail-never flag with : -fn.

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