This post shows how to create a Maven archetype that can conditionally include or exclude files while generating a project.

Strictly speaking, Maven archetypes do not support conditionally including or excluding content. However, it is possible to run a Groovy script immediately after the project has been generated. That script can then delete the files that are not meant to be part of the generated project.

I discovered this by this answer on StackOverflow, but the official documentation is rather brief and doesn’t offer an example. Luckily, searching by the filename of the script (archetype-post-generate.groovy), I found a match.

In my use case, I have a Maven archetype which generates some boilerplate code to connect to an SFTP server using Spring Integration. I wanted to extend this to support FTP as well, but Spring Integration for FTP is slightly different (different artifact, class names, etc). I could try to keep my code in one class, but I figured it would be riddled with Velocity template conditionals that would make it difficult to maintain. Instead, I decided to have two classes, one for SFTP and one for FTP. A property determines which one should be used, but then I want to keep only one of the two files based on that property.

Here’s how the Groovy script looks like:

import java.nio.file.Files
import java.nio.file.Path
import java.nio.file.Paths

// the path where the project got generated
Path projectPath = Paths.get(request.outputDirectory, request.artifactId)

// the properties available to the archetype
Properties properties =

// connectionType is either ftp or sftp
String connectionType = properties.get("connectionType")

// the Java package of the generated project, e.g. com.acme
String packageName = properties.get("package")

// convert it into a path, e.g. com/acme
String packagePath = packageName.replace(".", "/")

if (connectionType == "sftp") {
  // delete the FTP file
  Files.deleteIfExists projectPath.resolve("src/main/java/" + packagePath + "/polling/")
} else if (connectionType == "ftp") {
  // delete the SFTP file
  Files.deleteIfExists projectPath.resolve("src/main/java/" + packagePath + "/polling/")

This script is part of the archetype and needs to live in this location: src/main/resources/META-INF/archetype-post-generate.groovy.