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Build Goal

Getting your projects built is one of the most important parts of a CI lifecycle. As a full-featured CI solution, Atomist provides the functionality needed to perform builds. Or, integrate with your existing build tools. With Atomist, you can start where you are and then have the flexibility to move where you want to go.

This page shows how to

  • Run builds in your SDM
  • Set a goal to represent builds that happen in your CI tool

The Build goal

Atomist provides a goal that is designed to handle building software: the Build goal.

It lives in the Build Pack, so run npm install @atomist/sdm-pack-build to get it.

The build goal does a couple things:

  • Invoke a builder that builds your project
  • Link the built artifact, associating it to the commit

Get one by calling the Build constructor. If you want it to appear as something more specific than “build”, pass a displayName in its options.

const build = new Build({ displayName: "maven build" }).with({
    name: "maven",
    builder: mavenBuilder(),

This goal defines a build that will be handled by Maven. Be sure to add the goal to your goal set.

The trick is: you need a Builder.


Builders implement the logic that is needed to build your software. Out of the box, Atomist provides a couple of builders for:

You can also create your own. A builder is a function that gets a GoalInvocation and a build number and return a Promise<BuildInProgress>

(goalInvocation: GoalInvocation, buildNo: string) => Promise<BuildInProgress>

Builds handled by external systems

In addition to handling the CI lifecycle itself, Atomist can also defer the build to external systems like your existing CI lifecycle. To achieve this, you need to define your build goal like this:

const build = new Build({ displayName: "Travis build" }).with({
    name: "maven",
    externalTool: "travis"

You can find more detailed information on how to hook up existing CI systems on the integrations page.

Atomist builders

Atomist does not build your software. You have a build tool that does that. Atomist spawns a process to call your build tool.

The Builder knows the command to run, along with how to parse the log file. Here are some handy builders that are already available. For anything else, start with a general spawnBuilder.


Maven builds are supported out of the box through the mavenBuilder found in sdm-pack-spring. The builder is defined as such

export function mavenBuilder(args: Array<{ name: string, value?: string }> = [],
                             deploymentUnitFileLocator: (p: LocalProject, mpi: VersionedArtifact) => string =
                                 (p, mpi) => `${p.baseDir}/target/${mpi.artifact}-${mpi.version}.jar`): Builder

The Maven builder will issue a mvn package (or use mvnw if that’s available in the project) command to build your project. The first argument of the builder allows you to add extra -D arguments to the Maven build command, if a value is defined it will add -Dname=value, otherwise it will add -Dname. The second argument will indicate where the build goal can find the artifact produced by the build. This is the artifact that for example can be used in other goals like deployment. By default, it will look in the default location as defined by Maven conventions, i.e. target/artifact-version.jar, but you can change this if you like.

Aside from an in-process Maven build, Atomist also provides a dockerized Maven builder, which is defined as such

export function dockerizedMavenBuilder(version: string = DefaultMavenDockerVersion,
                                       args: Array<{ name: string, value?: string }> = [],
                                       deploymentUnitFileLocator: (p: LocalProject, mpi: VersionedArtifact) => string =
                                        (p, mpi) => `${p.baseDir}/target/${mpi.artifact}-${mpi.version}.jar`): Builder

In addition to the same options as the in-process Maven builder, the dockerized version also allows you to define a version. Upon goal execution, this builder will use a docker run command to invoke Maven. In other words, you don’t need to have a Maven installation on the SDM or have your project configured to use the Maven wrapper.


If you’re running your SDM in Docker, please take care to take into account the Docker-in-Docker or the Docker-outside-of-Docker guidelines if you use the dockerized Maven builder


Atomist also provide support for building projects using Gradle. At the moment, only single module projects are supported. To use the Gradle integration, configure your Build goal like this using the gradleSingleModuleBuilder in sdm-pack-spring:

const build = new Build().with({
    name: "gradle build",
    builder: gradleSingleModuleBuilder(),

The Maven builder will issue a gradle clean build (or use gradlew if that’s available in the project) command to build your project.


If you want to build NodeJS projects using npm, Atomist can certainly help you with that. In order to do so, define your Build goal like this, using the nodeBuilder available in @atomist/sdm-pack-node:

import { Build } from "@atomist/sdm-pack-build";
import { nodeBuilder, NodeModulesProjectListener } from "@atomist/sdm-pack-node";

const build = new Build().with({
    name: "npm",
    builder: nodeBuilder({ command: "npm", args: ["run", "build"] }),

Here, the nodeBuilder will execute npm run build. But first, NodeModulesProjectListener is a GoalProjectListener that will make sure npm install happens before the goal runs and after the project is cloned.

Linking the artifact produced by the build

In order to capture the output deliverable of a build you can use the Artifact goal. When added to a goalset, it will be fulfilled by the Build goal after successful completion of a build that is able to store the artifact in a more permanent store. The Artifact goal will also contain a link to the deliverable, which will be displayed next to the goal indicator in the messaging channel.