Maven Failsafe Plugin Understanding

Maven Failsafe Plugin runs integration tests for your Maven project. In this article, we will see what is Failsafe plugin and its common use cases.


Maven Failsafe Plugin is part of the core Maven plugins, which runs integration tests for your Maven project. It is similar to Maven Surefire Plugin, which runs unit tests. In this article, we will see what is Failsafe Plugin and its common use cases.

The Failsafe Plugin has 2 goals:

  • failsafe:integration-test runs the integration tests of an application.
  • failsafe:verify verifies that the integration tests of an application passed.

Lifecycle And Goal Execution

Maven has 4 phases for running integration tests:

  • pre-integration-test for setting up the integration test environment.
  • integration-test for running the integration tests.
  • post-integration for tearing down the integration test environment.
  • verify for checking the results of the integration tests.

In order to have Failsafe plugin works properly for your integration tests (ITs), you need the declare explicitly the plugin in your POM:

<!-- Failsafe plugin needs to be declared explicitly -->

The first goal, integration-test, runs the tests; and the second goal, verify, verifies the test results. Why we need such mechanism? Because it avoids failing the build straight away, and allows a correct tear down on the test environment via phase post-integration. In other words, cleanup is done properly.

By default, the Failsafe Plugin will automatically include all test classes with the following wildcard patterns, and execute them as integration tests:

Pattern Description
**/IT*.java Includes all of its subdirectories and all Java filenames that start with “IT” (Integration Test).
**/* Includes all of its subdirectories and all Java filenames that end with “IT” (Integration Test).
**/* Includes all of its subdirectories and all Java filenames that end with “ITCase” (Integration Test Case).

Using JUnit 4

In this section, we will talk about how to write and run integration tests in JUnit 4. The first step is to add JUnit as Maven dependency:


Then, write your tests as follows in test source directory (src/test/java). For class name, make sure it matches the testing patterns mentioned before, so starts with IT, ends with IT or ends with ITCase. As for the assertion methods, use those in class org.junit.Assert. IDEs might propose methods in class junit.framework.Assert, please don’t use them, they are deprecated.

package demo;

import org.junit.Test;

import static org.junit.Assert.assertTrue;

public class Junit4IT {

  public void testProperty() {


Finally, trigger the Maven build. Any command which invokes phase verify should work, for example:

mvn clean verify
mvn clean install


Do not invoke phase integration-test directly, which prevents a properly tear down—phase post-integration-test will not be executed. You should invoke verify instead.

Using JUnit 5

Now, let’s take a look how to write and run integration tests in JUnit 5. As before, the first step is to add JUnit 5 as Maven dependency. This will pull all required dependencies:


Then, write your tests in Java. Note that the import statements have been changed. Assertion methods are now in class org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions:

package demo;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertTrue;

public class Junit5IT {

  public void testProperty() {

Compared to JUnit 4, JUnit 5 provides more ways to write assertions. They are not covered in this article. For more information about JUnit 5 in Maven Failsafe Plugin, please visit the official documentation page: Maven - Using JUnit 5 Platform.

Testing Reports

After test execution, Maven Failsafe Plugin generates reports in two different file formats:

  • Plain text files (*.txt)
  • XML files (*.xml)

By default, these files are generated in target/failsafe-reports directory. These files are useful for tracking the execution logs, having exception stack trace, execution statistics and more. Some CI platforms, like Jenkins, might read Failsafe reports to provide information in their UI.

Useful Commands

Here’re some useful commands for your daily job.

Skip all the tests (unit tests and integration tests):

mvn clean install -DskipTests

Skip all the integration tests (only run unit tests):

mvn clean install -DskipITs

Run a single integration test:

mvn -Dit.test=Junit4IT verify


In this post, we learnt Maven Failsafe Plugin, a plugin for integration tests execution in Maven. We saw the lifecycle & goal execution, JUnit 4 & JUnit 5 integration, test reports generation, and some useful commands. As usual, the source code is available on GitHub: mincong-h/maven-failsafe-plugin-demo.

Hope you enjoy this article, see you the next time!