We create a search index for the Maven repository so that you don’t have to. What does this mean for you? It means that you don’t have to run a “little Google” in your datacenter just to search for the latest log4j library, and you also don’t have to sacrifice Terabytes of bandwidth to download thousands of artifacts you’ll never use to just to find the handful you need for your project. This is all done for you on Central, and the tools you use to search Central, Nexus and m2eclipse all benefit from this pre-made index file.
While this seems like such a simple idea, the Maven ecosystem hasn’t had a standard way to search the repository for the majority of its history. For much of the last decade there was no reliable way to search for an artifact. In this post, I’m going to review this history and talk about Maven repository search and where we think search is headed. With the release of Nexus OSS 1.9 it is now a good time to summarize the results of Sonatype donation of the Nexus Indexer to the Apache Software Foundation.