How do I specify the Java compiler version in a pom.xml file?

When you need to compile a project for a specific Java version you can configure maven compiler plugin to set the source and the target version. The following pom.xml file configuration show you how to do it.

<project>
    <build>
        <plugins>
            <plugin>
                <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
                <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
                <version>3.5.1</version>
                <configuration>
                    <source>1.8</source>
                    <target>1.8</target>
                </configuration>
            </plugin>
        </plugins>
    </build>
</project>    

Invalid value for the source and the target version in our project will make our project compilation process failed. For example when we try to use the diamond operator (<>) which available in Java 7, while the maven compiler plugin is set to version 1.5, can produce compiler error like this:

[ERROR] Failed to execute goal org.apache.maven.plugins:maven-compiler-plugin:3.1:compile (default-compile) on project servlet-example: Compilation failure
[ERROR] /Users/wsaryada/Studio/kodejava.org/webapp-example/servlet-example/src/main/java/org/kodejava/example/servlet/SessionCounter.java:[10,51] diamond operator is not supported in -source 1.5
[ERROR] (use -source 7 or higher to enable diamond operator)
Wayan Saryada

Wayan Saryada

A programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, JPA, etc. If you need help on Java programming you can hire me on Fiverr.
Wayan Saryada

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