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Maven is basically a system for compiling code, packing code and publishing packed code, but the flexibility of plugins allows it to carry out a wide selection of tasks. Most often, these tasks are very developer-centric, assisting in the development- and deployment process. We have successfully implemented a plugin that extend the build system to also handle configuration management of various test-environments, nightly deployment of new versions from CI with a single parameter and easy, centrally controlled configuration of developers environments.
Even though the implementation is bound to our choice of infrastructure, the ideas and experiences should apply to a wide range of configurations.