Gradle Spring Woes: Issues in creating single jar bundle with all dependency jars nested within | MyThinkPond

springframeworkIf you’re implementing any projects with Spring and Gradle (for build), as your project grows you may run into this issue. Or you’ve landed on this page by searching on Google for “Unable to locate Spring NamespaceHandler for XML schema namespace” (your actual XML that it’s error-ing out may vary).

Either way, you’re in luck! Most likely, you’re using the fatjar gradle plugin to create a single JAR for executing as “java -jar one-big-bundle.jar”. The problem that happens is that if two or more dependent jar libraries contain the same file/artifact, then the last one wins the race in the fatjar bundle.

Let me illustrate this with an example:

Let’s say that your project depends on Spring-Context and Spring-Core. Within each jar, there maybe resources that have a common name such as META-INF/spring.schemas and/or META-INF/spring.handler (To learn more about the two individual files and their purpose in Spring, click on the links). When the fatjar combines the two JAR file, depending upon who goes last, the version of the above two files may belong to one or the other library. What should happen in reality is that it merges the two files contents. They maybe good for some files. But if you have a specific file in a format where you simply cannot concatenate the two files (such as a nested XML or JSON), simply combining the two files will not work. You may need to extend the Gradle plugin tasks to perform something selective and unique to your situation.

But if you ended up here after searching for “Unable to locate Spring NamespaceHandler for XML schema namespace” message, there is hope. You can simply, add the following to the fatJar Gradle plugin and problem is solved:

fatJarPrepareFiles {
  include 'META-INF/spring.handlers'
  include 'META-INF/spring.schemas'

A second option is to use a newer plugin called shadow. [User Guide]

apply plugin: 'com.github.johnrengelman.shadow'
buildscript {
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath 'com.github.jengelman.gradle.plugins:shadow:1.2.4'
//For building a single jar with all dependencies run "gradlew shadowJar"
// Configure the shadow jar task
shadowJar {

jar {
    manifest {
        attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'application name',
                'Implementation-Version': version,
                'Main-Class': 'com.guhesan.fooapp.Application'


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

...Bliss is not something to be got. On the other hand you are always Bliss. This desire [for Bliss] is born of the sense of incompleteness. To whom is this sense of incompleteness? Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful. Now you are not so. What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss? It is the ego. Seek its source and find you are Bliss. - [Ramana Maharishi](|[2nd link]( (Spiritual Teacher & one of the great minds of this century)


Venkatt Guhesan avatar
About Venkatt Guhesan
Enterprise Software Architect currently working at DataDirect Networks developing a highly scalable monitoring solution called DDN Insight. My passions include all things Open Source including Linux (CentOS, Red Hat, Gentoo, Open Stack, Docker & Ubuntu), embedded ARM processors and microcontrollers (Arduino, UDOO, Cubieboard, BeagleBoard, OnionIO, TI's Zigbee). Coming from an Electrical and Computer Engineering background, working in developing and designing enterprise - distributed, highly scalable software requires a unique set of software skills with a good understanding of the hardware. This makes his work challenging and interesting. In his free time, he spends his time with his family and two children. He also enjoys researching on topics including - world ancient history and yoga. Visit the 'About' section for more details.
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