Maven: Failed to read artifact descriptor – Dev

The best answers to the question “Maven: Failed to read artifact descriptor” in the category Dev.


I am hoping someone can help me with a problem I am struggling with.

When I try to build my project from the terminal I get this error:

Failed to read artifact descriptor for com.morrislgn.merchandising.common:test-data-utils:jar:0.3b-SNAPSHOT: Could not find artifact com.morrislgn.merchandising:merchandising:pom:0.3b-SNAPSHOT

The common.test-data-utils jar is created by a separate project and shared between this and another project (the other project doesn’t build either, but that is down to another problem).

I am able to build com.morrislgn.merchandising.common:test-data-utils without issue, I can see the entry it makes in the .m2 local repository on my machine. I have reindexed my repository in Eclipse also.

The POM for my project has this entry:


Which appears to be correct to me – the POM doesn’t report any errors either when it is viewed in Eclipse.

Can some one tell me what I am missing here or doing wrong?


This problem can occur if you have some child projects that refer to a parent pom and you have not installed from the parent pom directory (run mvn install from the parent directory). One of the child projects may depend on a sibling project and when it goes to read the pom of the sibling, it will fail with the error mentioned in the question unless you have installed from the parent pom directory at least once.

I just ran into this problem when moving a project to a new computer. I was in the habit of running commands from the child project and didn’t run install on the parent.


You can always try mvn -U clean install

-U forces a check for updated releases and snapshots on remote repositories.


If you are using Eclipse, Right Click on your Project -> Maven -> Update Project. It will open Update Maven Project dialog box.

In that dialog box, check Force Update of Snapshots/Releases checkbox & click OK. (Please refer image below)

Update Maven Project Dialog Box

This worked for me !


Had the same issue with IntelliJ IDEA and following worked.

  • Go to File
  • Select Settings
  • Select Build, Execution, Deployments
  • Select Build Tools from drop down
  • Select Maven from drop down
  • Tick the Always update snapshots check box

screen shot of IntelliJ 2017.2 > Preferences/Settings > Build, Execution, Deployment > Build Tools > Maven > Always update snapshots (checkbox)