Are you using annotations in your project?
If so, you will get this error if you try to do
mvn compile or
You may have also seen this if you are building your project on eclipse as well.
The default maven relies on JDK 1.3 for its building the project and you might be using a JDK above 1.3. Also, JDK 1.3 does not implement annotations.
The solution is to tell the maven the current non-1.3 JDK you are using on you
<project> . . <build> <plugins> <plugin> <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId> <version>2.3.2</version> <configuration> <source>1.8</source> <target>1.8</target> </configuration> </plugin> </plugins> </build> </project>
For the source and target you will provide your current JDK you are using.