scalacenter / sbt-version-policy

Compatibility checks for your dependencies

Version Matrix


sbt-version-policy helps library maintainers to follow the recommended versioning scheme. This plugin:

  • configures MiMa to check for binary or source incompatibilities,
  • ensures that none of your dependencies are bumped or removed in an incompatible way.


Add to your project/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("ch.epfl.scala" % "sbt-version-policy" % "<version>")

The latest version is Scaladex.

sbt-version-policy depends on MiMa, so that you don't need to explicitly depend on it.


The plugin introduces a new key, versionPolicyIntention, that you need to set to the level of compatibility that your next release is intended to provide. It can take the following three values:

  • // Your next release will provide no compatibility guarantees with the
    // previous one.
    ThisBuild / versionPolicyIntention := Compatibility.None
  • // Your next release will be binary compatible with the previous one,
    // but it may not be source compatible.
    ThisBuild / versionPolicyIntention := Compatibility.BinaryCompatible
  • // Your next release will be both binary compatible and source compatible
    // with the previous one.
    ThisBuild / versionPolicyIntention := Compatibility.BinaryAndSourceCompatible

The plugin uses MiMa to check for incompatibilities with the previous release. The previous release version is automatically computed from the current value of the version key in your build. This means that you have to set this key to the next version you want to release:

// Next version will be 1.1.0
ThisBuild / version := "1.1.0"

In case you use a plugin like sbt-dynver, which automatically sets the version based on the Git status, you have nothing to do (the version set by sbt-dynver will just work with sbt-version-policy).


Check that pull requests don’t break the intended compatibility level

In your CI server, run the task versionPolicyCheck on pull requests.

$ sbt versionPolicyCheck

This task checks that the PR does not break the compatibility guarantees claimed by your versionPolicyIntention. For instance, if your intention is to have BinaryAndSourceCompatible changes, the task versionPolicyCheck will fail if the PR breaks binary compatibility or source compatibility.

Check that release version numbers are valid with respect to the compatibility guarantees they provide

Before you cut a release, run the task versionCheck.

$ sbt versionCheck

Note: make sure that the version is set to the new release version number before you run versionCheck.

This task checks that the release version number is consistent with the intended compatibility level as per versionPolicyIntention. For instance, if your intention is to publish a release that breaks binary compatibility, the task versionCheck will fail if you didn’t bump the major version number.

How does versionPolicyCheck work?

The versionPolicyCheck task:

  • checks that there are no binary or source incompatibilities between the current state of the project and the previous release (it uses mimaReportBinaryIssues under the hood),
  • and, that no dependencies of your project have been removed or bumped in an incompatible way (it uses a subtask versionPolicyReportDependencyIssues under the hood).

The task versionPolicyCheck fails if any of these checks fails.

Automatic previous version calculation

sbt-version-policy automatically sets mimaPreviousArtifacts, depending on the current value of version, kind of like sbt-mima-version-check does. The previously compatible version is computed from version the following way:

  • if it contains "metadata" (anything after a +, including the + itself), drop the metadata part
    • if the resulting version contains only zeros (like 0.0.0), leave mimaPreviousArtifacts empty,
    • else if the resulting version does not contain a qualifier (see below), it is used in mimaPreviousArtifacts. For instance, if version is 1.0.0+3-abcd1234, then mimaPreviousArtifacts will contain the artifacts of version 1.0.0.
  • else, drop the qualifier part, that is any suffix like -RC1 or -M2 or -alpha or -SNAPSHOT
    • if the resulting version ends with .0.0, which corresponds to a major version bump like 1.0.0, or 2.0.0, mimaPreviousArtifacts is left empty,
    • else, this is a minor or patch version bump, so the last numerical part of this version is decreased by one, and used in mimaPreviousArtifacts. For instance, if version is 1.2.0, then mimaPreviousArtifacts will contain the artifacts of version 1.1.0, and if version is 1.2.3, then mimaPreviousArtifacts will contain the artifacts of version 1.2.2.

You can see the value of the previous version computed by the plugin by inspecting the key versionPolicyPreviousVersions.

Source incompatibilities detection

MiMa can only detect binary incompatibilities. To detect source incompatibilities, this plugin uses MiMa in forward mode as an approximation. This is not always correct and may lead to false positives or false negatives. This is a known limitation of the current implementation.

Incompatibilities caused by removed or bumped dependencies

The subtask versionPolicyReportDependencyIssues checks that you did not remove or bump your dependencies in an incompatible way. For instance, if your intention for the next release is to keep binary compatibility, you can only bump your dependencies to binary compatible versions.

versionPolicyReportDependencyIssues compares the dependencies of versionPolicyPreviousArtifacts to the current ones.

By default, versionPolicyPreviousArtifacts relies on mimaPreviousArtifacts from sbt-mima, so that only setting / changing mimaPreviousArtifacts is enough for both sbt-mima and sbt-version-policy.

Dependency compatibility adjustments

Set versionPolicyDependencySchemes to specify the versioning scheme used by your libraries. For instance:

versionPolicyDependencySchemes += "org.scala-lang" % "scala-compiler" % "strict"

The following compatibility types are available:

  • early-semver: assumes the matched modules follow a variant of Semantic Versioning that enforces compatibility within 0.1.z,
  • semver-spec: assumes the matched modules follow semantic versioning,
  • pvp: assumes the matched modules follow package versioning policy (quite common in Scala),
  • always: assumes all versions of the matched modules are compatible with each other,
  • strict: requires exact matches between the wanted and the selected versions of the matched modules.

If no rules for a module are found in versionPolicyDependencySchemes, versionPolicyDefaultScheme is used as a compatibility type. Its default value is VersionCompatibility.PackVer (package versioning policy).


sbt-version-policy is funded by the Scala Center.