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Increment versions with the Maven Build Helper and the Versions Plugin

5.4.2015 | 1 minutes of reading time

Today I want to show you a simple way how you can increment the version inside the Maven pom.xml file. When you are using the Maven Release Plugin then it will automatically increment the version after a release and you can stop reading here. But when you are interested in an alternative approach for releasing software with Maven, then go further and read first this blog entry , where I describe it in more detail. For all those who want to automate also the version increment step, they should have a look on a secret feature of the Maven Build Helper Plugin. The Goal “build-helper:parse-version” provides not only the fragments of the actual version in the pom.xml, it calculates also the incremented fragments of the version:

parsedVersion.nextMajorVersion parsedVersion.nextMinorVersion parsedVersion.nextIncrementalVersion

To increment the last fragment of the version from e.g. 1.0.0 to 1.0.1 you can simply do that:

mvn build-helper:parse-version versions:set -DnewVersion=\${parsedVersion.majorVersion}.\${parsedVersion.minorVersion}.\${parsedVersion.nextIncrementalVersion} versions:commit

The first goal “build-helper:parse-version” provides the above fragments as properties and the second goal “versions:set” writes the new version into the pom.xml and creates also a backup of the old pom.xml. The last optional goal “versions:commit” removes this backup file if you want.

The documentation doesn’t say anything about those properties, but you can see it here in the code. I tried some other approaches, but for me this is the simplest way to do that. What are your preferred ways to release your software with Maven?

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