How do big companies tackle with the package dependencies conflict problem?

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How do big companies tackle with the package dependencies conflict problem? Just as shown in the picture, one app (Java) referenced two third-party package jars (packageA and packageB), and they referenced packageC-0.1 and packageC-0.2 respectively. It would work well if packageC-0.2 was compatible with packageC-0.1. However sometimes packageA used something that could not be supported in packageC-0.2 and Maven can only use the latest version of a jar. This issue is also known as "Jar Hell".

It would be difficult in practice to rewrite package A or force its developers to update packageC to 0.2.

How do you tackle with these problems? This often happens in large-scale companies.

I have to declare that this problem is mostly occurred in BIG companies due to the fact that big company has a lot of departments and it would be very expensive to let the whole company update one dependency each time certain developers use new features of new version of some dependency jars. And this is not big deal in small companies.

Any response will be highly appreciated.

Let me throw away a brick in order to get a gem first.

Alibaba is one of the largest E-Commerces in the world. And we tackle with these problems by creating an isolation container named Pandora. Its principle is simple: packaging those middle-wares together and load them with different ClassLoaders so that they can work well together even they referenced same packages with different versions. But this need a runtime environment provided by Pandora which is running as a tomcat process. I have to admit that this is a heavy plan. Pandora is developed based on a fact that JVM identifies one class by class-loader plus classname.

If you know someone maybe know the answers, share the link with him/her.

 


We are a large company and we have this problem a lot. We have large dependency trees that over several developer groups. What we do:

  • We manage versions by BOMs (lists of Maven dependencyManagement) of "recommended versions" that are published by the maintainers of the jars. This way, we make sure that recent versions of the artifacts are used.

  • We try to reduce the large dependency trees by separating the functionality that is used inside a developer group from the one that they offer to other groups.

But I admit that we are still trying to find better strategies. Let me also mention that using "microservices" is a strategy against this problem, but in many cases it is not a valid strategy for us (mainly because we could not have global transactions on databases any more).

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