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Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership. The ASF licenses this file to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
Platforms and Plugins Version Management
Manage versions and platforms
How to manage platforms and Cordova CLI versions.

Platforms and Plugins Version Management

Cordova provides the ability to save and restore platforms and plugins.

This feature allows developers to save and restore their app to a known state without having to check in all of the platform and plugin source code.

When adding a platform or plugin, details about the app's platform and plugin versions are automatically saved to the package.json file. It is also possible to add a platform or plugin by editing the package.json file directly, assuming you know the right tags and syntax. It is not possible to remove plugins or platforms in this manner. The recommended method of adding and removing plugins and platforms is with the Cordova CLI commands cordova plugin add|remove ... and cordova platform add|remove ... to avoid any out of sync issues.

The restore step happens automatically when a cordova prepare is issued, making use of information previously saved in the package.json and config.xml files.

One scenario where save/restore capabilities come in handy is in large teams that work on an app, with each team member focusing on a platform or plugin. This feature makes it easier to share the project and reduce the amount of redundant code that is checked in the repository.

Platform Versioning

Saving Platforms

To save a platform, issue the following command:

cordova platform add <platform[@<version>] | directory | git_url>

After running the above command, the package.json should contain something as seen below:

"cordova": {
  "platforms": [
    "android"
  ]
},
"dependencies": {
  "cordova-android": "^8.0.0",
}

The --nosave flag prevents adding and deleting specified platforms to the package.json file. To prevent saving a platform, issue the following command:

cordova platform add <platform[@<version>] | directory | git_url> --nosave

Some Examples:

  • cordova platform add android

    Retrieves the pinned version of cordova-android platform from npm, adds it to the project and updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform add android@7.1.4

    Retrieves the cordova-android platform version 7.1.4 from npm, adds it to the project and updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform add https://github.com/apache/cordova-android.git

    cordova platform add https://github.com/apache/cordova-android

    cordova platform add github:apache/cordova-android

    npm retrieves the cordova-android platform from the git repository, adds it to the project and updates the package.json.

  • cordova platform add C:/path/to/android/platform

    Retrieves the Android platform from the specified directory, adds it to the project, and updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform add android --nosave

    Retrieves the pinned version of cordova-android platform from npm, adds it to the project, but does not add it to the package.json file.

Updating or Removing Platforms

It is possible to update and delete a platform from config.xml and package.json.

To update a platform, execute the following command:

cordova platform update <platform[@<version>] | directory | git_url>

To remove a platform, execute one of the following commands:

cordova platform remove <platform>
cordova platform rm <platform>

Some Examples:

  • cordova platform update android

    In addition to updating the cordova-android platform to the pinned version, it updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform update android@3.8.0

    In addition to updating the cordova-android platform to version 3.8.0 it updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform update /path/to/android/platform

    In addition to updating the cordova-android platform to version found in the provided folder, it updates the package.json file.

  • cordova platform remove android

    Removes the cordova-android platform from the project and removes it from the package.json file.

    Note: If the platform definition existed in config.xml from a previous version of Cordova CLI, it will also be removed from config.xml.

  • cordova platform remove android --nosave

    Removes the cordova-android platform from the project, but does not remove it from the package.json file.

Restoring Platforms

Platforms are automatically restored from the package.json (and config.xml) when executing the cordova prepare command.

If a platform is defined in both files, the information defined in package.json is used as the source of truth.

After prepare, any platforms restored from config.xml will update the package.json file to reflect the values taken from config.xml.

If you add a platform without specifying a <version | folder | git_url>, the version that will be installed is taken from package.json or config.xml.

If discovered in both files, package.json is given higher priority over config.xml.

Example:

Suppose your config.xml file contains the following entry:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
    ...
    <engine name="android" spec="7.1.4" />
    ...
</xml>

If you run the command cordova platform add android with no <version | folder | git_url> specified, the platform android@7.1.4 will be retrieved and installed.

Example Order of Priority for Restoring Platforms:

Suppose you have defined in config.xml and package.json a platform and version as follows:

config.xml:

<engine name="android" spec=“7.4.1” />

package.json:

"cordova": {
  "platforms": [
    "android"
  ]
},
"dependencies": {
  "cordova-android": "^8.0.0"
}

When prepare is executed, the version from package.json has higher priority over config.xml and version ^8.0.0 will be installed.


Plugin Versioning

The plugin commands are a mirror of the platform commands:

Saving Plugins

To save a plugin, you issue the following command:

cordova plugin add <plugin[@<version>] | directory | git_url>

After running the above command, the package.json should contain something as seen below:

"cordova": {
  "plugins": [
    "cordova-plugin-device"
  ]
},
"devDependencies": {
  "cordova-plugin-device": "^1.0.0"
}

The --nosave flag prevents adding and deleting specified plugins from package.json. To prevent saving a plugin, you issue the following command:

cordova plugin add <plugin[@<version>] | directory | git_url> --nosave

Some Examples:

  • cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-device

    Retrieves the pinned version of the cordova-plugin-device plugin from npm, adds it to the project and updates the package.json file.

  • cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-device@2.0.1

    Retrieves the cordova-plugin-device plugin at version 2.0.1 from npm, adds it to the project and updates the package.json file.

  • cordova plugin add https://github.com/apache/cordova-plugin-device.git

    cordova plugin add https://github.com/apache/cordova-plugin-device

    cordova plugin add github:apache/cordova-plugin-device

    npm retrieves the cordova-plugin-device plugin from the git repository, adds it to the project and updates the package.json.

  • cordova plugin add C:/path/to/console/plugin

    Retrieves the cordova-plugin-device plugin from the specified directory, adds it to the project, and updates the package.json file.

Mass Saving of Plugins on an Existing Project

If you have a pre-existing project and you want to save all currently added plugins in the project, you can use:

cordova plugin save

Removing Plugins

It is possible to delete a plugin from config.xml and package.json with one of the following commands:

cordova plugin remove <plugin>
cordova plugin rm <plugin>

For Example:

  • cordova plugin remove cordova-plugin-device

    Removes the cordova-plugin-device plugin from the project and deletes its entry from package.json.

    Note: If the plugin definition existed in config.xml from a previous version of Cordova CLI, it will also be removed from config.xml.

Restoring Plugins

Plugins are automatically restored from package.json and config.xml when executing the cordova prepare command.

If a plugin is defined in both files, the information defined in package.json is used as the source of truth.

After prepare, any plugins restored from config.xml will update the package.json file to reflect the values taken from config.xml.

If you add a plugin without specifying a <version | folder | git_url>, the version that will be installed is taken from package.json or config.xml.

If discovered in both files, package.json is given higher priority over config.xml.

Example:

Suppose your config.xml file contains the following entry:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
    ...
    <plugin name="cordova-plugin-device" spec="2.0.1" />
    ...
</ xml>

If you run the command cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-device with no <version | folder | git_url> specified, the platform cordova-plugin-device@2.0.1 will be retrieved and installed.

Example Order of Priority for Restoring Plugins:

Suppose you have defined in config.xml and package.json a plugin and version as follows:

config.xml:

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-splashscreen"/>

package.json:

"cordova": {
  "plugins": [
    "cordova-plugin-splashscreen"
  ]
},
"devDependencies": {
  "cordova-plugin-splashscreen": "1.0.0"
}

When prepare is executed, the version from package.json has higher priority over config.xml and version 1.0.0 will be installed.

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