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version.json file

You must define a version.json file in your project directory or some ancestor of it. It is common to define it in the root of your git repo.

Important: Some changes to version.json are not effective until you commit the change. Pushing your commit to a remote is not necessary.

Here is the content of a sample version.json file you may start with:

  "$schema": "",
  "version": "1.0-beta"

The $schema field is optional but highly encouraged as it causes most JSON editors to add auto-completion and doc tips to help you author the file.

Note that the capitalization of the version.json filename must be all lower-case when added to the git repo.

File format

The content of the version.json file is a JSON serialized object with these properties (and more):

  "version": "x.y-prerelease", // required (unless the "inherit" field is set to true and a parent version.json file sets this.)
  "assemblyVersion": {
    "version": "x.y", // optional. Use when x.y for AssemblyVersionAttribute differs from the default version property.
    "precision": "revision" // optional. Use when you want a more precise assembly version than the default major.minor.
  "versionHeightOffset": "zOffset", // optional. Use when you need to add/subtract a fixed value from the computed version height.
  "semVer1NumericIdentifierPadding": 4, // optional. Use when your -prerelease includes numeric identifiers and need semver1 support.
  "gitCommitIdShortFixedLength": 10, // optional. Set the commit ID abbreviation length.
  "gitCommitIdShortAutoMinimum": 0, // optional. Set to use the short commit ID abbreviation provided by the git repository.
  "nugetPackageVersion": {
     "semVer": 1 // optional. Set to either 1 or 2 to control how the NuGet package version string is generated. Default is 1.
     "precision": "build" // optional. Use when you want to use a more or less precise package version than the default
  "pathFilters": [
    // optional list of paths to consider when calculating version height.
  "publicReleaseRefSpec": [
    "^refs/heads/master$", // we release out of master
    "^refs/tags/v\\d+\\.\\d+" // we also release tags starting with vN.N
  "cloudBuild": {
    "setVersionVariables": true,
    "buildNumber": {
      "enabled": false,
      "includeCommitId": {
        "when": "nonPublicReleaseOnly",
        "where": "buildMetadata"
  "release" : {
    "branchName" : "v{version}",
    "versionIncrement" : "minor",
    "firstUnstableTag" : "alpha"
  "inherit": false // optional. Set to true in secondary version.json files used to tweak settings for subsets of projects.

The x and y variables are for your use to specify a version that is meaningful to your customers. Consider using semantic versioning for guidance. You may optionally supply a third integer in the version (i.e. x.y.z), in which case the git version height is specified as the fourth integer, which only appears in certain version representations. Alternatively, you can include the git version height in the -prerelease tag using syntax such as: 1.2.3-beta.{height}

The optional -prerelease tag allows you to indicate that you are building prerelease software.

The publicReleaseRefSpec field causes builds out of certain branches or tags to automatically drop the -gabc123 git commit ID suffix from the version, making it convenient to build releases out of these refs with a friendly version number that assumes linear versioning.

Learn more about pathFilters.