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SBT Company Wide Settings Example

Company wide settings, a.k.a. Bill Of Materials (BOM from now on), can be implemented in SBT using plugins.

The example is split up in two separate SBT projects, each in its own directory:

  • bom: the Bill Of Materials
  • model: a dummy project depending on the BOM

Of course, in a real project, you would have one BOM and several projects depending on it. Changing a setting in the BOM would then propagate the modification to the dependent projects.

Build and Run

To build and run the example:

$ git clone git://
$ cd sbt-bom-example/bom
$ sbt publish-local
$ cd ../model
$ sbt test

You should see that the bom plugin gets installed in the local Ivy cache and the tests in the dependent model project run successfully.


The example assumes you have a company maven repository whose credentials are specified in the $HOME/ivy2/.auth-acme file like this:

realm=Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager

NB: the realm key must match the http basic authentication realm in the http headers your company maven repository is advertising. If you're using Nexus, chances are the above example will work out of the box.

You might not actually need a maven repository, although it certainly helps distributing artifacts company wide (and since you're looking into company wide settings, you might as well implement things The Right Way™)

The Bill Of Materials

References to files and commands in this section are relative to the bom directory.


First of all, in build.sbt we have sbtPlugin := true. This tells SBT this is actually a plugin. Nothing particularly mind blowing so far.

The resolvers setting adds the company maven repositories to the resolvers. This is not really needed unless you have such repos. You might want to set up a mirror repository to save a few bucks on your company's Internet bill. Also, the releases, snapshots and 3rd party repositories are only really needed if you depend on a particular artifact in your plugin's sources that is not available in the default resolvers (Maven Central and actually).

The publishMavenStyle, publishTo and credentials settings are needed when publishing the plugin's artifacts to the company maven repository. To publish the plugin's artifacts, simply run:

$ sbt publish

plugins.sbt (in dir project)

This is only needed if you use Intellij IDEA and want to open the project in it. More info about this can be found here.

model.scala (in dir src/main/scala/com/acme/sbt/bom)

The objects defined in this scala source file are made available by SBT in the classpath of the project build where you have declared a dependency on this plugin. This allows for the company wide settings.

Let's look at the various objects in detail.


object Resolvers {
  val mirror = "ACME Mirror" at ""
  val releases = "ACME Releases" at ""
  val snapshots = "ACME Snapshots" at ""
  val thirdparty = "ACME 3rd Party" at ""
  val allResolvers = Seq(releases, snapshots, thirdparty, mirror)

The Resolvers object is a placeholder for SBT resolvers. We also declare an allResolvers value to bind them all.


object v {
  val platform = "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"

  val akka = "2.1.0"
  val logback = "1.0.7"
  val neo4j = "1.9.M04"
  val scala = "2.10.0"
  val slf4j = "1.7.2"
  val slick = "1.0.0"

Inside the Dependencies object we have a nested v object that is a placeholder for version numbers. This is useful when you have framework/library/platform dependencies with multiple artifacts and want to change the version number of a given framework's artifacts once and for all.

  // platform deps
  val dal = pdep("dal")
  val model = pdep("model")
  val multiplexerapi = pdepgav("multiplexer", "multiplexer-api")
  val multiplexerimpl = pdepgav("multiplexer", "multiplexer-impl")
  val normalizerapi = pdepgav("normalizer", "normalizer-api")
  val normalizerimpl = pdepgav("normalizer", "normalizer-impl")

I'm assuming the projects depending on this BOM are for a platform we're building which is made up of the following modules:

  • com.acme.platform.dal:dal:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  • com.acme.platform.model:model:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  • com.acme.platform.multiplexer:multiplexer-api:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  • com.acme.platform.multiplexer:multiplexer-impl:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  • com.acme.platform.normalizer:normalizer-api:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  • com.acme.platform.normalizer:normalizer-impl:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT

The pdep and pdepgav are utility methods defined at the bottom of the Dependencies object and allow for factorization of the common bits in the artifact coordinates.

// library/framework deps
val akkakernel = "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-kernel" % v.akka
val akkaremote = "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-remote" % v.akka
val akkaslf4j = "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-slf4j" % v.akka
val akkatestkit = "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-testkit" % v.akka % "test"
val hsqldb = "org.hsqldb" % "hsqldb" % "2.2.9" % "test"

These are all placeholders for framework/library dependencies.

val neo4j = Seq(janino, jcloverslf4j, jerseycore, neo4jgraphalgo, neo4jgraphmatching, neo4jkernel, neo4jlucene, neo4jserver)

Framework dependencies can be grouped together in a sequence for easier inclusion later.


The defaultSettings value augments SBT's Defaults.defaultSettings with lots of custom stuff. For instance, we declare the default scala version and configure the resolvers using the allResolvers value we saw above in the Resolvers object. This is where you want to make configuration changes that affect the whole platform.

The dependent project part

Okay, we've factored out all the common bits in the plugin. Time to profit!

References to files and commands in this section are relative to the model directory.

plugins.sbt (in dir project)

resolvers ++= Seq(
  "ACME Mirror" at "",
  "ACME Releases" at "",
  "ACME 3rd Party" at "",
  "ACME Snapshots" at ""

Here we are declaring a list of resolvers. This is not strictly necessary and is only needed if you want to allow people to build the model project without having to do a publish-local of the BOM first.

addSbtPlugin("com.github.mpeltonen" % "sbt-idea" % "1.3.0")

Here we have the usual sbt-idea stuff as above and, of course:

addSbtPlugin("" % "bom" % "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT")

This makes the plugin classes available in SBT's build classpath.

credentials += Credentials(Path.userHome / ".ivy2" / ".auth-acme")

Again, this is only necessary to configure authentication if you're using the maven repositories to distribute your artifacts.

Build.scala (in dir project)

Let's take a look separately at the different objects we have in the build file.


object BuildSettings {


  val buildOrganization = "com.acme.platform.model"
  val buildVersion = "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"

  val buildSettings = Settings.defaultSettings ++ Seq(
    organization := buildOrganization,
    version := buildVersion

We import from the BOM plugin so, when later we reference Settings.defaultSettings, we are actually referencing the build settings defined globally in our plugin. Also, the organization and version properties are overridden with values specified in buildOrganization and buildVersion.


object Dependencies {


  val deps = Seq(nscalatime, specs2) ++ junit

We import so, when later we reference nscalatime, specs2 and junit, we are actually referencing the dependencies' values defined in our BOM plugin.


object ModelBuild extends Build {

  import BuildSettings._
  import Dependencies._

  lazy val root = Project(id = "model",
    base = file("."),
    settings = buildSettings ++ Seq(libraryDependencies ++= deps))


We import BuildSettings._ and Dependencies._ so, when later we reference buildSettings and deps, we are actually referencing the values respectively defined in the BuildSettings and Dependencies objects in the same file.


I hope you found this example clear and useful.

You can reach me via