Dependencies and Configurations in Gradle

What is a Gradle configuration?

In Maven dependencies can be assigned to a given scope:
  • compile – available on all classpaths and propagated to dependent projects
  • provided – will be provided by your container
  • runtime
  • test
Gradle has a much broader concept called a configuration.

  • Unlike in Maven, in Gradle it is easy to declare your own configurations.
  • A configuration is a name which you can assign one or more files to.
  • Configurations have producers, which assign files to them, and consumers, which use them.

Different configurations are defined in different plugins so if you try to use a configuration and get an error, confirm you have the plugin available in your module. e.g.

Common configurations:

Configuration Description
api Will be on compile classpath for this module, and for all subsequent modules
implementation Will be on compile classpath for this module, and runtime classpath for whole app, but NOT on compile classpath for later modules. This prevents developers from accidentally coding against a library that is used internally in one module.
testFixturesImplementation Used when defining a test fixture. See Using test fixtures in Gradle and Maven
testFixtures When consuming a test from another module. See Using test fixtures in Gradle and Maven
annotationProcessor For annotation processing in the compile phase.

Dependency resolution strategy and automatic dependency upgrading

Gradle performs optimistic dependency upgrading. This can cause confusion because you may have a version of a dependency explicitly specified, but if a transitive dependency is a higher version, Gradle will take the higher version. This is not what Maven would do – it would always take the explicitly specified version.

However in Gradle you can override the default dependency resolution strategy. There are multiple ways to do this:

Global fail if any conflict

configurations.all {
    resolutionStrategy {

Custom resolution

e.g. fix version
configurations.all {
    resolutionStrategy.eachDependency { DependencyResolveDetails details ->
        if ( == 'io.projectreactor' && == 'reactor-core' && details.requested.version == '3.3.0.M1') {
            details.useVersion '3.2.10.RELEASE'
            details.because 'the original version which comes with spring-integration:5.2.0.M2 is no longer available'
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