Build the same package with different configs

If you want to build your application with different settings, e.g. for test, staging and production, then you have three ways to do this.


All examples are shown in a simple build.sbt. We recommend using AutoPlugins to encapsulate certain aspects of your build.

All examples can also be found in the native-packager examples,

SBT sub modules

The main idea is to create a submodule per configuration. We start with a simple project build.sbt.

name := "my-app"

In the end we want to create three different packages (test, stage, prod) with the respective configurations. We do this by creating an application module and three packaging submodules.

// the application
lazy val app = project
    name := "my-app",
    libraryDependencies += "com.typesafe" % "config" % "1.3.0"

Now that our application is defined in a module, we can add the three packaging submodules. We will override the resourceDirectory setting with our app resource directory to gain easy access to the applications resources.

lazy val testPackage = project
  // we put the results  in a build folder
    // override the resource directory
    resourceDirectory in Compile := (resourceDirectory in (app, Compile)).value,
    mappings in Universal += {
      ((resourceDirectory in Compile).value / "test.conf") -> "conf/application.conf"

// bascially identical despite the configuration differences
lazy val stagePackage = project
    resourceDirectory in Compile := (resourceDirectory in (app, Compile)).value,
    mappings in Universal += {
      ((resourceDirectory in Compile).value / "stage.conf") -> "conf/application.conf"

lazy val prodPackage = project
    resourceDirectory in Compile := (resourceDirectory in (app, Compile)).value,
    mappings in Universal += {
      ((resourceDirectory in Compile).value / "prod.conf") -> "conf/application.conf"

Now that you have your build.sbt set up, you can try building packages.

# stages a test build in build/test/target/universal/stage

# creates a zip with the test configuration
sbt testPackage/universal:packageBin

This technique is a bit verbose, but communicates very clear what is being built and why.

SBT parameters and Build Environment

SBT is a java process, which means you can start it with system properties and use these in your build. This pattern may be useful in other scopes as well. First we define an AutoPlugin that sets a build environment.

import sbt._
import sbt.Keys._
import sbt.plugins.JvmPlugin

/** sets the build environment */
object BuildEnvPlugin extends AutoPlugin {

  // make sure it triggers automatically
  override def trigger = AllRequirements
  override def requires = JvmPlugin

  object autoImport {
    object BuildEnv extends Enumeration {
      val Production, Stage, Test, Developement = Value

    val buildEnv = settingKey[BuildEnv.Value]("the current build environment")
  import autoImport._

  override def projectSettings: Seq[Setting[_]] = Seq(
    buildEnv := {
         .flatMap {
           case "prod" => Some(BuildEnv.Production)
           case "stage" => Some(BuildEnv.Stage)
           case "test" => Some(BuildEnv.Test)
           case "dev" => Some(BuildEnv.Developement)
           case unkown => None
    // give feed back
    onLoadMessage := {
      // depend on the old message as well
      val defaultMessage = onLoadMessage.value
      val env = buildEnv.value
          |Running in build environment: $env""".stripMargin


This plugin allows you to start sbt for example like

sbt -Denv=prod
[info] Set current project to my-app (in build file: ...)
[info] Running in build environment: Production
> show buildEnv
[info] Production

Now we can use this buildEnv setting to change things. For example the mappings. We recommend doing this in a plugin as it involes quite some logic. In this case we decide which configuration file to map as application.conf.

mappings in Universal += {
  val confFile = buildEnv.value match {
    case BuildEnv.Developement => "dev.conf"
    case BuildEnv.Test => "test.conf"
    case BuildEnv.Stage => "stage.conf"
    case BuildEnv.Production => "prod.conf"
  ((resourceDirectory in Compile).value / confFile) -> "conf/application.conf"

Ofcourse you can change all other settings, package names, etc. as well. Building different output packages would look like this

sbt -Denv=test universal:packageBin
sbt -Denv=stage universal:packageBin
sbt -Denv=prod universal:packageBin