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Here are some terms used in Ivy, with their definitions in Ivy:

Ivy file

An ivy file is an xml file which is used to describe dependencies of a module (see below). It is usually named ivy.xml.

Configuration file

Ivy configuration files are xml files used to configure ivy to indicate where the dependencies can be found. This should not be confused with a module configuration (see below).


An organisation is either a company or a simple group of person which produce software. Ivy handle only one level of organisation, so you cannot describe a company hierarchy with this concept. But it is used to group sofware produced by a same team, just to help find and classify them.
Examples: apache, ibm, jayasoft


A module in ivy is a piece of software that is reusable, and that follow a unique cycle of revision.
Examples: hibernate, ant, ...


An artifact is a single file produced by a company when releasing a module. In the java world, common artifacts are jars. In many cases, each revision of a module publish only one artifact (like log4j, for instance), but some of them publish many artifacts dependending on the use of the module (like ant, for instance).


A revision corresponds to one delivery of a module. It can either be a delivery of a release, a milestone, a beta version, a nightly build, or even a continuous build. All of them are considered revisions in ivy.


A branch corresponds to the standard meaning of a branch (or sometimes stream) in source control management tools. The head, or trunk, or main stream, is also considered as a branch in Ivy.


A module configuration is a way to use or construct a module. Some modules may be used in different ways (think about hibernate which can be used inside or outside an application server), and this way may alter the artifacts you need (in the case of hibernate, jta.jar is needed only if it is used outside an application server). Moreover, a module may need some other modules and artifacts only at build time, and some others at runtime. All those differents ways to use or build a module are called in ivy configurations.

For more details on configurations and how they are used in ivy, please refer to the main concepts page.


A module status indicates how stable a module revision can be considered. It can be used to consolidate the status of all the dependencies of a module, to prevent the use of an integration revision of a dependency in the release of your module. Three statuses are defined by default in ivy:
  • integration: revisions builded by a continuous build, a nightly build, and so on, fall in this category
  • milestone: revisions delivered to the public but not actually finished fall in this category
  • release: revision fully tested and labelled fall in this category
since 1.4 This list is configurable in your configuration file.


What is called a repository in Ivy is a location where Ivy is able to find your modules artifacts and metadata (i.e. ivy files in most cases). Ivy can be used with complex repositories configured very finely. You can use Dependency Resolvers to do so.