Don’t trust micro versions

Normally you would think, that upgrading a third party dependency where its micro version (after the second dot, like x in 2.3.x) changes should make your software work (even) better and not break it. Sadly enough it can easily happen. Some time ago we stumbled over a subtle change in the JNDI implementation of the Jetty webserver and servlet container: In version 6.1.11 you specified (or at least could specify) JNDI resources in jetty-env.xml with URLs like jdbc/myDatabase. After the update to 6.1.12 the specified resource could not be found anymore. Digging through code changelogs and the like provided a solution that finally worked with 6.1.12: java:comp/env/jdbc/myDatabase. The bad thing is that the latter does not work with 6.1.11 so that our configuration became micro-version-dependent on Jetty.

It seems that a new feature around JETTY-725 in the update from 6.1.11 to 6.1.12 broke our software.

Conclusion

Always make sure that your dependencies are fixed for your software releases and test your software everytime when upgrading a dependency. Do not trust some automatic dependency update system or the version numbers of a project. In the end they are just numbers and should indicate the impact of the changes but you never can be sure the changes do not break something for you.

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