How does VersionEye work?

How does VersionEye work? 

I’m getting this question frequently. Specially from non technical people!

The mission of VersionEye is to keep you informed about new open source releases! 

Currently (March 2015) VersionEye is monitoring 550K open source components in the internet! You can follow these components at VersionEye and as soon a new versions comes out you will get an email notification!

Now you might think:

Why do I need that? I can simply subscribe to the officially Ruby on Rails newsletter to get notified about the next Rails version!

That’s true! You can do that! And you can also subscribe to the official Symfony, Spring, Hibernate, Django and whatever newsletter. But you are using much more open source components! And most of them don’t have a newsletter! Most of them don’t have a twitter account! On VersionEye you can subscribe to ALL of your open source components and you have only 1 single source of truth. Instead of managing X newsletters you get only 1 email per day from VersionEye, where ALL your updates are summed up for you!

If I follow 200 open source components and 35 of them release new versions today, how many emails I will get from VersionEye today?

You will get only 1 single email there all the 35 notifications are summed up for you! VersionEye will not spam you! Our goal is to keep you informed AND to minimise communication overhead!

If I’m using 120 open source components in my software project do I have to look them up all one by one and follow each one of them on VersionEye? That’s a lot of work!

You can do that if you have too much free time 🙂 If you are signed up you can simply upload your project file! For example your pom.xml, Gemfile, package.json, composer.json or any other project file which describes your dependencies! VersionEye will parse that file and show you a list of ALL your dependencies and it will even mark the dependencies which are out-dated! In the right upper corner you can follow ALL your dependencies with 1 single click!


That way you can save a lot of time!

So I have to upload my project file every day?

Not necessarily! If you host your source code on GitHub or Bitbucket than VersionEye can monitor your dependencies directly there! You can simply add and remove new open source dependencies every day and VersionEye will notify you about out-dated dependencies in your source code on a daily basis! This integration is completely seamless.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 14.20.44

You just have to set it up once and than it just works!

That’s cool! That will work for my hobby projects! But since Adward Snowden my company moved away from cloud tools! In the company we host our own private Git server. Do you have a solution for that?

Yes. VersionEye started as a SaaS tool in the cloud but since last year we offer VersionEye Enterprise as on premises! You can run the VersionEye software as a virtual machine image on your own server in your own datacenter!

And VersionEye Enterprise can crawl our private Maven Repositories as well? And it can use our private Exchange server to send out the emails?

Yes! That’s the whole point of VersionEye Enterprise. It is completely integrated into your infrastructure! It can crawl your private binary repository servers and so you are informed about new releases of open source AND closed source components!

Does VersionEye Enterprise crawl the Internet for me? Or how does it get the information about open source components?

No! VersionEye Enterprise does not crawl the internet for you! It only crawls your internal repository servers! Crawling the whole internet for open source components requires a lot of computing power and the algorithms for that have to be adjusted frequently! Believe me you don’t want to maintain such a crawling framework!

But then how does VersionEye Enterprise now that my open source components are out-dated?

There is a nightly sync between VersionEye Enterprise and the official VersionEye API in the Cloud. Your VersionEye Enterprise instance is pulling in meta data about the open source components you are using in your projects! That’s how your instance keeps his database up-to-date without crawling the whole internet!

OK. That makes sense! But what about software updates? Do I have to exchange the whole virtual machine image if VersionEye provides an software update?

No! You only have to install the VM once! The VersionEye software is running in Docker containers inside of the VM. Software updates are provided as new Docker containers. There is nice web UI on the VM which enables you to update the Docker containers.


Here is a complete overview of the architecture!


VersionEye Enterprise only communicates with 2 Endpoints in the Internet. It’s using always a secure SSL connection and it only pulls in data to keep the data base up-to-date and to keep the software itself up-to-date!

OK. That makes all sense. Can we test it for a couple days for free?

Yes! You can test VersionEye Enterprise for 30 days for free! Simply fill out the short form on our Enterprise page!

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