Getting to know an app on VTEX IO

Getting to know an app on VTEX IO

In order to build a complete custom application with VTEX IO, it's necessary to understand some concepts that are going to be presented now and it all starts with an important file of an app: the manifest.json.

Manifest file

This file defines some basic configurations and abstractions that are needed for the build of your application to work. In this step, some fields of this file are going to be explained, which are:

  • vendor
  • name
  • version
  • dependencies

Let's begin!


It defines the name of the VTEX account that is developing the app. This account is responsible for its maintenance and distribution (the app can be installed in other accounts or only in its own)

The vtex vendor is used for native apps.


It identifies the name of the application. It should not contain any special characters (except from -) or uppercase characters.


It identifies the current app version. We use the Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 specification for versioning. The format is well defined, divided in patch, minor and major releases.

You can find bellow a summary of the specification:

  • Patches: Should be used for bug fixes that are backwards compatible
  • Minors: Should be used to add a new backwards compatible feature
  • Majors: Should be used when API incompatible changes are made (breaking changes)

For example: If an API is at version 2.3.2 and it adds a new non breaking change feature, it can then be updated to version 2.4.0.

At the moment the deployment is made, there is a worker called housekeeper which is responsible for updating automatically the new version for every account. It will, therefore, update new minor and patch releases because of its backward compatibility. It will not, however, automatically update major versions since it might come with dependency changes.


An app might depend on other applications. This field lists all of the necessary dependencies for the correct app functioning.


In the example of the manifest.json structure below, it's possible to see characteristics pointed out above. In particular, the app version is 0.0.1 and these numbers correspond respectively to its major, minor and patch.

  "vendor": "vtex",
  "name": "countdown",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "title": "Countdown",
  "description": "Countdown component",
  "defaultLocale": "pt-BR",
  "builders": {
    "messages": "1.x",
    "store": "0.x",
    "react": "3.x"
  "mustUpdateAt": "2019-04-02",
  "scripts": {
    "postreleasy": "vtex publish --verbose"
  "dependencies": {
    "vtex.styleguide": "9.x",
    "vtex.css-handles": "0.x"
  "$schema": ""

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