ArcGIS Pro software releases follow the semantic versioning specification. This specification defines software versions according to a major.minor.patch scheme. Major and minor releases introduce new functionality. Patches address known issues but do not deliver new functionality.
Examples of the specification are as follows:
- A change from version 2.x to 3.x is a major release.
- A change from version x.3 to x.4 is a minor release.
- A change from version x.x.1 to x.x.2 is a patch.
Major releases introduce changes that are not backward compatible. These include changes to ArcGIS Pro project files (.aprx) and other document formats, such as project templates, layers, maps, and layouts. Major releases also introduce breaking API changes to the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET.
ArcGIS Pro projects that are created in one major release version of the software cannot be opened by versions of ArcGIS Pro from an earlier major release. For example, a project created in ArcGIS Pro 2.x cannot be opened in ArcGIS Pro 1.x. It is not directly possible to save a version 2.x project in a format compatible with version 1.x. However, some project items can be packaged in 1.x format. For more information, see the Packages section below.
Projects are forward compatible across major releases. For example, a project created in ArcGIS Pro 1.x can be opened in ArcGIS Pro 2.x. However, once the project is saved in version 2.x, it cannot be reopened in version 1.x.
Map packages, mobile map packages, layer packages, and geoprocessing packages are compatible with all major releases. For example, a map package created from a 2.x project includes both a 2.x version and a 1.x version of the map. The user experience is seamless: when you open the package, the version that is compatible with your software opens automatically.
Project packages created in ArcGIS Pro 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 include both a 2.x and 1.x version of the project. Project packages created in ArcGIS Pro 2.3 or later only include a 2.x version of the project.
Add-ins are neither backward compatible nor forward compatible across major releases. An add-in built for version 2.x will not load in version 1.x. An add-in built for version 1.x will not load in version 2.x. At major releases, developers need to rebuild add-ins using the latest version of ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET. See What's New for Developers for more information. Users should contact their providers for updated versions of add-ins.
Minor releases and patches
All changes introduced by minor releases and patches are both backward compatible and forward compatible. Minor releases and patches work seamlessly with existing projects.
Minor releases and patches are cumulative. When you install a minor release or patch, the functionality of any minor releases or patches you may have skipped is incorporated. For example, if you update from version x.x.1 to version x.x.3, the update incorporates the functionality of version x.x.2. It is not necessary to perform an incremental update of version x.x.2 before installing version x.x.3.