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In 1st generation packaging, a global class cannot be modified after a managed release (and installation). There have been numerous discussions like this one on handling / upgrading / deprecating global classes and components in 1st generation packages.

How are global classes and components treated in 2nd Generation Packaging considering unlocked and managed package versions?

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Unlocked Packages

For Unlocked packages, you can revert a class from global to public or even to private and it should allow you to do it fine because it simply does not matter.

2GP Managed Packages

You can downgrade an Access modifier of a class from global to public or even private provided you create a new package version from the source with no ancestry. That is in short you cannot downgrade without breaking package ancestry.

To learn more about ancestry take a look here

In short, what specifying ancestry during the package version creation process does is, maintains upgradability rules for you (Like Rules that are needed to ensure release does not suddenly break something in consumer org).

Effect of creating a Managed Package with No Ancestry

If an org already has the package version installed with the global class you cannot upgrade the org with the new package version (where apex class is public/private) with different ancestry without uninstalling the previous versions. Note this will mean you will have to restore the data along. You want to avoid this.

So in short if you have a Released Managed 2GP package that already has a global class and is installed in a number of orgs if you try going back to public/private, it simply won't be allowed during the packaging process without you taking off the ancestorId during package creation.

Now if you take off the ancestorId it simply means you have branched off at that point and would mean destructive change for the customer who already has the app installed.

Using Global classes should be avoided in 2GP if one can since the public class can be made available to other packages within the same namespace.

Note be above applies to all the components. This is called manageability rules and documented in 1GP package upgrade components behaviour in ISV document and they are all applied. These are documented here

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    +1 - I believe breaking ancestry also means you lose Security Review approval, if applicable.
    – David Reed
    Jul 14, 2021 at 18:29
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    That's exactly what I suspected when I saw the Q over on twitter. Totally makes sense.
    – sfdcfox
    Jul 14, 2021 at 18:37
  • The security review aspect is an important aspect, thanks @DavidReed Jul 15, 2021 at 10:07
  • Can I assume these rules apply for other metadata components that can be global (aura) or behave similarly (e.g. protected labels, custom metadata)? Would love to see them added to the answer Jul 15, 2021 at 15:58
  • Yes this apply for everything. This is called manageability rules and they are all applied. Jul 17, 2021 at 15:04

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