Recently, we've formalized the release train for Solutions Business Manager (SBM) to be as predictable and agile as possible. By holding to a predictable release schedule, our hope is that customers will be better able to plan resources and schedule upgrades in a repeatable and standardized way. In addition, by releasing new versions often, new customer innovation and corrections to non-critical customer reported defects can be distributed more quickly.
Our goal is to release a new version of SBM once a quarter. To achieve this cadence, we expect to generally alternate between minor and maintenance (update) versions. For each minor release (e.g. 11.3) we expect to release an update release in the following quarter (e.g. 11.3.1). This will then be following by a minor release the next quarter (e.g. 11.4) and the cycle repeats.
A minor release is defined as a release that may introduce new features or deprecate legacy features, but will not introduce significant architectural changes to the product. An update version may introduce enhancements to existing features but typically will not include completely new features. As needed, we may release a major release instead of a minor release which would include architectural changes, but this is not expected to happen often.
Codenames for releases
Generally, SBM uses code names for releases prior to achieving code complete. To make it easy to understand the cadence of SBM, code names are in alphabetical order and follow a theme. The theme for SBM is "cities in the United States". So, for example, we've had releases codenamed "Aurora", "Babylon", "Chattanooga", "Dillsburg" and "Eugene". Because the releases are in alphabetical order, you can always tell if a release comes before or after another - i.e. Dillsburg came after Chattanooga and before Eugene.
Upgrading has become routine
Improvements since the SBM 11.0 release have made upgrades efficient and quick to perform. For example, over the last 6 releases (releases from 11.0 to 11.4), Micro Focus has upgraded our internal production version of SBM in under 2 hours including both the upgrade and post-upgrade testing. Because it is much easier to upgrade than in the 10.x series, it is our hope that customers will stay current on the latest release and be able to participate in the quarterly release cadence.
We hope that this new predictable release train, coupled with easy identification and efficient upgrades, will enable customers to take full advantage of every release and the new capabilities provided in each version.