KB - Coordinating Application Development and Testing with the BBj Release Cycle
This article provides a brief overview of the BBj release cycle and the various tools and resources available that will assist application developers in coordinating their own software development and QA testing.
The BBj Release Cycle
It is well known that BASIS releases a major revision of BBj every year at the end of Q1 and that major BBj revisions always match the year in which they are released.
What might not be as well understood is that each subsequent ‘minor release’ of the product throughout the year contains bug fixes and ever more ‘Preview Features’ of the next major revision. Coded so as not to break existing functionality, preview features are added to minor revisions provide developers an opportunity to test the new technology, suggest modifications, and report problems. While the preview features are subject to change throughout the BBj release cycle, performing development and testing on them as BASIS Engineers complete their finishing touches will ensure developers are poised to deploy their products with the new features as soon as they are officially released in the next major revision.
Figure 1 diagrams the release cycle.
Figure 1. The BBj 14 release cycle as of October 2014
The BBj Download Page
The BBj download page facilitates development and testing by providing:
The current General Availability (GA) BBj revision - this is the latest, most stable version of the product for Production environments.
Development build - The Release Candidate (RC) revision. Often updated nightly, this should be considered the ‘trunk’ of the next upcoming major revision. There is no guarantee of stability with this build but here is where you will find the latest BBj ‘preview’ features as they are added to the product.
Release Candidate - often updated nightly, this is a preview of the next minor revision to be released. Use these builds to test ahead of scheduled upgrades for Production environments. See Figure 2.
Previous releases - The latest and greatest BBj revisions from previous years. Use these for testing or maintaining customer sites with older deployments.
Figure 2. The BBj download page as of October 2014
At the bottom of the BBj download page, you will find a link to the Readme, Relnotes, and Fixes for BBj major and minor revisions dating back to early BBj. Watch these documents as they are released to learn about --
Preview features (of the next major release)
BASIS’ Bugzilla database provides developers with direct access to bug reports, the ability to vote for bug fixes that affect their deployments, and the ability to receive emails when the status of a bug has changed. Request an account by emailing email@example.com with the email subject “Request New Bugzilla Account.”
Every developer has different development and testing cycle durations. The information provided by the resources above should help inform the process and facilitate coordination with the BASIS Engineering team. Testing new features and verifying fixes ahead of the next major revision will ensure our product and yours will be feature-filled and robust.