Software is always changing. There would always be a scope for improvement or some bugs and issues that would affect the performance of the software, and indirectly the hassle-free experience that every end-user wants. And that’s why in agile software development, there are always software releases before the end of every iteration.
About Software Releases
A software release is the final version of the software released to the end-users after further enhancements and bug fixes. The process involves several activities that include requirements analysis, code development, creating the build, deployment, and software testing.
The release can either be private or public depending upon the upgrades and developments made in the software.
Types of Software Releases
1. Major Software Releases
These releases include a number of changes in the existing functionality or the addition of entirely new functionality in the software. Most of them resolve the issues, and bush present in the preceding version of the software.
2. Minor Software Releases
The small improvements and bugs are taken care of in these releases. To provide large scale point updates, the installation of these improvements and issues generally take place on top of major releases.
3. Emergency Fixes
These releases are the corrections of the errors and issues in the software applications that lower their performance. The end-users face difficulties in using the software and thereby the issues need to be resolved immediately.
Phases in Software Release Life Cycle
1. Pre Alpha
This phase is the foundation of the release lifecycle and oversees the software development, design, requirement analysis, and testing. There would be many bugs present in this phase that could be fixed in the next phases.
Once the pre-alpha release is analyzed, the developers and testers begin with the alpha testing of the software. The bugs from the pre-alpha phase are debugged. Further, the software is advanced to the Quality Assurance (QA) department for additional testing.
Certain bugs like performance and crashing are rectified in beta testing. The software is then released to the target audience as per the customer’s requirements.
4. Release Candidate (RC)
This phase develops the final version of the software and resolves all the critical issues and trivial bugs present. Till this phase, as the software has already undergone a number of testings, there’s no further scope of improvements or changes. The RC version thereby is considered the final version that is ready for market release.
5. Going Live
In this phase, the stale and final release of the software is done. The release takes place over the website or the respective platforms of the client. This release is all set for usage by the end-users.