Software Release Management: The Best Practices to Follow
In the old days, most major software came in the form of disks. You would fully write and test the program before burning it onto a small CD-ROM and sending it out to computer stores for the latest business professionals to get their hands on.
Today, things are a bit different, though. Software updates are released on a monthly basis, and they’re downloaded and updated directly from the internet. With the increased demand for updates and the speed at which they can now be deployed, it’s often confusing to keep track of everything that’s going on.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to follow software release management best practices. These are practices which will increase your team’s fluidity and help to ensure that everything is organized and released as it should be. Adhering to these will help to eliminate bugs and potential security breaches as well as making sure that your customers remain satisfied.
Use Tools to Handle Formal Releases
Today, there are a wide number of software deployment and release tools on the market. Do some homework and find out which one is the best fit for your company and buy it. Then train all of your employees to use it.
These tools are well worth the investment and they will make your life a thousand times easier. Then can store the source code, track updates, integrate them, and then distribute them across the internet for you customers to download them from. If you ever have any questions about an event or instance that happened, all you need to do is take a look at the system logs.
Create Separate Release Environments
In addition to using tools, you need to keep your release environments separate. You will have different developers working on different updates and features and they will all be in different stages. Make sure that they stay separate to avoid confusion.
These are the four main stages and environments:
This is the part where the developers are working on raw code in their development environment. All changes should be saved to individual branches for review before they are integrated into the main code.
After each step of development, the new features or updates should be tested with written and physical tests. If they don’t pass both, they need to be fixed.
Staging is the part where you test out a “beta version” of the software. After it passes the test, you want to make sure that everything works from a user standpoint.
After you’re finally satisfied, all of the updates need to be compiled, added onto your main code, and distributed. This will usually be done through a version control system which interacts with your software release tools.
Test and Receive Feedback
After you release an update or a new software, make sure that you are constantly listening for customer feedback and testing the programs yourself. If possible, implement updates and fix problems before the customer is able to find them. As long as you stay on top of your code and manage all of your releases, then you’ll be running a smooth operation.