Release and Lifecycle Definitions

Abstract: Each Embarcadero product release can be categorized as a specific Release Type, which progresses through lifecycle periods at explicit Release Milestones.

Release Types are defined as follows:

Major Release

  • Major new features, architecture changes, product components
  • Full, standalone product build
  • Will normally be localized
  • Naming convention: X.0 (may also have marketing name that uses the year or some other convention)

Minor Release

  • May include significant new features beyond previous minor/major version
  • Full, standalone product build
  • Will normally be localized
  • Naming convention: X.Y (may also have marketing name that uses the year or some other convention)

Maintenance Release

  • May include previously released Service Packs and other fixes
  • Full, standalone product build
  • Naming convention: X.Y.Z

Service Pack

  • Periodic rollup of Hot fixes and Patches
  • May only be a set of files, not a full, standalone product build
  • Released on a planned availability date
  • Recommended to all customers as part of a proactive maintenance plan
  • Will not normally be localized
  • Naming convention: X.Y Service Pack #Z

Patch

  • In response to a specific Software Failure
  • May only be a set of files, not a full, standalone product build
  • Released ad-hoc, as soon as available
  • Recommended to all customers to prevent a critical failure
  • Will not normally be localized
  • Naming convention: X.Y Patch #Z

Hotfix

  • In response to a specific customer-reported Software Failure
  • May only be a set of files, not a full, standalone product build
  • Released ad-hoc, as soon as available, via Tech Support only
  • Typically created in response to Severity-1 issues from Premium Support customers
  • Will not normally be localized
  • Naming convention: X.Y Hotfix #Z

Two additional definitions that are relevant to Release Types:

Major Release Family

  • Every Major, Minor, and Maintenance Release with the same version number

Version

  • A specific instance of a Major, Minor, or Maintenance Release, identified by a version number of the form X.Y.Z, where X is a whole number that represents the Major Release, Y is a whole number that represents the Minor Release (or ?0? for the first release in a Major Release Family), and and optional Z is a whole number that represents the Maintenance Release

Lifecycle Periods are defined as follows:

Active Support

  • Technical Support will open cases and assist customers with issues
  • Version is eligible for Hotfixes, Patches, and Service Packs
  • Active Support will generally be provided for at least one Version within a Major Release Family.

Passive Support

  • Technical Support will open cases and assist customers with issues
  • Version is NOT eligible for Hotfixes, Patches, and Service Packs
  • To receive corrections to Software Failures, customers must upgrade to another Version, within the same Major Release Family, that is under Active Support

De-supported

  • Technical Support will open cases, but may not be able to assist customers with issues that are specific to the de-supported version

Extended Support

  • An additional period of Technical Support for a Major Release Family beyond the De-Support Date
  • May last up to 2 years
  • Support will not be provided for new development work, only for existing deployed production systems
  • No new operating system or environment support will be provided customers must freeze their deployed environment configurations
  • A single version within the Major Release Family will be eligible for Technical Support assistance, Hotfixes, Patches, and Service Packs
  • Other versions will not be eligible for Technical Support
  • Does not apply to every Embarcadero product. Availability will only be announced at Embarcadero’s discretion

Release Milestones are defined as follows:

General Availability

  • First date on which Technical Support will be made available to customers
  • Term applies to a Major, Minor, or Maintenance Release
  • At GA, the Version will generally enter the Active Support phase

Passive Support Date

  • Date when a Version moves from Active Support to Passive Support
  • First date on which Version is no longer eligible for sale
  • Not all Versions will pass through this phase. some will move directly to a De-support Date

De-support Date

  • First date on which all Versions within a Major Release Family are no longer eligible for Technical Support
  • Generally announced by Embarcadero approximately 12 months in advance