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New release cadence for features and fixes in Jira Align

We’ve heard from our customers and we’re making some changes to how we deliver features and fixes for Jira Align. Beginning on June 25th, Jira Align will be expanding our release process from a two week cadence that flows on a single track into a weekly cadence. This means that customers will have: 

  1. Extended time between releases of new feature functionality to prepare your teams for updates. New product features will be delivered through feature releases every four weeks. Whether you’re using a Test or Production instance of Jira Align, updates will now come four weeks apart, giving you more time between significant changes. 

  2. Faster fixes for security vulnerabilities and the highest priority bugs. Between each feature release, we’ll deliver high-priority defect fixes on a weekly basis, via maintenance releases. This will ensure your test instance is constantly maintained, and that we have the ability to react more quickly to issues found in both test and production instances. 

Our release version numbering scheme will change to account for these more frequent releases as follows:

  • Week 1 - 10.XX.0: Feature release

  • Week 2 - 10.XX.1: Maintenance release

  • Week 3 - 10.XX.2: Maintenance release

  • Week 4 - 10.XX.3: Maintenance release

We’re also renaming Test Instances to Sandbox Environments, and changing Production Instances to Production Environments, to better follow naming conventions used by other Atlassian products. 

What about critical fixes?

When a critical defect fix is needed to address an incident, and cannot wait for a weekly release, we will continue to deploy these changes on-demand to both Production and Sandbox environments, through what’s called a Hotfix release. Hotfixes will continue to be documented as separate Release Notes articles in Help. The version number of a Hotfix release will use an additional decimal, which will match the build number found in Jira Align. For example, 10.97.0.176404. You can check your version and build number quickly: Just click your Profile Image in the upper-left corner of Jira Align, and then select About.

How will this work?

In both your Sandbox and Production environments, the timing for when you receive a feature release or a maintenance release depends on your release track. Atlassian uses the concept of Bundled and Continuous tracks:

  • The Bundled release track will receive .2 and .3 release versions.

    • The .2 release will be the first time an environment using Bundled sees new features delivered in a .0 feature release.

    • The .3 release will contain important defect fixes, delivered a week after the new features show up.

  • The Continuous release track will receive all release versions — .0, .1, .2, and .3.

    • Each week, your environment will be updated, with new features added in .0 releases, and defect fixes in all other versions.

By default, your Sandbox Environment will be set to use the Continuous release track, while your Production Environment will use the Bundled release track. We recommend using these defaults, as they will allow you to first test out a new feature, delivered in version .0, in your Sandbox for two weeks, before releasing to Production in the .2 version.

If you’re an On-Premise user, your environment will be updated every four weeks, five days after a .2 release version is deployed to the Bundled release track.

Changing release tracks

If you’d like your Production environment to receive updates every week, and get new features as soon as they are ready, you can change your release track from Bundled to Continuous.

Changing a release track can be done by submitting a request to our Support Team. At this time, we are unable to guarantee how quickly these tickets will be handled, but we will address them as quickly as possible. On-Premise environments cannot change tracks.

Release calendar

We will be implementing this new cadence with the release of version 10.97.1. See a sample of our release calendar below:

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 5.59.28 PM.png

To stay current with our new release notes and product announcements, please visit the What’s New section of Jira Align’s Help site.

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