The recent pandemic has shown the importance of agility and reconfigurability of our plans. Nuxeo Platform is positioned as a true low-code environment to help you with your digital transformation in an agile fashion, step by step, with easy and productive design & deployment patterns. Several of our customers have given us explicit feedback on how happy they were to have their Digital Asset Management (DAM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system be able to facilitate their information exchange and handle the “work from home” situation without too much impact on the business processes. This sounded sweet to my product manager’s ears.
Meanwhile, our customers were having more urgent feature requests than ever before, forced by the emergency of the situation. And our current official release cycle was not adapted to that period. While we had some plans in progress for our Cloud customers about continuously delivering the innovation produced by our product & engineering teams, we realized we needed to support our self-managed customers, and our release strategies needed to include a way to deliver new capabilities more quickly than once a year.
At Nuxeo, all our customers are important. Fortunately, we solved our problem by loosening the “holy rule” that hotfixes were only to fix existing issues. We delivered new capabilities on the LTS 2019 after its initial release: content retention engine, new content storage capabilities, the Nuxeo Aspera connector, and more. We then asked ourselves: “why not do that by design?”. Our customers are very familiar with the hotfix distribution channel. At an average rhythm of one every three weeks, this is a perfect window to ship evolutions and enhancements regularly. Going forward, we will use these releases to deliver new capabilities to satisfy our customers.
Hence, to deliver innovation regularly and limit major migrations for our customers, we have evolved the Nuxeo Platform LTS (Long Term Support) cycle.
We centered the Nuxeo release cycle around two release types:
- LTS releases every 18 to 24 months. You can think of LTS releases as major releases. They can introduce non-transparent architecture, data, or code migration steps.
- LTS updates every three weeks during the active phase of the LTS (More on “Active” status below) and monthly when in the maintenance phase. LTS updates do not require any architecture, data, or code migration steps, making them easy and secure to install regularly.
As always, critical security fix updates will be scheduled for release as soon as they are ready.
Nuxeo defines three distinct phases of the LTS lifecycle:
- Active: The LTS updates will deliver both bug fixes and new features and improvements. The active window lasts at least a year and until the next LTS version is released. When we deliver an LTS Update that includes new features that affect user interfaces,we will flag these changes and disable them by default. Examples include a new user action, a new menu entry, a new document tree, etc. Application builders can review the list of new features available along the LTS lifecycle and enable them individually. Flagged features will become the default option in the next active LTS release.
- Maintenance: The LTS updates will deliver bug fixes only. The maintenance phase for a given LTS lasts two years after its active phase . LTS releases are available for at least three years. For instance, if the active period lasts two years, then the entire LTS cycle will last four years.
- End of Life (maintenance end): once the maintenance phase ends, the LTS version will no longer receive updates.
LTS versions take the number of the year during which they are released. For example, our latest LTS release, which was launched earlier this year, is LTS 2021. Below is an example of a projection for currently maintained and upcoming LTS releases. Note that defined release dates in this diagram for LTS are subject to change. LTS releases are driven by the release’s scope, which explains the variation of the period between two LTS releases.
As you see, the major releases trend is less aggressive than our previous yearly LTS release rhythm, which provides our customers more time to migrate while still benefiting from the most recent product evolutions. The product management team is excited about this release scheme and is looking forward to getting your feedback. This year, many major product evolutions will be shipped as LTS 2021 Updates, including but not limited to select all experience on content lists, accessibility improvements, and bulk metadata edit user experience.