Monday, December 17, 2007

Openbravo stable versions policy

As you probably know a few weeks back we published our release policy. We now have a Community Edition that intends providing the community with a stable version of the product. The most recent Community Edition is Openbravo ERP R2.35 and a new Community Edition release is planned every six months. Defects can be reported against this edition but no guarantee is offered on when they will be fixed. Bug fixes are only distributed as part of subsequent Community Edition and back ported to an existing Community Edition at Openbravo's discretion.

Quality is a very important issue for us and our community members have often shown that is important to them also. Starting with Openbravo R2.3 series, we have an acceptance test that defines what tests a community edition must pass to be considered production quality. Our Quality Assurance process is open to everyone that wishes to participate and help us to make sure that the production releases is indeed stable enough for production purposes.

We are fully aware that no matter how much effort we put in the QA process, users implementing Openbravo in demanding situations will always be likely to find issues. Openbravo is committed to continuously fix issues even after the release of the product and always publishes those fixes to the community in source format in the development trunk. Users can extract them from there and apply them individually to their environments or wait for the next release to consume them in packaged form.

In addition to that, Openbravo - whenever it believes it is needed - will now go one extra step and packages fixes of the most severe issues affecting our community in the form of Maintenance Packs, which are fully tested before release according to the community process, and distributed both in source and binary format.

As an exemple, we now know that a maintenance pack is needed for 2.35 and next week we are starting the Quality Assurance for Openbravo 2.35 Maintenance Pack 1 that aims at correcting the most critical issues detected in R2.35 by our community. We are going to tag the Subversion repository to indicate exactly which source code has been used to produce the binaries for maintenance pack 1. We will provide very shortly details on the time frame to be able to participate in the QA process of this maintenance pack.

We are not going to do a stable branch version. Instead of investing time in back-porting and forward-porting fixes between different branches we are going to focus on making sure that our community stable version has a good quality when it is released and we will focus our investment on developing on trunk. Additionally, we want to encourage that all bug fixes are committed to trunk. If someone wants to apply a bug fix from trunk to the latest stable version can easily doing extracting the fix (revision) from Subversion and applying to its own installation.

Openbravo is going to lunch a subscription service that will offer updates and support during a life cycle of few years.

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