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Summary: This section provides information about release types (alpha/beta/funcrel/longterm) used with official CAST AIP Extensions.

Introduction

When an official CAST AIP Extension is made available for download, various definitions are used to describe the release type of an extension:

  • alpha
  • beta
  • func rel (i.e.: Functional Release)
  • longterm (or LTS: Long Term Support)

For example:

Below is a description of these definitions.

Alpha and Beta releases

Official CAST AIP Extensions that have an Alpha or Beta release type can be described as follows:

Alpha

  • Alpha software has undergone limited internal testing but can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss.
  • Alpha software may not contain all of the features that are planned for the Functional Release.
  • CAST AIP Extensions that have an Alpha status are NOT officially supported by CAST's Technical Support team.

Beta

  • Beta software will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, as well as speed/performance issues and may still cause crashes or data loss.
  • Beta software is generally feature complete but likely to contain a number of known or unknown bugs.
  • CAST AIP Extensions that have a Beta status are officially supported by CAST's Technical Support team.

Functional Release and Longterm (LTS) releases

Func Rel (Functional Release) and Longterm (LTS or Long Term Support release) are two similar release types used with official CAST AIP Extensions. The differences between the two are highlighted below:


Functional ReleaseLong Term Support (LTS) Release
PurposeProvide new features asapStability and reliability, in terms of analysis results and robustness; a LTS is a FuncRel that has been field tested and validated.
Release frequencyAs early and as often as possible, whenever new features are available for an extension.At least one for each functional CAST AIP release (7.3, 8.0, 8.1 ...)
Bug Fixes

In the next possible version (Functional Release mostly) ; i.e. they come together with new features.

In Service Packs on top of the same functional release, no new features or functional changes
Quality Assurance
  • use cases for the enhancements
  • regression tests compared to the previous functional release
  • Integration tests with applications leveraging the enhancements
  • Upgrade test from previous functional release
  • use cases for the enhancements and bugs fixes
  • regression tests compared to the previous LTS
  • All Integration tests
  • Load testing
  • All upgrade tests
Target audienceUsers keen on new features; willing to accept functional changes together with bug fixesUsers for which functional stability (in particular stable analysis results) is critical
New featuresPossibly in each release (fast pace) but only a limited number in each releaseSlow pace, but many new features at a time.
Version numbering

First or second digit identifies the functional level; third digit is used when the version contains mostly bugs fixes. Version name also contains the FuncRel suffix (2.0-funcrel, 2.1.1-funcrel, ...)

The LTS release is identified by the three digits and the absence of suffix (1.1.4 is a LTS, 1.1.4-FuncRel isn't). The third digit changes with every new service pack. (1.1.0, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...)

Support levelFully and officially supported by CAST's Technical Support team; only rough commitment on when and in which release an issue will be fixed; fix will be provided together with new features; can be used on production environments when customer agrees to other characteristics.Fully and officially supported by CAST's Technical Support team; same level of commitment on when and in which release an issue will be fixed as for AIP; fix will be provided in a service pack without functional changes.
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