Introducing Liferay Portal CE Rolling Releases

With the recently released Liferay Portal 7.3 CE GA1, we are adopting a rolling release cycle for Liferay Portal CE. This means that we will have very frequent stable CE releases which will include new features, improvements, and bug fixes. 

This is what the new process looks like for 2020:

After this cycle finishes, we will start again with the CE GA1 for the next release (i.e 7.4 or 8.0) and repeat this cycle for 2021.

Why are we making this change? Our development speed has increased significantly over the last few years and we are now able to release meaningful features much faster. By releasing them sooner we are giving the whole community the opportunity to try out the new features sooner and provide feedback, which will in turn help us shape the features to make them as useful as possible. With rolling releases, a suggestion you make could be included in a stable release within weeks or months instead of years! 

By the way, as part of this effort we are also working on simpler methods for technical and non-technical users to provide feedback.

How often do you plan to release? We will go through a period of testing the process, in which we will determine how often we can release. Our initial plan is to release every 6 weeks. This will continue until we release the final Liferay Portal CE GA which is when we will also release Liferay DXP 7.3 GA1. This is currently planned for the end of September 2020.

What level of quality can we expect from each rolling release? Our goal is for all rolling releases to have high quality. In fact we are strongly investing in quality to guarantee higher and higher quality over time.

We are so serious about quality that we are putting our most sensitive Liferay-based systems on the line for it: our goal is to update both and *to every rolling release* quickly after they are made publicly available. Also, our Engineering team will be working with the teams who oversee and, to test upgrades with real data before the release.

How does this relate to milestones, alpha, and beta releases? It replaces them. In the past, we followed a more traditional release approach which made features available first in milestone releases which had no quality guarantees whatsoever nor upgrade path. As the quality improved, we released alphas, betas and eventually GAs. Now, we will make all releases high-quality and guarantee an upgrade path. And we are making them even more often and with a predictable schedule. 

Who is the target audience of these releases? Since all rolling releases are Open Source, anyone can use them. We believe they will be most useful for:

  1. Any individual or company already using Liferay Portal or Liferay DXP looking to evaluate new features and help shape the product by providing feedback.

  2. Smaller installations which can benefit from a faster pace of new features with the resources to upgrade to each new rolling release and train users to leverage the new features (even if they are in flux).

Important note: These releases will be high-quality, but they may not be the best choice for large production installations, because the features and the way to use them may change often. We might even end up deciding to drop specific features based on the feedback. In addition, all rolling releases will include both bug fixes and improvements/new features; none will contain only bug fixes. Use your best judgment to decide what’s best for your case. 

If I’m using Liferay DXP, how does this benefit me? The most immediate benefit is having the ability to provide early feedback and help shape the product in a way that is useful to your business. The combined efforts of the entire Liferay community means that each DXP release will contain new features that are even more polished thanks to increased feedback and iteration. It also makes it easier to get early access to the upcoming features, if desired. Above all, this accelerates the rate of innovation through Open Source that characterizes Liferay.

How difficult will it be to upgrade? The first release in a series, such as 7.3 GA1 will have some backwards incompatible changes (mostly for deprecated APIs), but every other 7.3 release afterwards we are optimizing for the simplest upgrades possible. Our goal is to not have any breaking changes, and if there are some exceptions, they will be minor, well documented, and affecting a small number of scenarios (so it will most likely not affect you).

How can I find out that a release has been made available? New releases will be announced in Liferay’s community blog, like we’ve done for Liferay Portal 7.3 CE GA1 providing information of the new features included.  Liferay Portal 7.3 CE GA2 is coming next and is just a few days away. We will provide source code, binaries and Docker images for all of them.

We are very excited about this change and the possibilities it will bring to the Liferay community and customers. Please let us know how it’s working for you and make sure to send us your feedback about the releases as you try them out.


Thank you for your post Jorge. 


We are excited to test this new version and will suggest a lot of improvements, we have lots of ideas for you! 


...our Engineering team will be working with the teams who oversee and, to test upgrades with real data before the release...


How seriously is this taken? We can't upgrade to 7.2.1 because of Message Boards issue:

Hey Jan,

I'm sorry to hear that you run into that bug when upgrading. We know that's one of the worst moments to find that type of bug because often an upgrade project is done under a lot of time pressure.


We have a lot of measures in place to prevent this type of bugs, from automatic code validation tools for types of issues that we have found in the past, to testing with data "donated" by customers to upgrading internal systems. From time to time an issue like the one you have found still happens and acts as a reminder that we need to do better.


I believe that the rolling releases could be of help for upgrades too. First, more people will upgrade sooner and in smaller steps, allowing us to respond to anything that has escaped our safety net sooner. Second, by upgrading to each rolling release which is a critical installation, we increase the pressure on ourselves to do it right. Third, along with rolling releases we are putting more strict rules in place for what will be backportable to maintenance releases, making them even less vulnerable to potential upgrade issues.


I know that none of this helps you with your current problem, but please know that we are sorry and that we will continue to work to prevent similar issues in the future.

Dear Jorge,

I appreciate all these activities a lot. I was just confused by that mention of upgrading with every release and facing issue which would have to be detected in that case (as there are forums on Concentrating on some details now (like product menu) I suppose it runs still on some 7.1.x version so I assume that upgrading is rather long term goal, not reality yet.