Blogs

Blogs

Liferay Rolling Release 2022 Update

Beginning in 2020 we adopted a new rolling release strategy providing more frequent Liferay Portal releases which included new features, improvements, and bug fixes.   Although the new release strategy saw huge improvements with introducing new features in a timely fashion, it still led to a period where new features would not be added to the product again for several months.  Beginning in 2022 we are expanding our release strategy to  deliver Liferay Portal releases on an even more frequent and consistent schedule.

Accelerated Release Schedule

We are adopting an accelerated release cycle which will contain either new features or bug fixes or a combination of both.  All releases will be announced on liferay.dev and will provide detailed information on any new features in the release or if the release only contains bug fixes without any new features.  Liferay Portal 7.4 will be an ongoing release meaning there will no longer be a period where no features are being added to the product.  This also means that Liferay Portal 7.4 will be a long living release with many GA releases into the unforeseeable future.

New Versioning Scheme

To accommodate our more frequent Liferay Portal releases we are also adopting a new versioning scheme.  Previously we used a 3 digit identifier for each Liferay Portal release for example: 7.4 GA1 = 7.4.0, 7.4 GA2 = 7.4.1 and so on.  Beginning with Liferay Portal 7.4 GA4 the version is now: 7.4 GA4 = 7.4.3.4, 7.4 GA5 = 7.4.3.5 and on.  This is due to Liferay DXP's version beginning with 7.4.10.

Commitment to Quality

As with any Liferay product release, quality is always at the forefront of our release strategy.  With our new accelerated release cycle additional checks and balances have been implemented to ensure we maintain the highest quality possible.  

First the accelerated release cycle itself provides many new benefits on its own.  The releases themselves are now much smaller and the features and fixes are much more contained then the with the previous large scale releases.  With smaller and more consumable releases it also makes bug identification much easier due to the smaller area of impact. The new cycle also provides a quicker feedback loop and feature/fix cycle meaning each release benefits from new fixes and features quicker than ever before.

Next is a series of development process improvements.  We will continue increasing the use of automated test coverage to help maintain quality and stability within the product.  We will also be implementing a release feature flag feature for any new changes that could be potentially disruptive to the stability of the product such as New Features, UI/UX changes and changes to the default configuration of the platform itself.  Changes that move or remove data or change the REST API in any way will not be allowed.

As stated above the plan is to provide more frequent Liferay Portal releases. However quality will always supersede a scheduled release. If a release does not meet our standards of quality, the release will then be delayed and any severe issues will either be fixed or reverted to the previous working version.

Upgrading

Since every release contains a smaller and more consumable set of features and bug fixes this also means upgrades between GA releases should be much easier due to the limited scope and a lessened need for new upgrade processes. For more information on updating to a new rolling release see the Maintaining a Liferay Installation documentation.

I hope that you will join us in our excitement for our new release strategy and as always if you have any questions please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out to us on Ask or our community Slack.

Blogs

We must congratulate Liferay Inc for accelerating the Portal CE release frequency and address the old problem of it's users being stuck with old bugs for a long time until a new point release would come out needing a complex upgrade process.

I hope this move will increase Portal CE adoption for non-profits and small businesses. This will increase both market and developers confidence in the product, which, in turn, will increase DXP sales. 

Good work, Liferay Inc.!

This strategy makes a lot of sense to me.  However, I would have to change my own approach and learn some skills to participate and invest into the development of the platform.

I have never upgraded a liferay server — I have been a CE user for 10-years.

My preferred model is to rebuild my content within a major release version.  Mainly because recreating my content (although timeconsuming) allows me to identify any showstopping bugs.

1). I need to learn how to upgrade every two weeks (whatever the cycle ends up being).

2) I need to be able to report bugs and follow progress.

A blog covering the basics of end user participation, such as upgrading minor updates, and reporting/monitoring bug fixes.

I am not totally useless, but I would not consider myself a developer either.  More engagement with end users will be very useful for the speed and quality of development.

I have benefited from Liferay's efforts for long enough, I would be more than happy to participate as much as I can and give back.

Best wishes

Nick