FACTOID # 5: Minnesota and Connecticut are both in the top 5 in saving money and total tax burden per capita.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Software release life cycle

Code complete redirects here. For the Microsoft book, see Code Complete. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Code Complete (ISBN 1556154844) is a 1993 software development book by Steve McConnell urging developers to get past code and fix programming and the big design up front waterfall model. ...


A software release is the distribution, whether public or private, of an initial or new and upgraded version of a computer software product. Each time a software program or system is changed, the software engineers and company doing the work decide on how to distribute the program or system, or changes to that program or system. Software patches are one method of distributing the changes, as are downloads and compact discs. Software versioning is the process of assigning either unique version names or unique version numbers to unique states of computer software. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Computer program. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ... In computing, a patch is a small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data. ... This article is about the computer terms. ... CD re-directs here; see Cd for other meanings of CD. Image of a compact disc (pencil included for scale) A compact disc (or CD) is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ...

Software release stages

The software release life cycle is composed of different stages that describe the stability of a piece of software and the amount of development it requires before final release. Each major version of a product usually goes through a stage when new features are added, or the alpha stage; a stage when it is being actively debugged, or the beta stage; and finally a stage when all important bugs have been removed, or the stable stage. Intermediate stages may also be recognized. The stages may be formally announced and regulated by the project's developers, but sometimes the terms are used informally to describe the state of a product. Conventionally, code names are often used by many companies for versions prior to the release of the product, though the actual product and features are rarely secret. Image File history File links Develstages. ... Image File history File links Develstages. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ... A project code name is a name (usually a single word or short phrase) which is given to a project being developed by industry, academia, government, and other concerns. ...

Contents

Software release stages

Pre-alpha

Sometimes a build known as pre-alpha is issued, before the release of an alpha or beta. In contrast to alpha and beta versions, the pre-alpha is not "feature complete". When it is used, it refers to all activities performed during the software project prior to software testing. These activities can include requirements analysis, software design, software development and unit testing. In the field of computer software, the term software build refers either to the process of converting source code files into executable code or the result of doing so. ... Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ... In sytems and software engineering, requirements analysis encompasses those tasks that go into determining the requirements of a new or altered system, taking account of the possibly conflicting requirements of the various stakeholders, such as users. ... Software design is the process that starts from a problem for which there is currently no acceptable (software) solution, and ends when such a solution has been created. ... “Software development” redirects here. ... In computer programming, a unit test is a method of testing the correctness of a particular module of source code. ...


Alpha

The alpha version of a product still awaits full testing of all its functionality and is not feature complete, but satisfies all the software requirements. As the first major stage in the release lifecycle, it is named after alpha, the first letter in the Greek alphabet. Alpha level software can be considered approximately 35% complete, and typically includes temporary material and multiple product-breaking issues. In sytems and software engineering, requirements analysis encompasses those tasks that go into determining the requirements of a new or altered system, taking account of the possibly conflicting requirements of the various stakeholders, such as users. ... Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. ... The Greek alphabet (Greek: ) is an alphabet consisting of 24 letters that has been used to write the Greek language since the late 8th or early 9th century BC. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel...


The alpha build of the software is the build delivered to the software testers, that is persons different from the software engineers, but usually internal to the organization or community that develops the software. In a rush to market, more and more companies are engaging external customers or value-chain partners in their alpha testing phase. This allows more extensive usability testing during the alpha phase. Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ...


In the first phase of testing, developers generally test the software using white box techniques. Additional validation is then performed using black box or grey box techniques, by another dedicated testing team, sometimes concurrently. Moving to black box testing inside the organization is known as alpha release. White box testing, clear box testing, glass box testing or structural testing is used in computer programming, software engineering and software testing to check that the outputs of a program, given certain inputs, conform to the structural specification of the program. ... Black box testing takes an external perspective of the test object to derive test cases. ... Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ...


Beta

A beta version is the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world black/grey-box testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety. Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ...


The users of a beta version are called beta testers. They are usually customers or prospective customers of the organization that develops the software. They receive the software for free or for a reduced price, but act as free testers.


Beta versions test the supportability of the product, the go-to-market messaging (while recruiting Beta customers), the manufacturability of the product, and the overall channel flow or channel reach.


Beta version software is likely to be useful for internal demonstrations and previews to select customers, but unstable and not yet ready for release. Some developers refer to this stage as a preview, a prototype, a technical preview (TP) or as an early access. As the second major stage in the release lifecycle, following the alpha stage, it is named after the Greek letter beta, the second letter in the Greek alphabet. Beta (upper case Β, lower case β) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. ... The Greek alphabet (Greek: ) is an alphabet consisting of 24 letters that has been used to write the Greek language since the late 8th or early 9th century BC. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel...


Often this stage begins when the developers announce a feature freeze on the product, indicating that no more feature requirements will be accepted for this version of the product. Only software issues, or bugs and unimplemented features will be addressed. In software engineering, a freeze represents a point in time in the development process after which the rules for making changes to the source code or related resources become more strict. ... A computer bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from working as intended, or produces an incorrect result. ...


Beta versions stand at an intermediate step in the full development cycle. Developers release either a closed beta or an open beta; closed beta versions are released to a select group of individuals for a user test, while open betas are to a larger community group, usually the general public. The testers report any bugs that they found and sometimes minor features they would like to see in the final version. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Software development process. ...


An example of a major public beta test was when Microsoft started releasing regular Windows Vista Community Technology Previews (CTP) to beta testers starting in January 2005. The first of these was build 5219. Subsequent CTPs introduced most of the planned features, as well as a number of changes to the user interface, based in large part on feedback from beta testers. Windows Vista was deemed feature complete with the release of build 5308 CTP, released on February 22, 2006, and much of the remainder of work between that build and the final release of the product focused on stability, performance, application and driver compatibility, and documentation. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Typically, in software development, a release is called feature complete when the product team agrees that functional requirements of the system are met and no new features will be put into the release, but significant software bugs may still exist. ...


When a beta becomes available to the general public it is often widely used by the technologically savvy and those familiar with previous versions as though it were the finished product. Usually developers of freeware or open-source betas release them to the general public while proprietary betas go to a relatively small group of testers. Recipients of highly proprietary betas may have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. A release is called feature complete when the product team agrees that functional requirements of the system are met and no new features will be put into the release, but significant software bugs may still exist. Companies with a formal software process will tend to enter the beta period with a list of known bugs that must be fixed to exit the beta period, and some companies make this list available to customers and testers. The term Freeware refers to gratis proprietary software with closed source. ... Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also called a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), confidentiality agreement or secrecy agreement, is a legal contract between at least two parties which outlines confidential materials or knowledge the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict from generalized use. ...


As the Internet has allowed for rapid and inexpensive distribution of software, companies have begun to take a more flexible approach to use of the word "beta". Netscape Communications was infamous for releasing alpha level versions of its Netscape web browser as public beta releases. In February 2005, ZDNet published an article about the recent phenomenon of a beta version often staying for years and being used as if it were in production-level [1]. It noted that Gmail and Google News, for example, had been in beta for a long period of time and were not expected to drop the beta status despite the fact that they were widely used; however, Google News did leave beta in January 2006. This technique may also allow a developer to delay offering full support and/or responsibility for remaining issues. In the context of Web 2.0, people even talk of perpetual betas to signify that some software is meant to stay in beta state. Also, "beta" is sometimes used to indicate something more like a release candidate such as the Halo 3 public beta. Netscape Communications Corporation was the publisher of the Netscape Navigator web browser as well as many other internet and intranet client and server software products. ... Netscape was a proprietary cross-platform Internet suite created by Netscape Communications Corporation and then in-house by AOL to continue the Netscape series after Netscape 6. ... For other uses, see Gmail (disambiguation). ... Google News is an automated news aggregator provided by Google Inc. ... Web 2. ... Perpetual beta is a term used to describe a software or system which is always in a testing phase. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Development stage#Release candidate. ...


Origin of 'alpha' and 'beta'

The term beta test applied to software comes from an early IBM hardware product test convention dating back to punched card tabulating and sorting machines. Hardware first went through an alpha test for preliminary functionality and small scale manufacturing feasibility. Then came a beta test to verify that it actually correctly performed the functions it was supposed to and could be manufactured at scales necessary for the market, and then a c test to verify safety. With the advent of programmable computers and the first shareable software programs, IBM used the same terminology for testing software. Beta tests were conducted by people or groups other than the developers. As other companies began developing software for their own use, and for distribution to others, the terminology stuck and now is part of our common vocabulary. IBM Product Test was a group level organization for testing of IBM hardware and software products as part of the product development (i. ...


Release candidate

The term release candidate refers to a version with potential to be a final product, ready to release unless fatal bugs emerge. In this stage, the product features all designed functionalities and no known showstopper class bugs. At this phase the product is usually code complete. A computer bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from working as intended, or produces an incorrect result. ... In software development, a showstopper is a computer bug which prevents a project from going forward, as opposed to a minor bug which can be documented and coped with. ...


Microsoft Corporation often uses the term release candidate. During the 1990s, Apple Inc. used the term "golden master" for its release candidates, and the final golden master was the general availability release. Other terms include gamma (and occasionally also delta, and perhaps even more Greek letters) for versions that are substantially complete, but still under test, and omega for final testing of versions that are believed to be bug-free, and may go into production at any time. (Gamma, delta, and omega are, respectively, the third, fourth, and last letters of the Greek alphabet.) Some users disparagingly refer to release candidates and even final "point oh" releases as "gamma test" software, suggesting that the developer has chosen to use its customers to test software that is not truly ready for general release. Often, beta testers, if privately selected, will be billed for using the release candidate as though it were a finished product. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Apple Inc. ... A golden master is a single copy of a reproducible product (e. ... Gamma (uppercase Γ, lowercase γ) is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. ... Look up Δ, δ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Ω, ω in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Greek alphabet (Greek: ) is an alphabet consisting of 24 letters that has been used to write the Greek language since the late 8th or early 9th century BC. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel...


A release is called code complete when the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added to this release. There may still be source code changes to fix defects. There may still be changes to documentation and data files, and to the code for test cases or utilities. New code may be added in a future release.


Gold or general availability release

The gold or general availability release version is the final version of a particular product. It is typically almost identical to the final release candidate, with only last-minute bugs fixed. A gold release is considered to be very stable and relatively bug-free with a quality suitable for wide distribution and use by end users. In commercial software releases, this version may also be signed (used to allow end-users to verify that code has not been modified since the release). The expression that a software product "has gone gold" means that the code has been completed and "is being mass-produced and will be for sale soon." Other terms for the version include gold master, gold release, or gold build.


The term gold anecdotally refers to the use of "gold master disc" which was commonly used to send the final version to manufacturers who use it to create the mass-produced retail copies. It may in this context be a hold-over from music production. In some cases, however, the master disc is still actually made of gold, for both aesthetic appeal and resistance to corrosion. GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ...


RTM or RTW

Microsoft and others use the term "release to manufacturing" (RTM) to refer to this version (for commercial products, like Windows XP, as in, "Build 2600 is the Windows XP RTM release"), and "release to Web" (RTW) for freely downloadable products. Typically, RTM is at least one or two weeks before General Availability (GA) because the RTM version must be burnt to disc and boxed etc. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ...


Box copy

A box copy is the final product, printed on a disc that is included in the actual release, complete with disc graphic art. This term is used mostly by reviewers to differentiate from gold master discs. A box copy does not necessarily come enclosed in the actual boxed product - it refers to the disc itself. Look up Review in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Stable or unstable

In open source programming, version numbers or the terms stable and unstable commonly distinguish the stage of development. The term stable refers to a version of software that is substantially identical to a version that has been through enough real-world testing to reasonably assume there are no showstopper problems, or at least that any problems are known and documented. On the other hand, the term unstable does not necessarily mean that there are problems - rather, that enhancements or changes have been made to the software that have not undergone rigorous testing and that more changes are expected to be imminent. Users of such software are advised to use the stable version if it meets their needs, and to only use the unstable version if the new functionality is of interest that exceeds the risk that something might simply not work right. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... Software versioning is the process of assigning either unique version names or unique version numbers to unique states of computer software. ...


In the Linux kernel, version numbers take the form of three numbers, separated by a decimal point. Prior to the 2.6.x series, an even second number was used to represent a stable release and an odd second number used to represent an unstable release. As of the 2.6.x series, the even or odd status of the second number no longer holds any significance. The practice of using even and odd numbers to indicate the stability of a release has been used by many other open and closed source projects. The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... Look up een, even in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up odd in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In mathematics, the parity of an object refers to whether it is even or odd. ...


End of life

Sometimes software companies stop selling or supporting their software products (e.g., not releasing new patches). At this point the product will be said to be in the status of "legacy", "vintage" or "end of life". For instance, on August 15, 2007, Apple announced that AppleWorks reached "end-of-life status". See also End-of-life (product). AppleWorks is an office suite of software applications sold by Apple Computer. ... End-of-life is a term used with respect to a retailed product, indicating that a vendor will not be doing the following: marketing, selling, promoting or limit support of a particular product. ...


See also

A lighthouse customer is an early customer of a given company, product, or technology. ... Release engineering, frequently abbreviated as releng, is a sub-discipline in software engineering concerned with the compilation, assembly and delivery of source code into finished products or other software components. ... In Software Development, a Rolling Release approach refers to a continuously evolving software system, where a released system artifact set and the system stability do not differ significantly from any unreleased set close to the release time. ... In software engineering, software maintenance is the process of enhancing and optimizing deployed software (software release), as well as remedying defects. ... Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ... Software versioning is the process of assigning either unique version names or unique version numbers to unique states of computer software. ...

External links

  • Free Software Project Management HOWTO.
  • Java Standard Terms.
  • Software Release Decisions (Free Book).
  • Software Release Decisions (Articles).
  • A Methodology to Support Software Release Decisions
  • Software Testing Life Cycle.

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m