The Intershop offering provides several types of releases. These are presented in this concept.
Our continuous releases enable a fast deployment (DevOps) of improvements, new features, and latest security enhancements/fixes.
This way our customers always have the latest version and can, thus, avoid costly upgrades.
Intershop releases versions of Intershop Commerce Management (ICM) in a high cadence to provide customers with bug fixes and new features as quickly as possible. To better understand the impact and compatibility of changes in releases, ICM uses semantic versioning from version 11. Semantic versioning (major, minor, patch) provides information about expected compatibility, see also https://semver.org.
Semantic version change
1.1.1 to 2.1.0
incorporates breaking changes2
1.1.0 to 1.2.0
1.1.0 to 1.1.1
1) Backward Compatible means that users can update to the latest version without worrying that it will break anything from the previous version.
2) Incorporates breaking changes, it may be necessary to make adjustments to your custom code. Ensure that a new major version has undergone rigorous testing to minimize potential issues.
Intershop offers two main types of release cycles: monthly releases and long-term support (LTS) releases.
Monthly releases are planned in advance and typically include minor releases characterized by non-breaking, compatible changes such as the introduction of new features and bug fixes. It is advisable to consider monthly releases in the early stages of a project, especially if new features are expected to be introduced. However, improving the API structure (removing deprecated functions or classes) or providing major improvements to external APIs will require two to four major releases (including breaking, incompatible changes) per year.
In addition, there are patch releases that apply to both the current monthly release and the long-term support (LTS) releases.
As soon as a monthly release is introduced, the previous monthly release is considered outdated.
Patches (including critical fixes) are provided on request only for the current monthly release.
Patch releases may be required between regular monthly releases for urgent security fixes or bug fixes (blockers).
Do not require migration of customizations,
Do not require database changes,
Can be deployed with zero downtime.
Intershop offers long-term support (LTS) releases for customers and implementation partners who do not want to update their customizations at such a high cadence, but only need the most important updates (bug fixes) on a regular basis. Long-term support releases are released every six months. Unlike monthly releases, long-term support releases are provided with patches over the course of one year.
No new features are provided in long-term support releases.
With regard to releases, please note the following:
The customer is accountable for using a current ICM version for the customization project, see also RACI Matrix.
Sometimes changes to customizations may be necessary, for example for deprecated APIs (major version, required changes will be well documented in the release notes).
Acceptance testing is required for each update (major version, minor version) to minimize the potential for issues. This includes:
Interfaces to 3rd party applications
In addition, automated testing of customizations is highly recommended.
IOM release management focuses on the "keep current" approach, i.e. the latest release is preferred whenever possible.
This allows our customers to:
Use the latest IOM features
Be prepared for upcoming unplanned security patches, if necessary
Use the latest versions of 3rd party libraries
In return, Intershop ensures that:
APIs are kept stable whenever possible
Migration efforts are reduced to a minimum
Starting from IOM 4, IOM releases will follow the semantic versioning approach. The following release types are available:
1-2 times / year
Significant breaking changes
4-8 times / year
Compatible changes (new functionality)
Compatible changes (bugfixes)
There is no fixed time frame for these release types.
Patches, formerly known as hotfix, are only provided for supported versions on demand. There is no obligation to upgrade to patch versions, the customer is accountable for any risk. An example for significant breaking changes: removal of previously marked deprecations.
The transition period describes a timespan after the introduction of a new release during which patches for the previous release are still provided. If the new release is a major version, the transition period lasts 12 weeks. If it is a minor release, it lasts for 4 weeks. After the transition period, no further patches will be provided for the respective previous minor or major version. Latest at this point, Intershop recommends updating to a new version.
The following graphics show two examples, both for the transition period for a major release as well as for a minor release:
The dates and time periods used in the examples are for illustrative purposes only. There are no fixed times for releases.
After the introduction of the 5.0 major release, there is a 12-week transition period during which 4.x patches are still provided:
After each minor release, there is a 4-week transition period during which patches for the previous minor version are still provided:
Intershop considers all major/minor IOM versions as supported, as long as no new major or minor version has been announced. There is a transition period of 4 weeks for minor and 12 weeks for major versions, see Release Types.
Customers or partners running unsupported versions will be supported with issue analyzing. However, this applies only to the current current and x-1 major release.
Patches are available only for supported versions.
The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.