How do the new Incremental releases operate compared to the traditional releases?
An Incremental Release is a software delivery model where CA develops new product features and releases them using the “Agile development methodology”. The CA Technologies development teams work closely with customers to create product features for rapid implementation. CA works with customers to release new features incrementally, as they are completed, rather than waiting for a complete list of functions. After all of the features for an incremental release are completed, the release transitions to be managed in the usual way via the CA Standard support policy.
In order to receive CA Support for a CA Incremental Release, customers must maintain a fully supported environment. This includes all other associated computer hardware, operating systems, and third party software. CA will maintain a list of associated compatible, supported hardware and software.
An Incremental release consists of..
It starts with a PAX file or ‘GENLEVEL’ that matches the functionality of the prior release so an incremental release starts identical to the previous release, but during the life of the incremental release both enhancements and fixes will be delivered via PTF’s. Documentation will be updated and published with the enhancement delivery. The Incremental release currently in progress receives new functionality constantly. An Incremental Release is made available to any customers who agree to the terms and conditions associated with an Incremental Release. There is no CA RS during the life of the Incremental Release. When released, an Increment is simply a collection of PTFs. An Increment is not like cumulative maintenance. An Increment will always pre-req previous Increments, but the PTF’s contained in it are not guaranteed to pre-req all individually published PTFs. Increments are built by collecting multiple fixes and enhancements in a consolidated group to be released together.
How is an Incremental release made GA(Generally Available)?
Once all new enhancements are complete, a final ‘GA complete’ release (or mature release) is produced at a point decided upon by CA Management. A new GA PAX file ‘GENLEVEL’ is created and is no longer considered an Incremental.
If all Incremental PTF's have been applied by a customer site, it will not be necessary to reinstall the product when it becomes GA.
The mature release is available to all customers in the normal way.
A mature release will be supported even after new releases are delivered (as for current GA releases). CA RS begins.
What's next for the Incremental release?
At the ‘GA complete’ point CA will use the completed release as a foundation for the next incremental release so that new enhancements can continue to be delivered quickly.
CA Support for Incremental Releases is provided for only the latest Incremental Release made generally available (GA).
Upon the availability of each new Incremental Release, support for all preceding Incremental Releases shall solely consist of Self-Service Support only.
What happens with the current GA Release as faults are found?
As faults are fixed in the current GA release those same fixes are also included into the current Incremental release. Also new functionality introduced in an incremental will not be retrofitted to the previous ‘GA COMPLETE’ version. Non-critical fixes may not be released to the incremental release immediately but released as part of larger increments possibly on a quarterly basis but depending on prevailing priorities on a time-frame decided upon by CA Development Management.
How is the Incremental release treated?
Each incremental release is treated like a GA release for any customer who is involved.
This means that:
- Customers get each incremental release from the standard CA support site.
- Customers can install an incremental release into their production systems.
- Current Incremental releases are fully supported as with GA releases.
- Customers are expected to install the latest incremental release as it becomes available.
- CA requires customers to upgrade to the latest incremental release to obtain fixes.
- An Incremental Release will not have cumulative maintenance produced. Customers are expected to agree to obtain and apply new PTF's as they are produced and to stay current.
- There will be ‘Consolidated Updates’ produced. A Consolidated Update is a collection of PTFs providing primarily deferred fixes, and potentially some approved new Enhancements. It is not cumulative maintenance. Consolidated Updates are simply groups of PTFs released after Full/Complete GA
Differences between Increments/Consolidated Updates and Cumulative Maintenance
Increments/Consolidated Updates are not the same as Cumulative Maintenance. An Increment / Consolidated Update will always pre-req previous Increments/Consolidated Updates, however an Increment/Consolidated Update is not guaranteed to pre-req all individually published PTFs.
Differences in the maintenance process between a traditional GA release and an Incremental Release:
A traditional GA release is announced and at that point PTF's begin to be provided as faults are corrected.
When an Incremental Release becomes Complete or Mature the same process begins also. There may have been one or more increments of an incremental release before the incremental release is deemed by CA Management to be complete. During the progress of the Incremental release both corrective and enhancement PTF's are added to the release. After an incremental release becomes complete or mature only corrective PTF's are applied to it just like a traditional release.
Corrective PTF's are also added to any existing other GA releases that are impacted by the same fault.
Enhancement PTF's are not propagated to any other GA releases. These enhancement PTF's are only available to customers who are part of that incremental release or when the whole incremental release becomes complete, customers must upgrade to the new GA complete incremental release to access new functions.
A sample progression might look like this.
R01 Complete/Mature GA with Consolidated Updates produced.
R02 INC00 GA
R02 INC01 GA
R02 INC02 GA
R02 Complete/Mature GA with Consolidated Updates produced.
R03 INC00 GA
R03 INCnn GA
R03 Complete/Mature GA with Consolidated Updates produced.
Upgrade considerations for the customer: To choose a Mature release or an Incremental Release?
The decision depends on the customer's attitude towards stability versus enhancements. Customers who value “stability” over “enhancements” may prefer a mature release. From a customer point of view mature releases are the same as existing GA releases which have no enhancements and only corrective PTFs. This provides a more stable environment and less maintenance however enhancements are not available and the customer has to wait until the current Incremental Release becomes GA Complete. At that time the customer would have to upgrade to obtain the Enhancements all at once.
Customers who like to access enhancements as soon as possible tend to prefer the Incremental delivery model where an enhancement is installed via a PTF as soon as they are released by CA. Incremental release customers receive enhancements sooner and therefore are more able to influence CA development plans because they actively participate in the development process. The newly released enhancements may well have been something that the Incremental Release customer actually asked for!
The necessary requirement however involves more customer maintenance work to keep current and more change control implications also before enhancements reach a customer production system.
For a completely new BASE install where there had been no previous install, the install (PAX) for an existing GA release that includes published maintenance up to a specific CA RS level is called a “Service Update”. A Service Update cannot be added to an existing installed environment – it is BASE installable ONLY.
To participate in the Incremental Release program, review the Incremental Release Program – Support Policy and Terms. To discuss the customer requirements for participation, contact the product manager for your product. Participating in the Agile development process is not mandatory.