Understanding Optional/Required Releases

As continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes have become common place, rapidly iterating on your software has become a necessity to enable your development team to deliver quickly and reliably. When shipping enterprise versions through Replicated, the Vendor API provides methods to connect an existing CI/CD workflow to your on-prem installations.

If you plan to ship frequent releases to on-prem installations, you should make sure your release process works well for customers who don’t update frequently. Most enterprises won’t apply each update right away, they will need some time to plan the upgrade. Often this means a customer might be several releases behind and need to “catch up” to the most current release to get a new feature or fix. Replicated allows releases to be marked as optional or required to help manage this process.

Optional Releases

An optional release is a release that can be skipped, if there is a newer release available. For example, if a customer is on release 101, and you’ve promoted 102 and 103, both as optional releases, the customer will never install 102. When this customer clicks the update button, it will skip over the 102 optional release and install 103.

If an optional release is the current release in a channel, it will be installed when a customer clicks the Update button in the dashboard.

Required Releases

A required release is a release that should always be installed when applying updates, even if its an intermediate release. A common reason this is required is when a critical database migration only exists in a single release and you don’t want your customer to skip over this release. In the same example as above, if a customer is on release 101, and you’ve promoted 102 as an optional release, 103 as a required release, and 104 as an optional release, when this customer clicks the update button, Replicated will install 103 and then immediately install 104 only after 103 has started successfully.

Specifying “Optional” or “Required” when promoting a release

Promote Button Required Release

Specifying or changing after a release is promoted

It’s also possible to to change an existing release to modify whether it’s optional or required.