You are not logged in. Click here to log in.

codebeamer Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

Search In Project

Search inClear

Release Management with codebeamer


Release (Version) Management is about maintaining and tracking different versions of your project deliverables, along with their planned and actual release schedule and the issues to be resolved in each different version. This is not only applicable to software development, but also to any type of project where some milestones need to be reached. For instance, in a construction project, you can track the construction tasks that need to be completed in the construction milestones like groundwork, walls or roof construction.

Important note: the words version, milestone and release, as well as sprint and sub-release are used interchangeably in this article.

Release Management primarily involves:

  • Defining releases: creating, updating and deleting the project milestones. Breaking them into sprints (if you are an agile team) or sub-releases (if you are not).
  • Managing the life-cycles of releases: release progress towards status Released, End of Life or any other status.
  • Associating work items (tasks, bugs, user stories etc.) with releases: linking work items to releases or sprints in which they were detected, in which they need to get resolved or to which they are related in any sense.
  • Managing the life-cycles of issues: this is not strictly part of Release Management, but the resolved or open state of work items is used to compute the status of releases.

Adding, Updating and Deleting Releases

Releases are modeled as configuration items in codebeamer, leveraging the extremely rich CMDB functionality available. Being first-class citizens in the CMDB, releases themselves are very powerful entities:

  • Releases have their own customizable properties.
  • Releases have their own life-cycles, optionally driven by customizable workflows.
  • Releases can have children in any depth to break them into sprint or sub- and sub-sub-releases.
  • Releases can be commented, they can have attachments.
  • Releases can have associations to other entities in codebeamer.

In other words, you have almost the same functionality available for releases as for regular configuration- or work items.

Maintaining releases: you can create, update and delete releases by adding, updating or deleting items in the corresponding configuration tracker.

By default, there is exactly one configuration tracker initialized for this purpose in each newly created project. It is intuitively called Releases. You can start your release management work adding an item to this tracker, named for example 1.0-beta.

Product Backlog displays work items only for the built-in Release field in the Releases Planner and in Kanban Board View.
Items of custom choice fields or reference fields are not shown.

Breaking Releases into Sprints or Sub-releases

  • A sprint is a time boxed unit of development used in the Scrum framework. In codebeamer, a sprint always belongs to a release. That is, every child of a release is a sprint in that release.
  • Consequently, sprints have the same fields, workflows like their parent releases as those are primarily determined by the configuration tracker which encompassed them.
  • In the Release list, all sprints of a release are listed indented under their parent:

  • Sprints contribute their metrics (ex: count of outstanding or completed work items) to their parent so that releases carry statistics aggregated from their children.

  • To create a sprint, click on MoreNew Sprint item on the release statistics page. Here you can specify the same properties as when creating a regular release.
    For each sprint you can access the Planner, Cardboard, Release Dashboard and Test Coverage using the small icons in the top-right corner:

  • A release can also be included into another release. Just set the Release field of one of the releases. After including a release into another their statistics can be computed recursively.

Associating Issues with Detected and Target Releases

After you have submitted your release to the configuration tracker Releases, you can associate work item with it. Set the Release fields of the issues to e.g.: 1.0-beta or to the release in which you are going to address them. You can similarly set the Detected in issue fields to the release in which the bugs have been detected.

Both Detected in and Release allow specification of multiple releases. This increases flexibility: for example, a bug can be reported in multiple released product versions and can also be fixed in multiple versions yet to be released.

Tracking Releases: Progress Reports

At this point, you might want to check the status of your currently running releases. For this, visit the Releases category in your project. This screen gives you a fast and easy-to-understand progress report on your releases, in real time.

Figure: Tasks and Bugs relevant to codebeamer Release 7.10.0

  • All current and future releases are shown and their names are on the left-side. To see the list of issues associated with a particular version, click on the expand icon next to the name of the release. The issues are listed in descending priority and are color coded to indicate which ones are resolved and which ones are outstanding: green for resolved, white for outstanding.
  • On the right hand side, all current, future and past releases are visible and their links are shown for faster navigation. The completed releases do not have their issues displayed by default, to reduce the clutter in the main part of the screen. To display these items, select the Show released checkbox on the right side of the screen.

Hovering over a Release reveals links to other views of that release including:

  • Planner
  • Kanban Board
  • Traceability Browser
  • Coverage Browser

Gantt Chart

You can view the release and its subsprints represented as a Gantt chart. For more information have a look at this page.

Figure: Release Gantt Chart on Release Dashboard page

Burn Down Chart

Release Dashboard shows the Burn Down Chart for the release right above the filters:

Users can individually configure the chart. (Configuration stored for each specific user, does not affect other users' Release Dashboard.) See You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet. page for complete reference of the Burn Down Chart plugin.

Overdue items

You might see overdue items in the progress information.

Figure: Overdue items indicator

Overdue items also have an additional badge inside their row, like in this example:

Figure: Overdue items indicator inside the table of items

To find out which items are indicated here, click on the release name to get to the Release Details screen, and choose the appropriate filter in the top right part of the page from the Filter menu.

Figure: Setting an Overdue filter

Tracking Releases: Work Items

  • Release Dashboard page offers a wide array of options to filter the work items in the selected release. First of all it has two different filters to control the visibility of work items.
    Figure: Top filter

  • The first option is pretty straightforward on the top filter, it allows to activate filtering based on work item status. The second option lets you choose between 3 categories, which are:
    • Do not show Test Runs: As the name suggests it allows all type of work items to be shown but prevents displaying Test Runs.
    • Show only Test Runs: Inverse of the previous one, just show the Test Runs in this release.
    • Show all Tracker Items: Show everything regardless of the type of the work item.

  • Both filter options from the top filter can be used simultaneously.

  • The right-side filter panel has a couple of panels containing filters in different categories. These filters only allow values, which are present in the currently visible set of work items. For example the following teams are working on the release:
    Figure: Right-side filter

  • The numbers in the cells show the number of work items, which belong to the given filtering option. Only one filter from the right-side panel can be active. It is possible to share a filtered view of a release using the Permanent Link option. The result URL can be copied and pasted from the browser's URL bar.
    Figure: Permanent link

  • Work Items might reference others. You can check these references by clicking on the + icon of a Work Item.
    Figure: Reference Viewer

  • Note: The icon is only present, when a Work Item has references, You can configure some aspects of the Reference Viewer under the more / Reference View Settings menu.
    Figure: Reference Viewer Settings

Completing Releases

  • To mark a release as released, simply open the release details, and then choose Released in the Transitions popup menu. It will move the release to the Released state in its workflow. During the transition the Actual Release Date of this version is automatically filled in with the current system time for your convenience.
  • Completed releases may not necessarily reach the end of their life-cycles. They can either be withdrawn (if you changed your mind and decided not to release them) or moved to the End of Life state (to indicate that those releases are not maintained and supported anymore).
  • The minimalistic default workflow of releases supports only these three states. Read the next sections about how to implement your own release workflows.

Roadmaps: Future Releases

A release roadmap is the plan of future releases with their scheduling and planned issue sets. This is what you see when looking at the initial state of the Releases category screen.

Release History: Completed Releases

A release history is simply the log of completed releases with their release dates and their fixed issues sets. This is what you see at the bottom part of the release list after selecting the Show released checkbox.

Generating Release Notes

Writing release notes documents is time consuming work. In codebeamer, you can generate release notes simply by clicking on the Release Notes link in top-right corner of a release box.

In the next screen you can choose in which format you want to generate the document: plain text, wiki or HTML. The results are immediately available and can be copied to product documentation or to a webpage.

The default release notes documents contain simplistic issue lists. To support custom content and formatting, release notes are generated from templates. If you have special content or formatting requirements, edit the corresponding Velocity templates in the $CODEBEAMER_INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY/tomcat/webapps/cb/config/templates/release-notes directory.

Certain conditions must be met for listing issues in release notes. This is evaluated by Meaning properties assigned to option values of Status and Resolved fields. To make an issue appear in release notes both of the following conditions must be met:

  • Status is Resolved or Closed
  • Resolution is Successful

It is not the name of the option that is getting evaluated but the Meaning property even if they have identical names in certain cases. Properties can be altered on the Fields tab of the tracker customization by clicking on the Option link of the corresponding field. Attached screenshots demonstrate the Meaning property configuration of Status and Resolution fields of the default Bugs tracker. Before making any changes to these settings, refer to the Status and Resolution Meaning section of Tracker Workflows wiki page. These settings have direct effect on workflows and their behaviors.

Figure: Option window of Status field of default Bugs tracker

Figure: Editing window of Resolved option of Status field of default Bugs tracker

Figure: Option window of Resolution field of default Bugs tracker

Figure: Editing window of Fixed option of Resolution field of default Bugs tracker

Customizing the Default Release Workflow

  • The default workflow for releases is deliberately kept at a bare minimum. codebeamer enables implementing more complicated workflows to manage releases easily.
  • Release workflows are identical with regular tracker workflows under the hood. Read the Tracker Workflows page for more details about how to use and configure workflows.

Live Demo

To see Release Management in action, visit the public You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet..