This document describes the step by step process required to be followed for releasing new versions of Apache Fineract. This documentation is for the non-CN project; CN releasing is documented elsewhere.
Specifically, following this process turns the source code that is available on https://github.com/apache/fineract/ into a binary release ZIP available on http://fineract.apache.org, and produces the required Release Notes of what's great and new.
This page should be kept up-to-date and improved for each release by the Release Manager (RM) as they come across aspects of the release process not yet (or wrongly) documented here.
The herein documented Apache Fineract release process is, obviously, based on the overall process customary at Apache, which people working on a release are expected to have read and understood:
Note that the Apache Fineract project does not release any artifacts to Apache's Maven repository. (Because the project does not provide any libraries, only a ZIP file of the full application end users will directly run.)
Prerequisites (incl. required tools)
Every release needs to have 1 named primary release manager, who coordinates and takes ownership for driving the process described on this page. She/he could, of course, work together with others. Executing this release process requires:
- firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list membership (and past activity, for credibility..)
- Apache Confluence Wiki Edit permission (for contributing to e.g. improving this page and creating the release notes overview page)
- Apache JIRA full permission (for moving issues to the next release)
- git committer privileges (for creating tags)
- familiarity with locally building the Fineract code (for creating the release ZIP)
- PMC membership (for uploading the release ZIP) - this can of course be delegated
- familiarity with PGP/GPG (for digitally signing the release ZIP)
1. Chose Release Manager (RM)
The project may have different release managers for different releases, and it is usually useful to first reach agreement on who is actually willing to act as the next release manager. This informal discussion can happen on the public email list, or initially possibly on private email exchanges. All subsequent formal release related emails, using the templates from this documented process, are obviously held on the public developer mailing list, only.
The release manager needs to be able to have all required prerequisites listed above (notably the PGP/GPG set up, which can be a bit tricky at first).
2. Giving the initial heads up
The RM should, if one doesn't already exist, first create a new release umbrella issue in JIRA. This issue is dedicated to tracking (a summary of) any discussion related to the planned new release. An example of such an issue is - FINERACT-873Getting issue details... STATUS .
The RM then creates an list of resolved issues & features through an initial check in JIRA for already resolved issues for the release, and then setup a timeline for release branch point. The time for the day the issue list is created to the release branch point must be at least two weeks in order to give the community a chance to prioritize and commit any last minute features and issues they would like to see in the upcoming release.
The RM must then send the pointer to the umbrella issue along with the tentative timeline for branch point to the developer lists. Any work identified as release related that needs to be completed should be added as a sub tasks of the umbrella issue to allow all developers and users to see the overall release progress in one place. The umbrella issue shall also link to any issues still requiring clarification whether or not they will make it into the release.
The RM should then inform users when the git branch is planned to be created, by sending an email based on this template:
To: email@example.com Subject: Fineract $RELEASE release branch
3. Cleaning up JIRA
Before a release is done, make sure that any issues that are fixed have their fix version setup correctly.
Move all unresolved JIRA issues which have this release as Fix Version to the next release
You can also run the following query to make sure that the issues fixed for the to-be-released version look accurate:
Finally, check out the output of the JIRA release note tool to see which JIRAs are included in the release, in order to do a sanity check.
4. Creating Release Branch
Communicate with the community
You do not need to start a new email thread on the developer mailing list to notify that you are about to branch, just do it ca. 2 weeks after the initial email, or later, based on the discussion on the initial email.
You do not need to ask committers to hold off any commits until you have branched finished, as it's always possible to fast-forward the branch to latest develop, or cherry-pick last minute changes to it. People should be able to continue working on the develop branch on bug fixes and great new features for the next release while the release process for the current release is being worked through.
Clone fresh repository copy
Check that current HEAD points to commit on which you want to base new release branch. Checkout a particular earlier commit if not.
Create a new release branch with name "$Version"
Push new branch to Apache Fineract repository
Add new release notes in Release Folders
The change list can be swiped from the JIRA release note tool (use the "text" format for the change log). See JIRA Cleanup above to ensure that the release notes generated by this tool are what you are expecting.
With the release branch we draw a line in the side, but development on the develop branch will usually continue after the release branch is created. If changes on develop need to be included in the still open release branch then do so by cherry picking selectively.
Cherry picking should only happen from the develop branch, i. e. do not pick changes from PRs that are not yet merged. That way we ensure that we don't pick up anything too experimental or just plain not working.
5. Freeze JIRA, create release tag, build distribution, digitally sign it, upload it to dist/dev (staging), call for PMC vote
Approx. 3 days after having sent the email above, if there are no objections, start the final step of actually releasing.
Close JIRA version
You first need to close the release in JIRA so that the about to be released version cannot be used as "fixVersion" for new bugs anymore. Go to JIRA "Administer project" page and follow "Versions" in left menu. Table with list of all releases should appear, click on additional menu on the right of your release and choose "Release" option. Submit release date and you're done.
Tag release branch
Next, you create a git tag from the HEAD of the release's git branch.
Create source and binary artifacts. The steps are defined in Release Sign
Make sure the tar and the release branch match
% cd /fineract-release-preparations
% tar -xvf apache-fineract-
#Do a fresh clone of the tag
% git clone
% cd fineract/
% git checkout tags/$RELEASE
% cd ..
% diff -r
#Make sure prerequisites are met before running these commands
% gradlew clean integrationTest (For running integration tests)
% gradlew clean build (For building deploy able war)
% gradlew rat (For RAT checks)
Create signatures and check sums
All release artifacts must be signed. In order to sign a release you will need a PGP key. You should get your key signed by a few other people. You will also need to receive their keys from a public key server. See the Apache release signing page for more details. Please follow the steps defined in Release Sign.
Upload binary and source archives to ASF's distribution dev (staging) area
% svn co https://dist.apache.org/repos/dist/dev/fineract/ fineract-dist-dev
% mkdir fineract-dist-dev/$RELEASE
% cp fineract/build/distributions/* fineract-dist-dev/$RELEASE/
% svn commit
The password for the Authentication realm: <https://dist.apache.org:443> ASF Committers which
svn commit will require is your regular ASF Authentication credential.
Verifying a release candidate
Following are the typical things we need to verify before voting on a release candidate. And the release manager should verify them too before calling out a vote.
- Make sure release artifacts are hosted @https://dist.apache.org/repos/dist/dev/fineract/
- Release candidates should be in format apache-$project-$version.tar.gz
- Verify signatures and hashes. You may have to import the public key of the release manager to verify the signatures. (gpg --recv-key <key id>)
- git tag matches the released bits (diff -rf)
- Can compile successfully from source
- Verify DISCLAIMER, NOTICE and LICENSE (year etc)
- All files have correct headers (Rat check should be clean - gradlew rat)
- No jar files in the source artifacts
- Integration tests should work.
Running the vote
Voting has to be done on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can close the vote after voting period expires and you accumulate sufficient votes.
Call for voting on dev list (PMC)
To: email@example.com Subject: [VOTE] [APACHE FINERACT] $RELEASE for release
6. Finish the release
Upon receiving 3 +1s from the PMC, or after 72 hours (whichever one comes first), reply to the voting thread and pref [RESULT] to the subject line with the results, as follows:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [RESULT][VOTE] [APACHE FINERACT] $RELEASE for release
Upload the artifacts
In order to release you have to checkout release repository located on https://dist.apache.org/repos/dist/release/fineract and add release artifacts there.
You will now get an automated email from the Apache Reporter Service (email@example.com), subject "Please add your release data for 'fineract'" to add the release data (version and date) to the database on https://reporter.apache.org/addrelease.html?fineract (requires PMC membership).
Remove git release branch & merge release tag into develop branch
As discussed in FINERACT-1154, now that everything is final, please do the following to remove the release branch (and just keep the tag), and make sure that everything on the release tag is merged to develop and that e.g.
git describe works:
git checkout develop
git branch -D $RELEASE
git push origin :$RELEASE
git checkout develop
git checkout -b merge-$RELEASE
git merge -s recursive -Xignore-all-space $RELEASE
# Manually resolve merge conflicts, if any
git push $USER
Update the website
Announce the release
Subject: [ANNOUNCE] Apache Fineract $RELEASE Release
The Apache Fineract project is pleased to announce
the release of Apache Fineract $RELEASE.
The release is available for download from
Fineract provides a reliable, robust, and affordable solution for entrepreneurs,
financial institutions, and service providers to offer financial services to the
world’s 2 billion underbanked and unbanked. Fineract is aimed at innovative mobile
and cloud-based solutions, and enables digital transaction accounts for all.
This release addressed 250 issues.
For more information on Apache Fineract please visit
project home page: https://fineract.apache.org
The Apache Fineract Team