5 Best Practices for Software Versioning
Software versioning is the process of numbering different releases of a particular software program for both internal use and release designation. Most companies that develop and market software carries out continuous improvement after the first release of their software, which creates a need for an appropriate differentiation system between each of the versions.
A software version number is like an identification number for the software’s various releases and updates which tells about the changes and growth of a software or tool. Companies assign version number to each new release with the aim of establishing a communication with users as well as defining and organizing the work of developers. For instance, the operating System (Android or iOS), apps or software tools that we use are mostly associated with version numbers.
Software Versioning System
Software version enables customers or users get acquainted with new releases and recognize the updated versions of various software and they rely on software developers to keep them up to date, and they expect a methodical system of understanding when and what updates are released.
Every software version has a name. These names are usually numerically assigned, and there are several standard systems for the progression of software versions. Some of the most common methods of software version numbering are:
- Semantic numbering – This is one of the most commonly used method of numbering software versions. Three-digit numbering technique based patter of Major, Minor and Patch fixes. i.e Major.Minor.Patch sequence, where Major denotes a significant and extreme-level change to the product’s API, Minor indicates changes related to adding new functionality while Patch denotes changes related to patches and bug fixes.
- Date-of-release – The software version number is the date of the release. For example, Ubuntu 18.04 – meaning the software was released April 2018.
- Sequential numbering – assigned a unique identifier that consists of one or more sequences of numbers or letters used to convey the significance of changes between releases. The level of significance are classified by changes from the previous release.
5 Best Practices of Software Versioning
When deciding on which software versioning methods to use, software companies should keep their software users in mind. Below are some of the best practices to ensure a useful software versioning:
- Transparency and Consistency: allow your users know when to expect software updates and releases to keep them in anticipation but make sure to keep to the chosen date or time.
- Use a release schedule: publish a release schedule so your users see what is about to happen. This can help increase communication and trust between the company and software users.
- Be transparent with versioning system: version number can get very confusing and difficult to understand. Endeavor to explain your versioning method to your users and teach them how to read and understand your version numbers. This could be done through communications in your release or update documentation, mailing list, or your social media channels.
- Indicate what’s new in your new version: no matter how little or big the change your new release carried, always ensure you let your users know.
- Value users’ opinion: Keep open lines of communication with users because you can get valuable information even for newer releases and updates while ensuring that your users remain happy and satisfied with your service.
Software versioning is important for both users and software providers, because it help in the tracking of the different versions that the company releases.
Whatever method you choose, sticking to one way of numbering is very important – to stay organized as well as helping users track updates and releases to a specific piece of software. At podtech, we can help you bring your software ideas to life as well as adequately take care of adding new updates, releases and versioning.