Change to Our Release Cycle

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Rainer Stropek

Time Cockpit's Past Release Policy 

Our monthly release cycle has been in place for years. Every first day of the month we have been releasing a new version of time cockpit's full client with new features, and bug fixes. Parallel to the new time cockpit version we send out our monthly newsletter. It contains a What's New article informing our customers how we have enhanced time cockpit in the last month.

An important idea of our release strategy is that customers using time cockpit's full client are not forced to update to the latest version each month. Customers upgrade their tenant by installing and running a new version of time cockpit on at least a single computer. Still, they can use different time cockpit client versions in the same tenant. So we do not enforce a coordinated update of all time cockpit users in a company.

For our old browser-based client (based on Microsoft Silverlight) we also kept multiple versions available simultaneously. Whenever a user logs in, we detect the version of the associated tenant and redirect her to the corresponding version of the browser client.

Why Change is Needed

With more and more customers switching from time cockpit's full client to HTML5, we think its time for a change. The most important reasons are:

  1. One version of the production web client
    For HTML5, we no longer run multiple client versions at the same time. All customers receive HTML5 client updates automatically even if they do not install a new full client at all. This should make keeping time cockpit up to date much easier. You don't have to do anything, it just happens.
  2. Time cockpit is used above average at the beginning of the month
    The majority of our customers has a monthly billing cycle. Our telemetry also shows that users use time cockpit above average at the beginning of the month. Updating time cockpit when our users need it most does not seem like a good idea to us.
  3. Our customers demand time to prepare
    Our larger customers told us that they need time to prepare their team for new time cockpit releases. They want to send out internal newsletters, do trainings before larger updates, etc. Therefore, they need access to upcoming features before they become available in production.

Time Cockpit's New Release Cadence

From this month on, we offer three different time cockpit environments:

  • Dev (
    This is an experimental version that we continuously update with new releases. Never use it for production purposes! Some things are likely to be broken. Using it with your production tenant might even lead to data corruption. If you want to use this version, ask for a time cockpit Sandbox.
  • Preview (
    We publish preview releases in this environment. Between 10th and end of each month the preview release might be unstable. Still, it is way more stable than Dev. Between 1st and 9th of each month, the preview environment should not change. It contains the release candidate for the upcoming version. You can use this time frame for making your team ready and for giving us feedback. Between 1st and 9th we only update Preview if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Prod (
    This is the stable production environment for time cockpit. On the 10th of each month (resp. the first workingday after the 10th) we create Prod from the latest preview release. This is also the new date for our newsletter. During the month, we only update Prod in case of critical hotfixes.

The following picture illustrates our new release cadence:

Questions? Feedback?

What do you think about our new release cadence? Does it fit to your needs? Anything you think we should change? We are looking forward to your feedback.

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