CKAN Documentation 2.0.4 documentation »

CKAN Release Cycle

CKAN follows a standardized release process to ensure that releases are stable and backwards compatible, and to allow external developers to oversee the development process and plan future upgrades.

Release types

Versions for each release are numbered as X.Y or X.Y.Z. There are three types of releases:

  • Major Releases

    These increment the main version count (eg 2.0) and represent major changes in the CKAN code base, with significant refactorings and breaking changes, for instance on the API or the templates. These releases are very infrequent, 2.0 will be the first one in CKAN’s history.

  • Point Releases

    These increment the second version number (eg 2.1) and represent stable lines among CKAN releases. Although not as disruptive as on major releases, backwards incompatible changes may be introduced on point releases. The CKAN CHANGELOG will describe which are these incompatible changes. We aim to do a point release roughly every three months.

  • Point-point Releases

    These increment the third version number (eg 2.1.3) and don’t break compatibility. That means for example that an application running CKAN 1.8 or 1.8.1 can be safely upgraded to 1.8.2 or 1.8.3. These releases are branched from their point release or from the last point-point release if any. They only include bug fixes and non-breaking optimizations or small features. They must not include:

    • DB migrations or schema changes
    • Function interface changes
    • Plugin interface changes
    • New dependencies
    • Big refactorings or new features on critical parts of the code

CKAN Release Process Overview

When the development team thinks master is at a good point to start the release process a new branch will be created with the name release-v{version number}. This is the beta branch for this release, and it will be deployed to During the next two-three weeks changes will be allowed to stabilize the code, update i18n and documentation, etc. During the last week, only critical bug fixes are allowed.

At some point during the beta process a translation freeze will be put in place. That means that no changes to the translatable strings are allowed (new strings or changes on existing ones). This will give time to translators to update the translations on Transifex.

Release branches are not merged back into master. All changes must be cherry-picked from master (or merged from special branches based on the release branch).

To ensure that the release guidelines are enforced one of the CKAN core developers will act as Release Manager. They have the final say on what is merged into the release branches.

The actual process followed by CKAN developers can be found in Doing a CKAN Release.