Major Release: As it sounds, this is a significant version update that includes substantial changes, new features, and enhancements. Major releases often involve major architectural changes or shifts in functionality.
Minor Release: A minor release is a version update that includes smaller feature additions, improvements, and bug fixes. This type of release typically maintains backward compatibility with the previous version.
Patch Release: When you need to address critical bugs, security vulnerabilities, and issues found in the current version, a patch release is just the thing. This release focuses on fixing urgent problems without introducing new features.
Alpha Release: An Alpha release is an early release to a select group of internal testers or developers for testing and feedback. This type of release is used to identify major issues and gather insights before wider distribution.
Beta Release: Unlike an Alpha release that is directed at a smaller group of users, the Beta release is directed at a larger group of external testers, often involving a limited group of users, to gather more feedback and uncover issues..
Release Candidate (RC): This is more of a rating that relates to a version of the software that is considered near-final and stable, with all features completed and most critical bugs fixed. As the last stage of testing prior to release, users are encouraged to test the RC version to uncover any remaining issues before the official release.
Stable Release: Taking the release candidate one step further, the version of the software that has undergone rigorous testing and is deemed ready for general use and typically follows alpha, beta, and RC releases.
Continuous Release: A continuous release model includes frequent releases of small updates or new features in a continuous manner. This form of release is often associated with agile development and continuous integration practices.
Rolling Release: You may hear this in conjunction with continuous release or when talking about software like operating systems and package managers. It is also a continuously evolving release strategy where updates are pushed to users as soon as they are ready.
Long-Term Support (LTS) Release: Like it sounds, this release format is based on a version that requires extended support and maintenance, often for several years. You will use this format for applications that may have stability issues and requires a long-term commitment.
Hotfix Release: When the unexpected takes place, this is the release you will like use. it fits for when an unplanned release is required to address critical bugs or security vulnerabilities that require immediate attention.
Feature Flag Release: This form of release, releases new features in a dormant state, and they are activated or deactivated using feature flags or toggles. It is a way to provide control over feature deployment and user experience.
Parallel Release: When you want to introduce a new version of the software alongside the existing version, and allow users to choose which version to use.
Silent Release: A silent release is used when you want to roll out changes without the user being notified, often used for minor updates or maintenance.