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Release Checklists

An overview of the beta and production release checklists which are required to be completed before every release.

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Introduction

As part of the development lifecycle, an application moves from the development environment, into beta, then eventually into production. In order to progress into the next environment, the application needs to meet certain criteria before it can be approved for release.

Beta Release Checklist

Found here, this checklist is to be completed when an iteration has finished development on the local environment and is ready to be released onto beta for testing. Before the release starts, the development team needs to complete the Beta Release Checklist and submit it to an operations engineer for approval.
Two important artefacts which are required by the checklist are a Testing Report and a Traceability Matrix.
A Testing Report shows the current state of the tests run against the application, which are expected to all be passing before the release can continue. The tests which are written cover the iteration requirements, acceptance criteria and functionality.
A Traceability Matrix maps tests to the requirements of a project. From this artefact you can see the test coverage, and where tests need to be written in order to give peace of mind over the applications reliability.

Production Release Checklist

The Production Release Checklist is prepared when the product on beta is ready to be released to production. Before the application can be released into the production environment, the team also needs to make sure that the product manager is happy with the current state of beta (through a UAT session). Once the checklist has been completed, then the proposed release and its checklist is submitted to an operations engineer to begin the release.
Before beta moves onto production, the production database is first copied down onto beta so that smoke testing is using accurate information.