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Releases


Versioning

Fidesctl uses semantic versioning. Due to the rapid development of the project, some minor versions may also contain minor breaking changes. Best practice is always pinning versions and carefully testing before bumping to a new version. Patch versions will never cause breaking changes, and are only used to hotfix critical bugs.

Release Schedule

Fidesctl does not follow a set release schedule, but instead ships versions based on the addition of features/functionality. Each release, with the exception of hotfixes, will contain at least one substantial new feature.

Planning

For each release a corresponding GitHub Project is created. These projects can be found here. Issues are then added to release projects as a way to organize what will be included in each release.

Once a release project is complete and the core team signs off on the readiness of the release, a new version is cut using GitHub releases. You can see all fidesctl releases here. Each new release triggers a GitHub Action that pushes the new version to PyPI as well as pushes a clean version to DockerHub. The release project is then marked as closed.

Hotfixes are an exception to this and can be added and pushed as patch versions when needed.

Branching

Fidesctl uses continuous delivery with a single main branch. All code changes get merged into this branch. For releases, a new tag is created and the release process kicks off automatically. In the case of patches, a branch is created from the relevant tag and commits are then cherry-picked into it and a new patch version tag is created.

Release Steps

We use GitHub’s release feature to tag releases that then get automatically deployed to DockerHub & PyPi via GitHub Actions pipelines. We also use a CHANGELOG.md to make sure that our users are never surprised about an upcoming change and can plan upgrades accordingly. The release steps are as follows:

Major and Minor

  1. Open a PR that is titled the version of the release (i.e. 1.6.0)
    • Rename the Unreleased section of CHANGELOG.md to the new version number and put a date next to it
    • Update the compare links for both the new version and for the new Unreleased section
  2. Once approved, merge the PR
  3. Create a new release, ensuring that the last PR to get merged is the aforementioned CHANGELOG.md update PR
  4. Add the new version as the tag (i.e. 1.6.0)
  5. Make the title the version with a v in front of it (i.e. v1.6.0)
  6. Add a link to the CHANGELOG.md
  7. Auto-populate the release notes
  8. Publish the release

Patch

It may be desired for a patch release to contain only select commits to the main branch since the last major or minor release. To create a release with only the desired changes, follow the steps below:

  1. Checkout the most recent release's tag

    1. To fetch the most recent tag's name, run:

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      # fides on main
      git describe --abbrev=0 --tags
      
      #=> 1.2.3
      
    2. To checkout the most recent tag, run:

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      #fides on main
      git checkout 1.2.3
      
      #=> Note: switching to '1.2.3'.
      #
      # You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
      # changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
      # state without impacting any branches by switching back to a branch.
      #
      # If you want to create a new branch to retain commits you create, you may
      # do so (now or later) by using -c with the switch command. Example:
      #
      # git switch -c <new-branch-name>
      #
      # Or undo this operation with:
      #
      # git switch -
      #
      # Turn off this advice by setting config variable advice.detachedHead to false
      #
      # HEAD is now at 0123abcd Commit Message
      

    Tip

    This can be combined into a single command:

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    # fides on main
    git checkout $(git describe --abbrev=0 --tags)
    
    #=> Note: switching to '1.2.3'.
    #
    # You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
    # changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
    # state without impacting any branches by switching back to a branch.
    #
    # If you want to create a new branch to retain commits you create, you may
    # do so (now or later) by using -c with the switch command. Example:
    #
    # git switch -c <new-branch-name>
    #
    # Or undo this operation with:
    #
    # git switch -
    #
    # Turn off this advice by setting config variable advice.detachedHead to false
    #
    # HEAD is now at 0123abcd Commit Message
    
  2. Create a new branch from the HEAD commit of the most recent release's tag, called release-v<tag>

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    # fides on tags/1.2.3
    git checkout -b release-v1.2.4
    
    #=> Switched to a new branch 'release-v1.2.4'
    
  3. If the changes to be included in the patch release are contained in one or more unmerged pull requests, change the base branch of the pull request(s) to the release branch created in the previous step

  4. Once approved, merge the pull request(s) into the release branch
  5. Create a new branch off of the release branch by running:

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    # fides on release-v1.2.4
    git checkout -b prepare-release-v1.2.4
    
    #=> Switched to a new branch 'prepare-release-v1.2.4'
    
  6. Optional: Incorporate any additional specific changes required for the patch release by running:

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    # fides on prepare-release-v1.2.4
    git cherry-pick <commit>...
    
  7. Copy the Unreleased section of CHANGELOG.md and paste above the release being patched

    1. Rename Unreleased to the new version number and put a date next to it
    2. Cut and paste the documented changes that are now included in the patch release to the correct section
    3. Commit these changes
  8. Open a pull request to incorporate any cherry-picked commits and the CHANGELOG.md changes into the release branch
    1. Set the base branch of this pull request to the release branch
    2. Once approved, merge the pull request into the release branch
  9. Create a new release from the release branch
    1. Add the new version as the tag (i.e. 1.2.4)
    2. Title the release with the version number, prefixed with a v (i.e. v1.2.4)
    3. Add a link to the CHANGELOG.md
    4. Auto-populate the release notes
  10. Publish the release
  11. Merge the new release tag into main

    Warning

    Pushing commits (including merge commits) to the main branch requires admin-level repository permissions.

    1. Checkout the main branch, and update the local repository:

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      git checkout main
      #=> Switched to branch 'main'...
      
      git pull
      
    2. Merge the new release tag into main:

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      git merge tags/1.2.4
      
      1. Handle any merge conflicts, and push to the remote main branch

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