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Change in Overall Release Schedule

Date Published: Aug 14,2020

CategoryProduct:Learn Administration,Installs & Configurations; Version:SaaS
Article No.: 000057760

Support Bulletin

Blackboard Learn

Bulletin/Advisory Information:

Updated Bulletin (Published August 14, 2020):

Due to some issues that caused our article subscriptions to quit functioning for a few days, Blackboard is republishing this article from earlier this week to ensure our clients are notified at this time.  Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.


Original Bulletin (Published August 11, 2020):

Blackboard has been on a journey. During this journey we’ve seen a continual evolution not only from ourselves but also our clients.  The Continuous Delivery model is now the most used version of Learn and there is a reason for that.  Continuous Delivery allows Blackboard and our clients to take advantage of all that SaaS has to offer.  For clients, you are on the latest technology that we can offer.  You no longer have to wait 3,6, 12 months or more to take advantage of new features or functions.  Clients no longer have to worry about a Service Pack being out of support.  For Blackboard, it means that we are able to focus our development efforts on our products rather than on backporting to previous releases and it allows us to react to system problems faster than ever before. 
With that in mind, the Blackboard Learn team would like to inform you that, starting immediately, we are moving to weekly SaaS releases.  The reason for this is threefold:
  1. We have recently achieved various security accreditations that require us to release risk mitigation on intervals that are more frequent than monthly.
  2. We have seen an increasing desire from our customers to be more responsive to their critical business needs. 
  3. A more frequent delivery cycle fits with best practice for mature SaaS software providers. 
 For the most part, we believe that things won’t change for you.  We’ve been doing releases on a nearly weekly cadence already to address the issues listed above.  To date, these have been done on a more ad-hoc basis.  In order to better serve our community better, we would like to formalize this release cadence and provide our customers with expectations as to the time and frequency of our releases.  As a general rule, the weekly cadence will release every Thursday.  Blackboard will continue to reserve the right to change the release date or cadence to adapt to the various certification, environmental, or customer needs we are addressing. 
Additionally,  these weekly releases will be for more serious defects or security issues. Features will still continue to be released on a monthly basis.   We continually strive to balance risk and criticality with the changes we deploy in our weekly releases.  As such, the weekly releases will, as a general rule, not go into test/stage ahead of time, although they will go through our full set of regressions tests.  Providing time in test/stage in a weekly release is inconsistent with the criticality of this issues we are addressing.  Monthly releases will contain all features and fixes and will continue to be applied to test / stage instances in advance and be released on the first Thursday of every month.


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