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Create a Release - Detailed

The following procedure walks you through the typical steps to create a Release, including tips, optional steps, and behind-the-scenes information. The different contributors are noted in the procedure.

Good to know:

To create a Release:

  1. On the CSM Desktop Client toolbar, click New>New Release.

    Release Dropdown

    Note: Since a Release can be the implementation of one or more Change Requests, a Release can also be created from a Change Request by clicking File>New>New Release from the CSM menu bar, pressing CTRL+SHIFT+R, or clicking the Create New Release link in the Change Request Actions section of the Task Pane. When submitted from a Change Request, the Release inherits specific record information, including Requestor, Title, Description, and associated CIs.

    A new Release Record is created with a unique ID (ex: 1405) and a status of New. The Release enters the Plan phase.

    Release Form - Blank

    Note: The Main pane displays dynamic embedded forms as you move through the workflow. You can toggle between a simple Step View form and a more detailed read-only Expanded View form.

  2. The creator records the initial details.

    Note: The creator must provide at least a Requestor, Title, Priority, Risk, and Version.

    Tip: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

    1. Requestor (in the Quick Info Tile): Provide the name of the person who initiated the Release (ex: Gina), and then press ENTER or TAB to search for the User Record.

      If an exact match is found, the Requestor fields are autopopulated with the User's name, avatar, e-mail, and phone. If multiple matches are found (ex: multiple Users named Gina), the UserInfo Selector opens so that you can select the appropriate User.

      Tips: Wildcards (ex: "%" or "*") can be used when searching. To browse for a User or add a new Customer Record, click the User Selector button Customer Selector Button to launch the Contact Manager. To view the selected Requestor's detailed User Record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button. To call or e-mail the selected User, click the phone or e-mail links (respectively).

      Release - Requestor Views

    2. Title: Provide a title (ex: Upgrade to SQL Server 2014).
    3. Priority: Select a priority for the Release (ex: Urgent).
      1. Click the Priority drop-down to reveal the Priority Matrix, and then click a priority number (ex: Urgent for a mission-critical, department-wide Release).

        Change Priority

      The priority is displayed in the Priority alert bar of the Quick Info Tile. The color (red/orange/green) indicates the level of priority.

      Priority Alert Bar - Urgent

    4. Risk: In the drop-down, select a risk (ex: High).

      Note: The Release risk level is subjective, but should be based on the impact if the Release process fails.

      After you select a risk level, Risk Analysis notification text appears above the Release Details banner of the Release Form.

      Risk Notification Text

    5. Category: In the drop-down, select a category (ex: Major).
      • Major: Contains a large amount of new functionality, which might eliminate temporary fixes. A major upgrade or Release usually supersedes all minor upgrades, Releases, and emergency fixes.
      • Minor: Contains small enhancements and fixes, which might have been issued as emergency fixes. A minor upgrade or Release usually supersedes all minor emergency fixes.
      • Emergency: Contains corrections to a small number of known errors, or an enhancement that meets a high priority requirement from the Customer.
    6. Type: Select a type of deployment (ex: Full).
      • Delta: Deploy an update for an existing software package.
      • Full: Deploy a complete software package.
      • Package: Deploy a set of full and delta Releases together.
    7. Version: Provide the version of the Release (ex: 5.0).

      Tip: Typically, major Releases are indicated using whole number increments (ex: 5.0), minor Releases are indicated using a decimal (ex: 5.1), and emergency Releases are indicated using two decimals (ex: 5.1.1).

    8. Primary CI: Select an affected CI (ex: System Database):
      1. Click the CI Selector button CMDB CI Picker Button to launch the CMDB window, where you can select a CI. You can locate CIs by filtering (by Config Type, All Customers, a specific Customer) or by searching. You can also create a new CI on-the-fly.

        CMDB Configuration

        The CI record appears in the Configuration Items tab (Arrangement area).

        Tip: To view the selected CI record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button.

        Note: Use the Show All Tabs radio button to view all tabs in the Arrangement area, and use the Show Related Tabs button to only view tabs that are related to current and past workflow actions.

      2. Impact Analysis: Click this button to view a Configuration Map of CIs that are affected by the Release.
    9. Planned Start: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you plan to begin the Release process.
    10. Planned End: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you plan to deploy the Release.
    11. Release Calendar: Click this button to open the Change/Release Calendar.

      Note: You will be prompted to save the Release Record before navigating to the Calendar.

    12. Due Date: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which the Release is due.
    13. Description: Provide a description of the Release (ex: Upgrading the SQL Server from the 2012 version to 2014 version).

      Tip: Description is a Rich Text field. To format the text or embed an image, click the Zoom button Zoom Button.
      Rich Text Formatting Window

    14. Scope: Provide a scope for the Release (ex: Affects all Enterprise Apps that use the SQL Server Database).

      Tip: The scope might include a brief description of the Services, CIs, or Change Requests associated with the Release.

    15. Justification for Release and any associated risks: Provide a justification and any risks that may occur during the Release process (ex: Development requires access to new SQL features).

    The following figure shows the Project with the Requestor, initial details, and ownership completed.

  3. Creator assigns an owner.
    1. Click one of the Ownership Links in the Quick Info Tile (Owned By/Release Manager section). Ownership is required:
      • Take Ownership: Click this link to make yourself the User owner.
      • Assign to: Click this link to select a User owner (Release Manager). The Team owner is populated by the User owner's default Team.
      • Select Owner (User): Click this link to first select a Team and then a User owner (Release Manager) (User is limited by Team).
      • Select Team: Click this link to first select a Team owner.

        Release Ownership Section

      CSM automatically sends an e-mail to the owners to notify them of Ownership.

  4. Owner builds the Release Package.
    1. Click the Define Package button on the Release Details form.

      The Release Units form opens and the Release status changes to Planning.

      Release Units Form

      Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

    2. Define the Release Package.
      1. Select Release Package units (components of the package) by selecting the corresponding check box.
        • Hardware
        • Software
        • Documentation
        • Training
    3. Owner adds additional affected CIs (ex: SQL Server License).
      1. Click the Release CIs tab in the Arrangement.

        The CI grid opens displaying the Primary CI.

      2. Click the Add a Configuration Item button Add Configuration Item Button to launch the CMDB window, where you can select a CI. You can locate CIs by filtering (by Config Type, All Customers, a specific Customer) or by searching. You can also create a new CI on-the-fly.

        CMDB Configuration

        The selected CI record appears in the Configuration Items tab.

        Tip: To view the selected CI record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button or click the record on the Configuration Items tab.

      3. View Impacted CIs: Click the Visualization button Impacted CIs Button to view affected CIs.

        Note: This button uses the CI that is highlighted in the Release CIs tab.

      4. Hyperlinks to Build Documentation: Insert a hyperlink (Rich Text) to the documentation associated with the build, if applicable (ex: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn237258(v=sql.120).aspx).
    4. Owner adds the Release to the Service Schedule.
      1. Click the Schedule Service button on the Release Units form.

        The Service Schedule form opens in the Main Pane.

        Release Service Schedule Form

        Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

      2. Service: In the drop-down, select the affected Service (ex: Enterprise Apps).
      3. Start Date: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the first day in which the Service will be affected.
      4. End Date: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the last day in which the Service will be affected.
      5. Type: Select the type of disruption the Release will have on the Service.
        • Maintenance
        • Blackout
      6. Notes: Provide any additional information about the Service Schedule.

        Note: The text from this field populates the Service Calendar, so consider describing the extent of the Service disruption.

    5. Owner defines a Release Plan.
      1. Click the Create Release Plans button on the Service Schedule form.

        The Release Plans form opens in the Main Pane.

        Release Plans Form

        Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

        Note: All fields on the Release Plans form are required.

      2. Deployment Plan: Provide the deployment plan.

        Tip: Use the Deployment Plan field to organize your deployment information, which might include a timeline, Tasks, step-by-step instructions, etc.

      3. Backout Plan: Provide a backout plan.

        Tip: Use the Backout Plan field to organize your backout plan information, which might include Tasks, step-by-step instructions, etc. A detailed backout plan ensures that you can take immediate action if the deployment is unsuccessful.

    6. Owner defines a Release Team.

      Note: Release Team members can be either Users or Customers, but must have either a UserInfo profile or Customer - Internal record.

      1. Click the Assign Release Team button on the Release Plans form.

        The Release Team form opens in the Main Pane and the Release Team tab appears in the Arrangement.

        Release - Release Team

        Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

      2. Click the New Release Team button in the Release Team tab of the Arrangement.

        The Release Team Member form opens.

        Release Team Member Form

      3. Send Notification E-mails: Select this check box to indicate that the User should receive Release updates via e-mail.

        Note: Notification e-mails are used for Release updates. Updates are sent using links in the I Want To section of the Quick Info Tile. Click the E-mail Release Team link to define and send an e-mail to Release Team members, and click the Notify Task Owners to Update Tasks link to send a notification e-mail to Task owners.

      4. Name: Provide the name of a User (ex: Henri), and then press ENTER or TAB to search for the User Record.

        If multiple matches are found (ex: multiple Users named Henri), the Contact Manager opens so that you can select the appropriate User.

        Tips: Wildcards (ex: "%" or "*") can be used when searching. To browse for a User, click the User Selector button Customer Selector Button to launch the Contact Manager. To view the selected User's detailed Record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button.

        Note: After a User is selected, the e-mail address and phone number fields are autopopulated using information from the User's UserInfo Record.

      5. Role: In the drop-down, select the role of the User.
        • Deployment Manager
        • Documentation Manager
        • Knowledge Manager
        • Stakeholder
        • Testing Manager
        • Training Manager
      6. E-mail: Provide the e-mail address of the User.

        Note: This field is auto-populated using the e-mail address in the User's Record.

      7. Phone Number: Provide the phone number of the User.

        Note: This field is auto-populated using the phone number in the User's Record.

      8. Notes: Provide any additional information about the User.
    7. Owner assigns Tasks to Release Team members.

      Note: Use the Task Object to monitor the status of key elements of the deployment process. You can either assign all of the Tasks in your plans, or assign key Tasks as milestones to verify that all upstream or downstream Tasks have been completed.

      1. Click the Assign Tasks button on the Release Team form.

        The Assign Tasks/Set Milestones form opens in the Main Pane and the Tasks/Milestones tab opens in the Arrangement.

        Release - Assign Tasks/Set Milestones

      2. Click the New Task button in the Tasks/Milestones tab of the Arrangement.

        The Task form opens in the Arrangement.

      3. Complete a Task form for each Task.

        The priority is displayed in the Priority alert bar of the Quick Info Tile. The color (red/orange) indicates whether or not there are open Tasks. If there are no open Tasks, the alert bar is green. If there are one to five open Tasks, the alert bar is orange. If there are more than five open Tasks, the alert bar is red.

        Release Task Alert Bar

  5. Owner defines the Release Package build.

    Note: You must define at least one Release Package build before entering the Test phase.

    1. Click the Build Package(s) button on the Assign Tasks/Set Milestones form.

      The Build Package(s) form opens in the Main Pane, the Release status changes to Building, the Build Package tab appears in the Arrangement, and the Release enters the Build phase.

      Release - Release Package

      Note:View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

      CSM automatically sends an e-mail to Release Team members to notify them of the new Release Package build.

    2. Click the New Release Package Build button in the Build Package tab of the Arrangement.

      The Build Release Package form opens in the Arrangement.

      Build Release Form

    3. Short Description: Provide a brief description of the build (ex: SQL Server 2014).
    4. Build Version (must be unique): Provide the version of the build (ex: 20140512-01).
    5. Build Location: Provide the location of the build (ex: D:\Installers\SQLServer\SQL2014-x64.exe).
    6. Destination: Provide the location where the build will be stored (ex: \\appServer\Program Files\SQL Server).
  6. Testing Manager tests the deployment of the build.
    1. Click the Create/Run Test Plans button on the Build Package(s) form.

      The Test Script(s) form opens in the Main Pane, the Release Test tab appears in the Arrangement, the Release status changes to Testing, and the Release enters the Test phase.

      Release - Test Scripts

      Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

    2. Click the New Release Test button in the Release Test tab of the Arrangement.

      The Release Test form opens in the Arrangement.

      Release Test Form

    3. Test Title: Provide a title for the test (ex: SQL Test).
    4. Build Version: In the drop-down, select a build version (ex: 20140512-01).

      Notes: The Build Version field is populated using data from the Build Version field of the Build Release Package form. The record must be saved for the build version to be available.

    5. Release Location: Provide the location of the test Release (ex: Test Server).
    6. Test Script: Provide the test script (ex: Test SQL installation).

      Tip: Use the Test Script field to organize your test information, which might include a high-level overview of the test or detailed step-by-step instructions.

    7. Expected Results: Provide the expected result of the test (ex: Install the new SQL Server without issue).
    8. Tester: Provide the name of the tester (ex: Henri), and then press ENTER or TAB to search for the User Record.

      Note: This field is auto-populated with name and contact information of the current User, but can be changed if necessary.

      If multiple matches are found (ex: multiple Users named Henri), the Contact Manager opens so that you can select the appropriate User.

      Tips: Wildcards (ex: "%" or "*") can be used when searching. To browse for a User, click the User Selector button Customer Selector Button to launch the Contact Manager. To view the selected User's detailed Record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button.

    9. Test Status: Select the status of the test (ex: Completed).

      Note: The test status reflects the lifecycle of the test, and is set to Pending by default. When the test is initiated, the tester selects the Started test status, which auto-populates the Test Start Date Time field with the current date and time. When the test is completed, the tester selects the Completed or Cancelled test status, which auto-populates the Test End Date Time field with the current date and time.

      Tip: Build testing varies by organization. Use the Test Status field to track the specific testing process of your organization.

    10. Test Start Date Time: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you begin the test.

      Note: The time is automatically set to 12:00 AM. Use the Test Start Date Time field to manually define the appropriate time.

    11. Test End Date Time: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you end the test.

      Note: The time is automatically set to 12:00 AM. Use the Test Start Date Time field to manually define the appropriate time.

    12. Test Disposition: Select the disposition (outcome) of the test (ex: Passed).

      CSM automatically sends an e-mail to Release Team members to notify them of the test outcome.

    13. Actual Results: Provide the result of the test (ex: Installed the new SQL Server without issue).

      The Testing Status icons indicate the number of Test Events and their status (Passed, Failed, Not Run).

      Release Testing Status

      Note: If the build fails testing, click the Create New Build link in the Quick Info Tile to return to the Build phase, or click the Cancel Release link to move to the Review phase.

  7. Documentation Manager creates Release Notes.
    1. Click the Create Release Notes button on the Test Script(s) form.

      The Release Notes form opens in the Main Pane, the Release status changes to Documenting, and the Release enters the Document phase.

      Release Notes Form

      Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

    2. Author: Provide the name of the tester (ex: Henri), and then press ENTER or TAB to search for the User Record.

      If multiple matches are found (ex: multiple Users named Henri), the Contact Manager opens so that you can select the appropriate User.

      Tips: Wildcards (ex: "%" or "*") can be used when searching. To browse for a User, click the User Selector button Contact Manager Button to launch the Contact Manager. To view the selected User's detailed Record, click the Quick View button Quick View Button.

    3. Release Notes: Provide the Release Notes.

      Tip: You can also Insert a hyperlink (Rich Text) or type a system path to the associated Release Notes.

  8. Owner requests approval for the Release.
    1. Click the Obtain Approval button on the Release Notes form.

      The Release Approval form opens in the Main Pane, the Approvals tab appears in the Arrangement, and the Release enters the Approve phase.

      Release Approval

  9. Approver approves the Release.
    1. In the Approval grid, click an Approval Record.

      The Approval form opens. The Approver Name and Details fields are auto-populated per the defined Approval Process rules.

    2. (Optional) In the Comments field, provide your feedback.
    3. Click Approve.

    Release Approval Process Notes:

    • The Release requires all approvers to provide approval.
    • If an approver denies the Release (clicks the Deny button), the Release remains in the Approval phase with a status of Approving.
    • If an approver abstains (clicks the Abstain button), the Release remains in the Approval phase with a status of Approving.
    • The Release requires approval to enter the Deploy phase.

      The Approval Status icons indicate the number of pending Approvals and their status (Approved, Denied, or Abstained).

      Release Approval Status

  10. Deployment Manager deploys the Release.
    1. Click the Deploy Package(s) button on the Release Approval form.

      The Deployment(s) form opens in the Main Pane, the Deploy Release Package tab opens in the Arrangement, and the Release enters the Deploy phase.

      Deployment(s)

      Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

    2. In the Deploy Package grid, click a Release Package record. The Build Version and Short Description fields are autopopulated based on the selected Build version.
    3. Deployment Status: Select a deployment status.

      Note: When the deployment is initiated, the Deployment Manager selects the Started status, which auto-populates the Deployment Started field with the current date and time. When the deployment is completed, the Deployment Manager selects the Completed status, which auto-populates the Deployment Finished field with the current date and time.

    4. Deployment Started: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you start the deployment before updating the time.
    5. Deployment Finished: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the day in which you end the deployment before updating the time.
    6. Disposition: Select the disposition (outcome) of the deployment (ex: Succeeded).

      The Deployment Status icons indicate the number of pending deployments and their status (succeeded, failed, cancelled).

      Release Deployment Status

    7. Details: Provide any additional information about the deployment.

      Note: If the deployment fails, click the Create New Build link in the Quick Info Tile to return to the Build phase, or click the Cancel Release link to move to the Review phase.

  11. Owner completes the final details reviews the Release.
    1. Click the Review Release button on the Deployment(s) form.

      The Release Details form opens in the Main Pane and the Release enters the Review phase.

      Release Review

      Note: View additional form information and helpful tips by clicking the INFO button located on the title banner of the form.

      Note: The Planned Start Date and Planned End Date fields are auto-populated. using the dates defined on the Release Details form in the Plan phase.

    2. Actual Start Date: Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the date and time in which you actually started the Release process.
    3. Click the Date Selector button Date Picker Button to access the Calendar, and then select the date and time in which you actually ended the Release process.
    4. Final Disposition: Select the disposition (outcome) of the Release (ex: Succeeded).
    5. Review Notes/Lessons Learned: Provide any additional information about the Release.
  12. Owner closes the Release.
    1. Click the Close Release button on the Release Details form.

      The Release status changes to Closed.

See Also

Creating Releases

Create a Release