At Avantra we know our software is key to SAP operations at our customers and our customers depend on the stability of the Avantra platform. We also know that features we implement in new versions delight our customers and reduce pain for their SAP operations teams, but planning to implement and roll out these new versions is required.
This document explains our versioning system and when we release new versions.
Major Version - e.g. 21.11 (21.11.000)
Our major releases of the product are denoted by the first two sets of numbers in the version number and relates to the year and month that this version was first made generally available. For example 21.11 was released in 2021 (21) in the month of November (11).
We may typically have 1 or 2 major versions released each year depending on our product planning. Major versions tend to bring new functionality and SAP transports to install and might require a special upgrade process however usually the upgrade process is the same a much smaller upgrade. We will deliver new documentation for the new version and the new version has a new support window.
In general, major versions of Avantra Server support earlier versions of Avantra Agent but new functionality might be limited in this scenario. Using an Avantra Agent of a higher version than the Avantra Server is not supported and would lead to issues. It is usually required to upgrade all components, Avantra Server, Avantra Agent and Avantra Transports to use any new functionality.
Please read the release notes for the major version for any special upgrade processes and compatibility issues.
Minor Version - e.g. 21.11.4 (21.11.400)
Minor versions are released between major versions to implement smaller features and to fix issues that customers report to support. These are denoted by an incremental number after the major version, for example 21.11.4 is the fourth minor version released for the major version 21.11.
We may typically bring a new minor version every 6 weeks to support our customers and deliver new innovations to as part of our bigger product roadmap. Documentation for minor versions will be added to the major version, usually with a "since 21.11.4" tag or otherwise for new features. The list of new features will be on our release notes page of the documentation site.
As with a new major version, it's usually required to upgrade the Avantra Server and Avantra Agent to the newest version to utilise new features. The Avantra Transport might require updating to new features or fix issues but these will be clearly marked as [Transports] in the release notes.
In general, Avantra Server needs to be at the same or higher version than each of the Avantra Agents. Avantra Agents themselves have a matrix of supported Avantra Transport versions found here. We may not release a new version of the Avantra Transports at each minor version as we know this is sometimes difficult for our customers to upgrade.
Patch Version - e.g. 21.11.401
Patch versions are released between minor versions to address security concerns and critical bugs we've found that affect operations at multiple customers. This is a new concept introduced after the recent Log4J security vulnerabilities to allow us to support customers with faster releases of updated software. The patch number is the last two digits of the version number, in the case of 21.11.401, the patch number is 01 or the 1st patch to 21.11.4.
We typically won't plan a release timeline for patches as they'll only fix one or multiple related issues, or upgrade an included dependency, to support our customers' operations. There would be no new functionality introduced and therefore no new product documentation, but a list of changes will be produced on our documentation site and exceptions to this would be noted.
When referring to this version, for example 21.11.401, we may say 21.11.4 in documentation, APIs and other marketing material, but they refer to the same version as there will be no feature differences between the patch versions.
It is always recommended that customers running a minor version, e.g. 21.11.4 consider updating to the latest patch version available in 21.11.4xx as soon as possible as these fixes would address potentially unseen security issues or more critical bug fixes.