New versions of Confluence are released frequently. Our goals are to:
- Make bug-fixes available to customers sooner
- Give interested customers early access to new features and API changes
- Make Confluence major releases predictable
We aim to release new versions of Confluence every two to three months. These releases will contain the bulk of new functionality.
Feature releases are numbered by incrementing Confluence's minor version number, so the move from Confluence 2.0 to 2.1 and 2.1 to 2.2 both introduced significant new features to the product. Occasionally we may change to a whole new major version number (Confluence 2.0 was originally slated to be released as 1.5), but that is mostly done for marketing purposes, and shouldn't be considered to have any practical meaning.
Feature releases may not be API-compatible with the previous release. This means that you should test RPC clients, macros and plugins before running them on a newer version of Confluence.
Confluence bug-fix releases are scheduled every two to three weeks, depending on the number and urgency of the bugs that have been fixed during that particular development cycle. We aim to minimise the time between a bug being reported and a fix being available, without either us or our customers having to manage clumsy sets of manual patches.
Bug-fix releases will contain mostly bug-fixes, plus the occasional minor new feature or enhancement. Enhancements will be limited, however, as the main aim of these point releases is to improve stability, and make no significant API changes.
Bug-fix releases are numbered by incrementing the patch-level. So the first bug-fix release after Confluence 2.2 is 2.2.1, followed by 2.2.2. Occasionally, we will re-issue a bug-fix release because something was faulty with the original download. In that case we will create a "re-issue" release number, for example 2.1.5a or 2.2.1a.
Obviously, we don't expect anyone to upgrade Confluence every two weeks, administrators should keep their own schedule, based on how much of an inconvenience is being caused by any bugs that may have been fixed since. Sometimes, however, a security issue or serious application bug will arise that we feel it is in everyone's best interests to fix as soon as possible. In such cases, we will recommend in the Release Notes that all customers upgrade to the latest version.
Occasionally, when possible, we will release preview "development snapshots" of the next major Confluence version. How often and when we do so depends on the particulars of the current development cycle. In situations where we are working on a number of disparate features we may be able to do a number of progressive development releases, whereas in iterations where we are making significant changes to the Confluence internals, we may not have anything suitable for public consumption until quite late in the release cycle.
Development releases will be announced on the Development Releases page, and to the confluence-developer mailing list.
The version number of a Development Release will be the version number of the next major release, suffixed with -dev. So Confluence 2.3-dr1 will be followed by 2.3-dr2, and so on until the ultimate release of the finished Confluence 2.3