This document details the product lifecycle policy for FileCloud’s product offerings. This policy governs products deployed on premises, in the public cloud and hosted as a SaaS offering by FileCloud or 3rd party service providers. The purpose of this document is to help customers understand the phases of the FileCloud product lifecycle to assist in technical operations planning for their environments.
A release is defined as the publication of any FileCloud Software that is made available for the general use of customers, partners, resellers, distributors, and any 3rd party outside of FileCloud organization.
Generally Available Releases
Our generally available product releases fall into one of the following 3 categories:
- Major Release – A generally available release of FileCloud Software with changes covering a broad scope and impact on the product, including security fixes, improvements, and new capabilities. Major releases include cumulative minor releases, patches and hotfix updates.
- Minor Release – A generally available release of FileCloud Software with changes covering a limited scope and impact on the product, including critical security fixes and improvements requiring attention prior to the next major release. Minor releases included cumulative patches and hotfix updates.
- Patch Release – A generally available release of FileCloud Software that is delivered on an emergency basis to address critical bugs and security issues that have a high impact potential. Patch releases do not include cumulative hotfix updates.
Non-Generally Available Releases
FileCloud currently delivers two non-GA software categories:
- Hotfix Release – A hotfix release is a non-generally available release delivered at the sole discretion of FileCloud directly to either a single customer, or a small cohort of customers, to target a specific problem that significantly impacts their operations. Severity, scope, impact, current progress on next minor or major software release and other factors are used to determine if and when a hotfix release will be generated in response to a customer issue that has been raised. Hotfixes are included as part of the next minor or major software release.
- Beta Release – A beta release is a non-generally available release made available to limited or broad groups of customers for the purpose of collecting feedback on newly introduced, non-GA features and capabilities. Beta release updates follow their own independent delivery pattern and the work done in any given beta release will not automatically be included in the next minor or major software release. In some cases, an individual feature, option, function, or capability that is currently in the beta phase, may be included in a GA software release.
All FileCloud software releases are issued a unique release version number. The software release version is a 4 segment numeric string with each segment representing a designation to identify the specific release. The format is as follows:
- Segment 1: Current Software Generation
- Segment 2: Major Release (current year + major release # of year)
- Segment 3: Minor Release
- Segment 4: Build Number
Segments 1 and 2 collectively represent the major release and will typically be used to reference a major GA software release launch. In the below example, this build is part of our current 23rd software generation and is the first major build of 2024. It would informally and in marketing and other public facing content, be referred to as 23.241. The second major release of the year would be designated as 23.242. When a subsequent minor release goes GA, the key updates introduced in the .x minor released would be referenced in documentation and related content.
It should be noted that the current software release versioning convention is effective as of 23.232 which is the 2nd and last major release developed during 2023. Our version nomenclature prior to this release did not include the software generation and reserved the first segment for the year and the second segment for a 1 digit reference to the major release number of the year. These two segments still collectively were used to define the major release designation.
When reaching out to FileCloud Technical Support, information related to the release installed in the environment will be required to verify the exact software version installed to assist with the troubleshooting and issue resolution process.
FileCloud software packages include 3rd party components such as Apache, MongoDB, PHP, etc. Every 6-8 months these underlying components that are used in our product are updated to the latest stable version. By design, we will typically not include or recommend the latest versions of these third components based on our productization strategy.
Product Lifecycle Phase Definitions
FileCloud’s Software releases follow a standard customer-facing lifecycle which consists of the following 4 phases
Pre-release software is a software release currently in active development. Pre-release software versions may be made available selectively to certain partners and customers for early input into our value development process. Pre-release software may have tentative release dates assigned and communicated which are subject to change without prior notice at FileCloud’s discretion.
Product releases enter the Active phase of their lifecycle when they become Generally Available (GA). Other than where explicit and exceptional agreement is made, hotfixes, patches and minor releases are only developed against software releases that are in the active phase. FileCloud maintains discretion where determined appropriate, to address issues in future GA releases beyond the current active phase, GA version.
The latest major release (including subsequent hotfixes and patches) is always FileCloud’s officially supported version with prior releases being in a retired or end-of-life state.
When a new major product version release becomes GA, the prior version automatically and immediately enters the retired phase. Typically, only the immediate major release predecessor will be in a retired state, however, at FileCloud’s discretion, this status may be extended to additional releases. In the example of release 23.241 being the current GA, active phase release, 23.232 would automatically transition to the retired phase of its lifecycle.
Customers can continue using retired software release versions; however, we recommend updating to an active phase version.
Retired phase software versions may be subject to known issues and security vulnerabilities as they will generally not receive additional updates, patches, or hotfixes other than where mutually and explicitly agreed.
FileCloud will make commercially reasonable efforts to resolve customer issues running retired product releases so long as an active support contract is in place. In the case of technical support issues with retired phase software, the recommended resolution may be an upgrade to an active phase supported release. In case of confirmed security vulnerabilities with CVSS scores of 9.0 or higher discovered within 30 days of a release entering its retired phase, FileCloud, at its discretion, may deliver an update to address the issue against the retired software version.
The retired phase of the software lifecycle will typically range from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 12 months.
Software releases automatically enter the end-of-life phase when 2 successive major releases have become GA. When FileCloud version 23.242 becomes GA, 23.241 will be in its retired phase and 23.232 and all prior releases will be at end-of-life. At FileCloud’s discretion, the retired phase may be extended for specific software releases.
While customers may opt to continue using end-of-life software release versions, it is strongly advised to update to an active phase software release.
It is expected that end-of-life software will be subject to known issues and security vulnerabilities and not receive any additional updates, patches or hotfixes. Customers continuing to leverage end-of-life software in their environments are agreeing to use it on an AS-Is basis.
FileCloud will make limited, commercially reasonable efforts to resolve customer issues running end-of-life product releases so long as an active support contract is in place. In cases of technical support issues with end-of-life software, the likely first step will be to upgrade to an active phase supported release which FileCloud Technical Support can assist in planning.
Extended Life Maintenance
Customers who have special requirements to continue to operate a retired phase or end-of-life phase software version, may discuss this with their technical account management team. At FileCloud’s discretion, this may be offered at additional cost to the customer on a case-by-case basis. Technical constraints, third party dependencies and other similar factors will be taken into consideration in determining an agreeable release version that can be established for this purpose. In such cases, critical bug resolution and security fixes will be delivered against the agreed release while new features, capabilities and improvements will not.
Feature and Capability Deprecation
At FileCloud’s description and based on market and customer assessment, specific product features and capabilities within the product may be deprecated from time to time.
Feature and capability deprecation will be communicated to customers at least 90 days beforehand in order to provide time for planning and operational changes that may be required.
Backwards compatibility will not be maintained for deprecated features and capabilities. By extension, hotfixes, patches and updates specifically for providing improvements and defect correction in deprecated features and capabilities are not delivered by FileCloud.
Interoperation with other FileCloud ecosystem components and third party integrations are also no longer maintained for features and capabilities that have been deprecated.
Customers may opt to continue using deprecated features and FileCloud will make commercially reasonable, good-faith efforts to answer questions and provide basic troubleshooting support for customers that maintain active support contracts. However, advanced support and any defects discovered that may require additional software releases to correct will not be provided. Deprecation will typically coincide with a major software version release and the same support lifecycle principles will apply.
Software Release History and Planning
Active and retired FileCloud Software release versions
|Major Software Version||Launch||Retirement||End-of-Life||Status|
|23.232.x||TBA Dec ‘23||TBA Q2 ‘24||TBA Q4 ‘24||Pre-Release|
|23.1.x||Jun ‘23||Dec ‘23||TBA Q2 ‘24||Active|
|22.1.x||Nov ‘22||Jun ‘23||TBA Dec ‘23||Retired|