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Managing releases

The purpose of this document is to describe the git management process across the Content Repository and Frontend Websites.


For release management of Tide modules, please see Versions


Changes to the Drupal API can have an effect on the Front end website due to field and entity changes. This can lead to issues on Frontend Websites if they are not updated at the same time as the Content Repository as they rely on a common API. This can cause a delay in deploying Content Repository while changes are merged to the Frontend Websites and go through QA and UAT.


Both Content Repository and Frontend Websites release versions should follow semantic versioning.


Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:
MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,
MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and
PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.

Additional labels for pre-release and build metadata are available as extensions to the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format.

Git workflow

Git branch schema for releases

Note that on this diagram production branch only receives release commits (commits tagged with release versions). Such setup is used in hosting that is deploying code for branches rather then for tags. If your hosting provider supports deploying tags, the production branch may be replaced with switching a tag on production environment.

Git branch schema for releases

Feature branches for both Content Repository and Frontend Websites start from the the develop branch. Frontend Websites may connect to the feature branch environments of the Content Repository to test front-end and back-end changes together. Once ready, the feature branches are merged back as pull requests against develop branch.

Release branch for Content Repository starts from the develop branch. It stays unmerged until Frontend Websites validate (through QA process) that newly introduced changes to Content Repository do not break Frontend Websites' functionality.

Once Frontend Websites confirm that release for Content Repository is stable, the release branch get's merged into master. At this point, both Content Repository and all Frontend Websites need to coordinate release time frame.

Once ready to release, new release tags created in all projects and are deployed to production environments.



In the steps below, it is assumed that both Content Repository and Frontend Websites have changes to result in release. If Frontend Websites do not have any new feature changes, they need to release only in case if Content Repository API changes.


The steps below do not include any release communication steps. Always prepare release plan with communication details, templates and rollback actions ahead of release, or, better, create a standardise release run sheet.

??? "Create and download a backup of the production database

1. Log in to the Lagoon UI service
2. Navigate to the project
3. Select the `production` branch
4. Select tasks from the menu
5. Add a database backup task
   1. Select "Generate database backup [drush sql-dump]" from the drop-down
6. When the task has completed you can download the archive by selecting the task item.
  1. Create a release branch from develop in Content Repository
  2. Create a release branch for each Frontend Website repository and push the changes as a new pull request against develop for each repository.
  3. Have the QA team test the latest changes and perform a spot regression check in both Content Repository and all Frontend Websites.
  4. Merge the Content Repository release branch to master
  5. Once all Frontend Websites pass QA (or only minor bugs are found that will not effect release), merge the release branch on each Frontend Website to develop and follow the standard release process through to master.
  6. Request UAT on all Frontend Websites. Once UAT is complete or 3 business days are passed, prepare to tag and release to production.
  7. Tag and deploy Content Repository release to production.
  8. Tag and deploy each Frontend Website release to production.

Deployment rollback plan


This process highlights the importance of release tags.


This process should only be followed in the event of a failed deployment that is impacting a sites uptime.

This is a last resort and only to be used for expendiency.

It is a destructive process and will require commiting directly to the production branch.

??? "Synchronise the database archive with the production instance.

The database archive should exist from the earlier release preparations.

This step is required before any further code changes are pushed because they will trigger
database updates. Although none should run this is a safety measure to ensure the codebase 
will successfully deploy.

The database archive should exist from the earlier release preparations.

Drush is the simplest way to synchronise a database.
Reset the branch to the last release
  1. Ensure you have all the latest branch and tags git fetch --all --tags
  2. Checkout the production branch. git checkout production
  3. Identify the previous and reset the branch to this commit. `git reset --hard {tag}
  4. Force push - administrator access to the repository is required. git push -f