Content Lifecycle Strategies
Maintain and deliver different versions of content by using releases and branches.
Releases enable you to create non-editable copies, or snapshots, of maps or topics with all dependencies at their current state.
The Releases tab enables you to do the following:
- Create new releases
- Deprecate releases
- Localize releases
- Branch releases
- Download releases
- Publish releases
- Preview releases
Keep the following guidelines in mind when working with releases:
- Before creating a release, check the content for errors. You can do that by publishing your content and verifying how the output looks like.
- Establish a releases naming convention. Once you create a release, you cannot change its title.
- The resources in releases do not count against your content object limits.
Branches enable you to create an editable copy of a map with all dependencies in a separate space.Branches are useful if you want to maintain multiple editable versions of content.
The Branching tab enables you to do the following:
- Create a branch from a map
- Merge content from one branch with content in another branch
- Replace content from one branch with content from another branch
Topic Merge/Replace Icon
Merging or replacing branches creates a history entry that enables you to view and restore a file to the former version by using the History tab.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when working with branches:
- Before creating a branch, check the content for errors. You can do that by publishing your content and verifying how the output looks.
- Establish a branches naming convention. Once you create a branch, you cannot change its name.
- Designate a person, for example a team leader, who will be responsible for merging and replacing branches.
- The resources in branches count against your content object limits.
Releases and Branches Comparison
Releases and branches have distinct characteristics that you can use in a synergistic relationship.
|Good for localization purposes||Poor for localization purposes|
|Good for archival purposes||Poor for archival purposes|
|Good for scheduled delivery||Good for continuous delivery|
Content Release Cycle
Our suggested model content release cycle involves releases and branches.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when versioning your content:
- Develop the current version of your documentation on the “master” branch
- When the documentation development cycle for a given version is over, create a release for archival purposes
- Consider branching a past documentation set when it is no longer relevant and requires updating
- When a branch is no longer needed, remove the branch.
We recommend versioning the product documentation by using both branches and releases.
- Develop the product documentation on the master branch.
See Version Content.
- When the product that you document is nearing release, do the following:
- Finalize the content development of a map associated with the product.
- Test-publish the map and check for errors. See Version Content.
- Release the map. See Create a Release.
- Publish the final deliverable from the release.
See Publish a Release.Note: Publishing the final deliverable from a release ensures that any changes on any branch do not affect the deliverable.
- On the master branch, develop the documentation for the upcoming product
release. See Version Content.
- If you want to alter a past documentation release, do the following:Note: Altering past documentation releases may be necessary in the following cases:
- There is a bug in the documentation
- A past release of a given product is updated and the corresponding documentation is no longer accurate
- Create a branch from the release that you want to alter. See Branch a Release.
- On the branch that you created in /content-strategies/content-lifecycle#task-2063__substep_j1h_d5z_wkb, edit the content. See Version Content.Note: Your edits impacted only the branch that you created in /content-strategies/content-lifecycle#task-2063__substep_j1h_d5z_wkb.
- On the branch that you created in /content-strategies/content-lifecycle#task-2063__substep_j1h_d5z_wkb, test-publish the map and check for errors. See Version Content.
- On the branch that you created in /content-strategies/content-lifecycle#task-2063__substep_j1h_d5z_wkb, release the map. See Create a Release.
- Publish the final deliverable from the altered map release. See Publish a Release.