Release Process

Release process overview

Cutting a branch

  • When a release is ready to go, release manager (RM) puts forward a release plan as per standard Apache process, including dates. This gets VOTEd on by the committers. During this period the trunk is still the only relevant source base.

  • As soon as a release is approved (or even before), RM should add the new version into JIRA as a target.

  • At the point where we would normally do the “code freeze” for a release, the RM cuts a branch named for the release. This branch is where the release candidates and releases will happen.

  • Ideally a release branch is only around for a week or maybe two before the release happens.

  • The only things that should EVER get checked into the release branch are - 1) bug fixes targeted at the release, 2) release-specific updates (documentation, SNAPSHOT removal, etc). In particular new functionality does not go here unless it is a solution to a JIRA report targeted at the release.

  • Normal development continues on the trunk.

Dependencies and branches

  • The trunk should always be “cutting edge” and as such should usually be pointing at SNAPSHOT versions of all dependencies. This allows for continuous integration with our partner projects.

  • Soon after a release branch is cut, the RM is responsible for removing ALL dependencies on SNAPSHOT versions and replacing them with officially released versions. This change happens only on the release branch.

Managing change and issue resolution with a release branch

  • The RM goes through JIRA issues and sets “fix for” to point to both “NIGHTLY” and the new branched release number for the fixes that are targeted for the release after the branch is cut.

  • In general, the assignee/coder fixes JIRA issues or makes other changes on the trunk. If the JIRA issue is targeted at the release, or upon coder's discretion, they then merge the fix over to the release branch.

  • This way the trunk is ALWAYS up-to-date, and we don't have to worry about losing fixes that have only been made on the release branch.

  • When the assignee resolves an issue, they confirm it's been fixed in both branches, if appropriate.

Checking changes into the branch

  • If bug fixes are needed later for a release which has long since happened (to fix user issues, etc), those fixes generally should also happen on the trunk first assuming the problem still exists on the trunk.

  • There are only two cases where we would ever check anything into the branch without first checking it into the trunk. 1) Release specific items (release number references, release notes, removal of SNAPSHOTs), and 2) if the trunk has moved on in some incompatible way.

Performing a release

Note: performing the release requires at least Maven 2.1.0. The recommended version is 2.2.1.


Verify that the code meets the basic requirements for being releasable:

  1. Check the consistency between the metadata in pom.xml and modules/parent/pom.xml. Since the root and parent POMs are different, some of the metadata is duplicated and needs to be synchronized manually. This includes the mailing list addresses, issue tracker information, SCM location, etc.

  2. Check that the set of legal (legal/*.LICENSE) files corresponds to the set of third party JARs included in the binary distribution.

  3. Check that the apache-release profile works correctly and produces the required distributions. The profile can be executed as follows:

    mvn clean install -Papache-release -Dmaven.test.skip=true
  4. Check that the source distribution is buildable.

  5. Check that the source tree is buildable with an empty local Maven repository.

If any problems are detected, they should be fixed on the trunk (except for issues specific to the release branch) and then merged to the release branch.

Next update the relevant documents for the new release:

  1. Update the release-notes.html file on the release branch (since the content of this file is replaced with every release, there is no need to keep it in sync with the trunk, except if the template changes).

  2. Update the src/site/xdoc/index.xml file with a description of the release and add an entry for the release in src/site/xdoc/download.xml. To avoid extra work for the RM doing the next major release, these changes should be done on the trunk first and then merged to the release branch. If the release is a maintenance release, then the previous release from that branch must be prepared for archiving by changing the links in the download page. This is necessary to conform to the release archiving policy. If the release is a major release, then this should be done with the release from the oldest branch, unless it is expected that users will still continue to download and use that release.


The following things are required to perform the actual release:

  • A PGP key that conforms to the requirements for Apache release signing. To make the release process easier, the passphrase for the code signing key should be configured in ${user.home}/.m2/settings.xml:

            <gpg.passphrase><!-- key passphrase --></gpg.passphrase>
  • The release process uses a Nexus staging repository. Every committer should have access to the corresponding staging profile in Nexus. To validate this, login to and check that you can see the org.apache.axis2 staging profile. The credentials used to deploy to Nexus should be added to settings.xml:

        <username><!-- ASF username --></username>
        <password><!-- ASF LDAP password --></password>


In order to prepare the release artifacts for vote, execute the following steps:

  1. Update the release date in release-notes.html, src/site/xdoc/index.xml and src/site/xdoc/download.xml. Since it is not possible to predict the exact date when the release is officially announced, this should be the date when the release tag is created.

  2. Temporarily disable the Hudson build(s) for Axis2, in order to avoid accidental deployment of the release candidate to the local repository of a Hudson executor if the release process fails somewhere in the middle and/or a Hudson build starts at the wrong moment.

  3. Start the release process using the following command:

    mvn release:prepare -Peverything

    When asked for a tag name, use the following format: vX.Y.Z. The everything profile makes sure that the version numbers of all Maven modules are incremented properly. The execution of the release:prepare goal may fail for users in locations that use the EU Subversion server. If this happens, wait for a minute (so that the EU server can catch up with its master) and simply rerun the command. It will continue where the error occurred.

  4. Perform the release using the following command:

    mvn release:perform
  5. Login to Nexus and close the staging repository. For more details about this step, see here.

  6. Deploy the distributions to your public_html area on The release:perform goal should have produced all the necessary files in the target/checkout/target/axis2-&lt;version&gt;-dists folder. Please preserve the directory structure and file names because they exactly match the requirements for deployment to (see below).

  7. Generate and deploy the Maven site to your public_html area on (either by building the site locally and transfer the files to, or by checking out the release tag and building the site directly on

  8. Start the release vote by sending a mail to The mail should mention the following things:

    • The list of issues solved in the release (by linking to the relevant JIRA view).
    • A link to the Nexus staging repository.
    • The URL on where the distributions can be downloaded.
    • A link to the preview of the Maven site.
  9. Reenable the Hudson build(s).

If the vote passes, execute the following steps:

  1. Promote the artifacts in the staging repository. See here for detailed instructions for this step.

  2. Login to and copy the distributions (including the checksums and signatures) to /www/ If you followed the steps described above, then you should already have everything that is needed in your public_html folder and you only need to copy the X.Y.Z folder to the right location. Please execute the copy with umask 0002 and check that the files and directories have the right permissions (write access for the axis group).

  3. Check out the current Axis2 site from and synchronize it with the site for the new release. The site should have been generated during the release build and can be found in the target/checkout/target/site. Alternatively you can check out the release tag and rebuild the site using mvn site, or extract it from the documents distribution. Axiom has a script (see etc/ that can be used to synchronize the site in Subversion. It takes care of executing the relevant svn add and svn remove commands on the local working copy of the site. The live Web site is updated automatically by svnpubsub once the changes have been committed to SVN.

It may take several hours before everything has been synchronized. Before proceeding, check that

  • the Maven artifacts for the release are available from the Maven central repository;
  • the Maven site has been synchronized;
  • the distributions can be downloaded from the mirror sites.

Once everything is in place, send announcements to (with copy to and Since the two lists have different conventions, audiences and moderation policies, it is recommended to send the announcement separately to the two lists. Note that mail to must be sent from an address and will always be moderated. The announcement sent to also should include a general description of Axis2, because not everybody subscribed to that list knows about the project.

Post-release actions

  1. Update the DOAP file (etc/doap_Axis2.rdf) and add a new entry for the release.

  2. Update the status of the release version in JIRA.

  3. Remove archived releases from /www/ on