How to Release an Apache JDO Distribution

A distribution of JDO is built from a branch of svn. It is copied into a release directory, from which it is staged and tested prior to release. Once released, it is propagated to mirror servers around the world.

The process is performed by a release manager with cooperation from testers in the community.

Overview of the process

The community first decides on the name of the release. The format of the name is spec-number.major.minor. A trailing minor number with a zero value is right trimmed, so there might be a 2.0.1 but not a 2.0.0.

Interim releases prior to final release are identified by a suffix on the release number. Common suffixes include: -alpha, -beta, -beta2, -rc1, -rc2. Generally, the suffixes are part of the release plan, and the contents of each suffix release are agreed by the community. There might be significant changes in functionality between the suffix releases. Each suffix release goes through the process documented here.

The release manager makes a branch from the trunk (for a major release) or from another branch (for a minor release) to create a branch with the source of the distribution.

The release manager follows the Apache process detailed below to build and deploy a release.

The release manager calls for the community to test the release.

The community tests the release. If necessary, cycle until all issues are resolved.

The release manager closes the staged repository

The release manager calls for a vote to release by sending a message to the community and forwarding the message to the pmc.

The community votes on the release. If necessary, cycle until issues are resolved.

The release manager notifies the pmc of the successful vote outcome. Note that a successful vote includes three +1 votes from PMC members.

The release manager notifies the worldwide community of the availability of the release.

The release manager updates the JDO web sites (,

If bugs are found or test challenges are sustained after the release is approved and distributed, the release manager creates a new branch to address the bugs found.

Detailed process steps

  1. You might want to run Apache Rat to check the sources for any lisence issues.
    mvn apache-rat:check
  2. Create a branch from the trunk and increment the spec or major number. For example, create a 3.1 branch from the trunk.
    cd jdo
    svn copy \
  3. In trunk, update version numbers in the following files in preparation for the next release:
    File names and version references in the Overview section
    Update version number and date
    Use the maven version plug-in to update version numbers in the pom.xml files at the root and subproject levels.
  4. If needed, update the dependency to the RI, DataNucleus, in the tck pom.xml.
  5. If needed, apply patches from the trunk or branches to the new branch.
  6. Update version numbers where necessary in projects to be released, if these changes haven't been made previously. Check the following files:
    File names and version references in the Overview section (for a major release only.)
    Update version number
  7. Check the scm settings in the pom.xml files in the new branch and make sure they refer the new branch (instead of the trunk).
  8. Follow the instructions at Publishing Maven Artifacts to set up your development environment.
  9. Copy the JNDI implementation jars (providerutil.jar and fscontext.jar) to the branch lib/ext directory. This is needed to test the tck before distributing it.
    Do not check these in to SVN
  10. Build the distribution with the following command:
    	 mvn clean install -Papache-release
    This creates the .jar and .pom files in the target directory of each subproject. Be prepared to enter your key passcode when prompted. This happens multiple times.
  11. Run Apache Rat on the release.
  12. Do a dry run prepare and deployment of a snapshot release. You might want to do this in a fresh workspace, since you cannot have local modifications when preparing a release. The files in lib/ext and lib/jdori count as local modifications. Be prepared to enter your key passcode when prompted. This happens multiple times.
     mvn release:prepare -Papache-release -DautoVersionSubmodules=true -DdryRun=true -Dresume=false
     mvn deploy -Papache-release 
    Check the artifacts at the Maven release repository
  13. Prepare and release the artifacts. There are interoperability issues with the maven release plugin and cygwin, so if on Windows, use a Windows command window for this step and the following one.
    mvn release:clean -Papache-release
    mvn release:prepare -Papache-release
    Note: If you're located in Europe then release:prepare may fail with 'Unable to tag SCM' and ' svn: No such revision X '. Wait 10 seconds and run mvn release:prepare again.
  14. Stage the release for a vote.
    mvn release:perform -Papache-release
  15. Go to the Nexus repository, login with your apache account, click on Staging Repositories in the menu on the left and close the staged repository. Press the refresh button to see the new status 'closed'. See 11.4.1. Closing an Open Repository for details.
  16. Send an announcement to test the release to the alias. If problems are found, fix and repeat.
  17. Send an announcement to vote on the release to the alias. The message subject line contains [VOTE]. Forward the [VOTE] message to Iterate until you get a successful vote. Mail the results of the vote to, cc:, and include [VOTE] [RESULTS] in the subject line.
  18. After testing and voting is complete, follow the instructions at 11.4.3. Releasing a Staging Repository to release the artifacts.
  19. Update the distribution repository at by adding the new release directory to the svnpubsub directory. Check out the repository at and add the new release with all artifacts under the new directory. Make sure that the key used to sign the artifacts is included in the KEYS file. Committing the new directory will trigger an update to the mirrors.
  20. If the release is a bug fix release to a maintenance release, update README.txt in the parent branch, adding the following line: "This release has been deprecated. Please use version 2.x.y.", with a link to the svn web interface for that version.
  21. After updating the site (below), announce the release to the Apache community via email to This must be sent from an email address. *** Be aware that by sending to this address you will be bombarded with piles of emails from people with "I'm out of the Office" as if you really cared ***

Site updates

  1. Update the Apache JDO web site to point the downloads page to the release.
    1. In site/src/site/xdoc/releases create release-N.n.xml. Edit the release numbers and the link to the release notes. You will need to change the '&'s in the URL to "&"
    2. In site/src/site/resources/releases create release-N.n.cgi. The .cgi file contents are identical to the other .cgi files in the release directory; only the file name differs.
    3. Edit site/src/site/xdoc/downloads.xml to link to the new release page .cgi document.
    4. Build and test as described in the site/HOWTO document. Note that the cgi page will not be active until it is on the server, so can't really be tested.
    5. Add the new files to the subversion repository.
      svn add site/src/site/xdoc/releases/release-N.n.xml 
      svn add site/docs/releases/release-N.n.html 
      svn add site/src/site/resources/releases/release-N.n.cgi 
      svn add site/docs/releases/release-N.n.cgi 
    6. Set the svn properties svn:eol-style to native and svn:executable to true for the .cgi files.
  2. Change the link to RunRules on the TCK page to link to the RunRules.html file of the latest release.
  3. Update the news list on the site home page to announce the new release.
  4. Update the specification page to link to the new specification pdf document. If the release has been approved by the JCP, link to the documentation page of the JCP web site. If the release has not been approved by the JCP, link to the .pdf in the JDO source repository.
  5. Add the javadoc for the release to the site.
    1. Make a new directory under site/docs for the release, e.g. api2.1. We'll call it docsdir.
    2. Download the javadoc artifact from the repository and copy it to docsdir.
    3. Unzip it in docsdir.
    4. Do svn add on docsdir.
    5. Edit xdocs/javadoc.xml and add links to the new javadoc.
  6. Build and test. Follow the instructions in site/HOWTO to push the site changes to the Apache web site.

Post release modifications and documentation

Follow this procedure if a significant bug is found or if the TCK must be modified because a test challenge is found to be valid.
  1. Create a new branch from the release branch, incrementing the minor number. For example, create a branch named 2.1.1, from the 2.1 branch.
  2. Merge bug fixes or other modifications into the new branch.
  3. In the new branch, modify trunk/README.txt to include a section on bug fixes since the 2.1 release, and to suggest checking out the source from a bug-fix branch to get the fixes listed.
  4. Link to this README in the web interface to svn from the .cgi download page and from