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


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

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

  2. 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
  3. Check that the source distribution is buildable.

  4. 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 release note found under src/site/markdown/release-notes. 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.


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. Start the release process using the following command:

    mvn release:prepare

    When asked for a tag name, accept the default value (in the following format: vX.Y.Z). The execution of the release:prepare goal may occasionally fail because resolves to one of the geolocated SVN mirrors and there is a propagation delay between the master and these mirrors. If this happens, wait for a minute (so that the mirrors can catch up with the master) and simply rerun the command. It will continue where the error occurred.

  2. Perform the release using the following command:

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

  4. Execute the target/checkout/etc/ script to upload the distributions.

  5. Create a staging area for the Maven site:

    svn cp \
  6. Change to the target/checkout directory and prepare the site using the following commands:

    mvn site-deploy
    mvn scm-publish:publish-scm -Dscmpublish.skipCheckin=true

    Now go to the target/scmpublish-checkout directory (relative to target/checkout) and check that there are no unexpected changes to the site. Then commit the changes. Note that this may fail because of INFRA-11007. In this case, switch to the Subversion master using the following command before trying to commit again:

    svn switch --relocate
  7. Start the release vote by sending a mail to The mail should mention the following things:

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. Publish the distributions:

    svn mv \
  3. Publish the site:

    svn co --depth=immediates axis2-site
    cd axis2-site
    svn rm core
    svn mv core-staging core
    svn commit

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 old (archived) releases from

  4. Create an empty release note for the next release under src/site/markdown/release-notes.