EPiServer Release Cycle Terminology
This post aims to clarify the terminology used for different stages in the release cycle of EPiServer products, the purpose and what can be expected in terms of feature completeness, upgrade paths and support. It also aims to answer the question : “What can I start to develop on?”.
CTP (Community Technology Preview)
A CTP release is the first stage of the release cycle with the main purpose to get early. CTPs releases can either be closed and targeted to a selected focus group or open to the public. CTP releases are not feature complete, has no supported, or even guaranteed possible, upgrade paths to RTM. We strongly advice against using CTP releases as a starting point for projects aiming for production.
A Beta release is the second stage of the release cycle and the main purpose is still to get feedback on functionality but also to receive bug reports. Beta releases can be open or closed. Beta releases may not be feature complete but should have the main features in place. We generally describe breaking changes and upgrade paths to RTM but upgrade paths to RTM are not supported. Using Beta releases in projects aiming for production is not recommended but can at your own responsibility be a starting point for your project as the changes are often minor and in most cases documented to enable a manual upgrade to RTM.
RC (Release Candidate)
A RC release is the third stage of the release cycle and is generally feature complete and the main purpose is to get late feedback and bug reports. RC releases can be open or closed. No breaking changes are expected at this stage and upgrade paths to RTM are described and in most cases automated. RC releases and upgrade paths are however not supported and using RC releases in projects aiming for production is still on your own responsibility but upgrade to RTM should be fairly straightforward even though it might involve manual steps.
RTM (Release to Marketing)
A RTM release is the finalized product with full support.
GA (General Available)
GA is the publically available RTM release.
Note: Any intermediate builds between Beta to RC or RC to RTM, no matter how they are obtained, are not supported and have no supported or documented upgrade paths to RTM.