Release Process


Aether makes the following assumptions about the components are included in a release:

Git tags

Code receives Git tags as a part of the CI process

  • Tag content comes from a VERSION file within the repo, and tags are created only the version is a SemVer released version (example: 1.2.3, no -dev or -rc extensions)

  • Tagging is only done by the CI system (Jenkins), which pushes tags to git repos after a submit/merge of code which changes the VERSION file.

  • CI system enforces tag uniqueness - no two commits have the same released version tags.

    • You can’t re-release or “fix” a version that has problem - make a new version with fixes in it.

Docker container images

All docker images are tagged based on their git tags.

  • For released versions, the CI system should prevent a Dockerfile from referencing a parent containers that are a moving target, such as latest or master.

    • This allows a container to be rebuilt given an arbitrary git commit with fair confidence that it will result in the same code in the container.

  • Official images are only pushed to registries by the CI system

    • Increases repeatability of the process, and prevents human accidents.

Helm charts

  • Each chart may only contain references to released, SemVer tagged container images

    • Chart CI process must check that a chart version is unique - a chart can’t be created with the same version twice. This should be done against the chart repo.

Release Steps

All Helm charts are checked that the containers they use have a SemVer version tag

A branch is created on the Helm charts repo, with the abbreviated name of the release - for example aether-1.5.

To allow for future patches to go into the repo in a way that does not conflict with the version branch, each component repo’s VERSION file should have it’s minor version increased. (ex: 1.2.n to 1.3.0-dev, so future 1.3.n+1 component release can easily be created).

The same should be done on Helm charts in the chart repos post release, but the versions there shouldn’t include a -dev suffix because chart publishing requires that every new chart version be unique and unsuffixed SemVer is a more consistent release numbering pattern.

Finally, the aether-helm-charts repo overall VERSION should also be incremented to the next minor version (1.6.0-dev) on the master branch, so all 1.5.x releases of the overall charts repo will happen on the aether-1.5 branch.

Creating releases on the 1.5.x branch

If a fix is needed only to the helm charts:

  1. Make the fix on the master branch of aether-helm-charts (assuming that it is required in both places).

  2. After the master tests pass, manually cherry-pick the fix to the aether-1.5 branch (the Chart version would be different, requiring the manual step).

  3. Cherry-picked patchsets on that branch will be checked by the aether-1.5 branch of tests.

  4. When it passes, submitting the change will make a new 1.5.x release

  5. Update the documentation to reflect the chart changes, a description of the changes m, and increment the tag on the docs from 1.5.n to 1.5.n+1, to reflect the patch change.

  6. If all the charts are updated and working correctly, create a new charts point release by increasing the 1.5.n VERSION file in the aether-helm-charts repo. This should be the same as the version in the documentation. Immediately make another patch that returns the aether-helm-charts VERSION to 1.5.n+1-dev, so that development patches can continue on that branch.

If a fix is needed to the components/containers that are included by the helm charts:

  1. Develop a fix to the issue on the master branch, get it approved after passing master tests.

  2. If it doesn’t exist, create an aether-1.5 branch on the component repo, starting at the commit where the VERSION of the component used in 1.5 was created - this is known as “lazy branching”.

  3. Manually cherry-pick to the aether-1.5 branch of the component, incrementing the patch version, and test with the aether-1.5 version of aether-system-tests and helm charts.

  4. Update helm charts and go through the helm chart update process above