After deployment and testing, copies of a particular product configuration can be captured as a baseline and released to customers using the Dimensions CM release management functions.
A release is a snapshot of the design structure or a baseline that you can use, for example, to package and ship to a customer, or use in integration testing.
A customer is the recipient of one or more releases. You show this in Dimensions CM by relating a release to a customer or a customer to a release.
When you create a release, Dimensions CM creates a directory outside the Dimensions CM database that includes copies of all the files from a product configuration, or those files that satisfy the criteria in the release template. To ensure that items within a release are compatible, they must first be included in a release baseline. For details about baselines, see Baseline management.
Dimensions CM has the following types of releases:
|Release||A complete copy of a baseline. Dimensions CM copies all of the items in the baseline to the release directory, creating relative directories as necessary.|
|Delta||Includes only the items that have changed since you created a previous release. Dimensions checks each item specification against the contents of the previous release. If there is an exact match, including the revision number, Dimensions CM skips the item.|
Dimensions CM maintains a history of the items included in a release. It does not record the location of the release directory. After Dimensions CM creates the copy of the configuration, it exercises no further control over the release directory or its contents.
A release can have the following relationships with other Dimensions CM objects.
|Items||The release is related to the items that it includes. The items can be a subset of the items contained in the baseline.|
|Baselines||The release has a relationship to the baseline from which it was created.|
|Customers||The release can have a relationship to one or more customers. In Dimensions CM, relating customers to releases is called forwarding, and unrelating is called withdrawing.|
Use release templates
When creating a release, you can select a release template.
A release template is a set of user-defined rules that specify:
Which parts of the product structure to include.
Which item types to include.
Where to place the selected items in the release directory.
A release that uses a template may look completely different from the same release that does not use a template. The template can restrict which items to copy based on which design parts own the items, and also based on item type. The template may override a project/stream directory structure.
You can use different release templates on the same baseline to create different releases, such as test configurations of subsystems.
You can reuse a release template:
On the same baseline to produce multiple versions of the release.
On a different baselines to create unique releases.
On different products.
If you use a template to create a release, you cannot change or remove the template until you remove all releases using the template.
You create release templates in the Administration Console. For details, see the Administration Console online help.
Forward or withdraw a release
Forwarding a release establishes a relationship between a release and a customer. You can use this relationship to keep track of which releases were sent to which customers.
You can forward a release to multiple customers or forward multiple releases to a customer.
Withdrawing a release from a customer removes the relationship between a release and a customer. Withdraw a release when a customer no longer wants to use a release.
The process of forwarding or withdrawing a release is similar to relating or unrelating objects. For details, see the following topics: