Code Release Protocols

TownNews is constantly working to investigate and develop new product features, as well as improve on existing features. The majority of our development resources are dedicated to product feature work, but we know how important bug fixes can be to our customers and focus on moving high priority bugs through the development cycle to ensure the publishing workflow is efficient.

Low priority bugs are defined as bugs that have a valid workaround or do not affect standard publishing workflows. These bugs along with feature requests are added to our product backlog and evaluated each quarter.

  • New features
  • Improving existing features
  • Core plugin upgrades
  • Bug fixes

Testing Protocol

The CMS is tested to assure continued performance, access and workflow with each release. TownNews utilizes five stages of testing: code review, product review, functional testing, regression testing, and operational testing. Each new feature, upgrade or bug fix goes through this rigorous testing process.

What We Test:

  • Base WordPress code
  • TownNews for WordPress code
  • Core Theme & Templates
  • TownNews Developed Plugins
  • Core Third Party Plugins
  • Site Theme

Upgrade Protocol

Upgrades to Core Plugins are managed by TownNews.

  • Core TownNews Developed Plugins
  • Core Third Party Plugins

If the upgrade includes major changes to the customer workflow, TownNews will provide advance notice of the upgrade. Otherwise, TownNews will provide a quarterly notification indicating all upgrades processed in that quarter.

Core Third Party Plugins may not be upgraded each time the third party offers an upgrade. TownNews reviews the third party release notes to determine if the upgrade is necessary. TownNews will always update third party plugins if a security vulnerability is identified.

Upgrades to Custom Plugins must be requested by the Customer

  • Custom Third Party Plugins
  • Custom Plugins

TownNews does not monitor custom third party plugins for upgrades. The customer whom requested the plugin should monitor plugins upgrades and notify TownNews if an upgrade is desired. Upgrades to custom plugins are billable.

Release Protocol

TownNews uses Kanban software development methodology. This allows us to maximize work in progress with available development resources. This method has a rolling release schedule, meaning once the development and product work is completed and it’s been fully tested, that work is released.

Although this model does not have a scheduled release cycle, we expect to release at least once per week.

TownNews will provide advanced notice of a release if the release requires downtime or if there are major changes to publishing workflow. Otherwise, release notes are provided on a quarterly basis. If there are major workflow changes, trainings may be scheduled before a release or immediately following a release. The Knowledge base documentation will be updated to reflect any changes to processes.

Incident Management Protocol

On occasion, we may have missed a negative interaction a release has on a TownNews for WordPress feature. These are considered bug fixes and are non-billable. High priority bugs are bugs that directly affect the publishing workflow and are moved through the system as such. Other bugs are evaluated for priority. They may be moved through the system, or backlogged for future product improvement.

Alternatively, a release may interact with a custom plugin or integration in a undesirable way. TownNews does not test against custom plugins or integrations. The customer must report the bug. The bug will be evaluated for priority.