Maintenance Release Changes in EAP 6.2+

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With Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6.2, maintenance releases for the product will transition to a new model that is designed to better meet customer expectations.

For the EAP 6.0 and 6.1 releases, maintenance was provided through several release vehicles.

  • Asynchronous security patches and asynchronous bug-fix patches, or individual patches, are provided as needed according to the terms in the Red Hat JBoss Middleware Product Update and Support Policy.
  • Additional fixes of lower severity or criticality are provided in Micro releases (6.0.1, 6.1.1) that consist of an entire product release.
  • Fixes are included in Minor releases (6.1, 6.2), that also provide new product features.

Why are we changing the model?

Feedback from customers shows that Micro releases and numerous individual patches are not the most effective vehicles to meet customer maintenance expectations. Because Micro releases are a full release, it is often a challenge for users to upgrade because of policy restrictions or concerns about the overhead required to complete the work.

Individual patches provided for earlier 6.x releases have also proven to be a maintenance burden for users, as they occasionally need to manage a large number of patches.

In order to better meet customer expectations, Micro releases for EAP 6 will be discontinued upon the 6.2 release and replaced with patch updates delivered on a repeating schedule, targeting a new release every 6 weeks.

How will Red Hat deliver patches for JBoss EAP 6.2 and beyond?

The patch updates will be delivered for both ZIP and RPM based installations of EAP.

  • For installations originating from a ZIP file, a Cumulative Patch managed by a new EAP feature for applying patches, removing patches, and viewing patch state will be delivered.
  • For installations originating from RPMs, updated RPMs containing the identical fixes included in the Cumulative Patch will be delivered through Red Hat Network on the same repeating schedule.

Each new patch update will contain a number of bug-fixes for customer reported issues and potentially a number of security fixes. We expect that the patch updates will substantially reduce the number of individual patches that we produce and that customers must manage to keep their installations up to date.

However, we do not expect to eliminate individual patches as a release vehicle as they will still be used to provide time or severity critical fixes. Such fixes will be made available via support cases in accordance with the individual patch policy as they are not for general consumption. Patch updates will include any individual patches released in between patch updates.

Going Forward

The new patch release schedule now looks like this:

With this change we intend to enable administrators to update their EAP installations more frequently, with less effort, and lower costs.

  • Fewer individual patches will lower the management burden for administrators.
  • Cumulative patches with multiple fixes are tested together, to improve quality and reduce risk.
  • RPM users will have access to fixes on a more frequent basis than before.
  • And finally, a new product feature for managing patches will reduce risk and effort for administrators who apply them.

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