Methodology of the Version Number Format
For each software release going forward, Dickson will tag each release with a new version number in what’s known as “semantic version number” format. Now to be clear we have always strictly adhered to a version control system. But because the ID number generated by our version control system is really only meaningful internally, we needed to implement a standardized semantic version numbering system to better enable our customers to track components of each release on their own.
“Semantic versioning” is tech-speak for that familiar v1.0.1 you see attached to some software releases. Each of the 3-digits (separated by a period) reference how this particular release impacts the existing application:
- The “v” prefix, as you might guess, refers to “version”
- The first digit (in this case, the first “1” in “v1.0.0”) corresponds to the major version of the software in question.
- It’s important to note that this digit will rarely change. But when this does increment to the next number, it means that a major new change to the software has occurred that may impact core system functionality our users depend on day-to-day.
- This is particularly important for our customers who operate in heavily compliant and/or validated environments. If you are required to validate your software systems, when this 1st digit changes, you’ll likely have to revalidate.
- The 2nd digit denotes minor changes to the software functionality.
- When this digit increments to the next number, it means that some major new features have been added to the existing code base, but core functionality hasn’t been impacted.
- Note that when minor enhancements to existing features are added, even though they are not a bug, they may be treated as a “patch”, and thus will not cause this number to change.
- What will cause this number to change will be significant brand new features (and thus brand new code) that doesn’t affect or change the underlying core functionality (and the existing code base).
- For our customers who operate in validated environments, when this digit changes they may want to formally validate all new features that have implemented as described in the change log, but will not have to re-validate the entire system (as core functionality has not changed).
- The 3rd digit denotes minor patches.
- This could be a bug fix for a core feature or a minor enhancement to an existing feature.
- For our customers who operate in validated environments, when this digit changes it is not necessary to re-validate the system, in whole or in part.