The ServiceNow release cycle is designed to provide optimal stability and quality, with the flexibility to quickly address problems and deliver new features. Customer customizations are typically preserved throughout all upgrades. ServiceNow uses the concept of a family for a given feature set. For example, Jakarta Patch 1 Hotfix 2 is in the Jakarta family. A family contains:
- A feature release that contains new functionality and fixes to existing functionality.
- Patch releases and hotfixes that provide problem fixes and are released as needed.
Release notes are available in the product documentation for all releases.
This table defines the types of releases that may be available in a family.
*A feature provides a complete solution that customers can implement to add value to their organization. New features are generally only available as part of a feature release.
Release Distribution: Phases
Feature releases move through two phases of distribution for customers and partners:
- Phase 1: Early access by invitation only
- Phase 2: On-demand or auto-upgrade scheduled based on available dates
The following table provides a brief summary:
|Phase||How do I obtain the feature release?||Is the feature release visible when requesting an upgrade on HI?||Is there a maximum number of customers that can upgrade per week?|
|Phase 1||Receive an invitation and entitlement from ServiceNow||Yes, for customers with an invitation and entitlement||Yes|
|Phase 2||Request and receive the version at any time or be auto-upgraded||Yes, for all customers||No|
* The maximum number of customers that can upgrade per week is at the discretion of ServiceNow. The number varies during the life cycle of a particular release version.
Patches and hotfixes
- Access to patches and public hotfixes are available as soon as they are released
- Limited distribution hotfixes are only available through entitlements
For more information about entitlements, see How to upgrade a ServiceNow instance and manage scheduled upgrades.
Examples of the release cycle
Istanbul is a feature release. Thus, the Istanbul family includes:
- Istanbul feature release
- Istanbul patches
- Limited distribution hotfixes
- Public hotfixes
- Istanbul = New features + a collection of fixes
- Istanbul Patch 1 (IP1) = Istanbul + a collection of problem fixes
- Istanbul Patch 1 Hotfix 1 (IP1HF1) = Istanbul + IP1 + a fix for a problem in IP1
- Istanbul Patch 1 Hotfix 2 (IP1HF2) = Istanbul + IP1 + IP1HF1 + a fix for a different IP1 problem
- Istanbul Patch 2 (IP2) = Istanbul + IP1 + a collection of problem fixes*
* May or may not include IP1HF1 and IP1HF2, depending on various factors
The following diagram illustrates the Helsinki release cycle described above:
Release notes for feature releases
For information about features in a release, refer to the release notes in the product documentation.