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This document summarises the release procedures for FOLIO projects.


There are separate notes about the FOLIO version-numbering scheme and the Build, test, and deployment infrastructure.

Maven-based modules

The procedure is outlined here for “Okapi” and is similar for other back-end Maven-based modules.

Quick summary major/feature release

(However follow this complete document for its important information.)

In this example we are releasing X.Y.0 of a module.

 git checkout -b tmp-release-X.Y.0
 git commit -m "Update NEWS"
 mvn -DautoVersionSubmodules=true release:clean release:prepare # Supply next feature (X.Y+1.0-SNAPSHOT)
 git push && git push --tags
 mvn release:clean

Log in to Jenkins and run your jobs at Jenkins.

GitHub: Merge temporary release branch tmp-release-X.Y.0 to master.

Jira: Mark as released. Add next versions.

Slack: Announce on #releases

Create a long-lived branch for that major/feature version:

 git checkout -b bX.Y vX.Y.0
 mvn versions:set -DnewVersion=X.Y.1-SNAPSHOT
 git commit -a -m "release branch"
 git push

Quick summary bug fix release

Make a bug fix on the release for the X.Y-series:

 git checkout bX.Y
 git commit -m "Update NEWS"
 mvn --batch-mode -DautoVersionSubmodules=true release:clean release:prepare
 git push && git push --tags

Log in to Jenkins and run your jobs at Jenkins.

Jira: Mark as released. Add next versions.

Slack: Announce on #releases

Bug fix releases

Generally we want bug fix releases to occur in separate branches with only bug fixes (not to be confused with temporary release branches). For this purpose, we must create a long-lived release branch. We use the naming scheme b followed by the major and minor versions, for example b2.17 which will include all bug fixes for version 2.17 (so for v2.17.1 and v2.17.2).

The bug fix release can be created as follows. Thus, it happens ONCE after a feature/major release has been performed.

Major / minor releases

Note that master represents both new features and bug fixes. If there are important new features to be added while holding back incompatible releases, then a feature branch b2 could be created, but it is probably not worth the effort except in very special cases.

Once: Ensure POM declarations

(You only need to do this once for a project. On subsequent releases you can skip this point.)

For Maven-based projects, the Maven Release Plugin is required. To enable the release plugin, add the following to the parent POM of the project:

    <preparationGoals>clean verify</preparationGoals>

FOLIO projects which need to deploy artifacts to the FOLIO Maven repository during the Maven ‘deploy’ phase will have the following specified in the project’s top-level POM:

      <name>FOLIO Release Repository</name>
      <name>FOLIO Snapshot Repository</name>


Commit all changes to the POM file.

Ensure that Jira issues are ready

For the issues that are associated with this release, ensure that they reflect reality, have the relevant Fix Version parameter, and are closed.

In Jira you’ll generally have at most 3 unreleased versions: Next major, next minor and next bug fix release. Unreleased versions should be removed. It is natural that there will be some versions that are not released anyway.

Make a temporary release branch

If you do not have commit access to the master branch (and even if you do), you can make the release on a branch.

git checkout -b "tmp-release-X.Y.Z"

Prepare the news document

Edit to add concise descriptions and issue numbers for each major item. Take extra care with spelling and readability.

git commit -m "Update NEWS"

Only the release manager should ever need to write to the NEWS file. Using Jira versions and Git log, they can decide what happened in this branch.

(If everybody writes to NEWS along the way, there will be a conflict for ALL merges.)

Optional: Update any scripts and descriptors for release version

Update version numbers in places that maven will not do automatically, to be the version you are about to release. That could be ModuleDescriptors, LaunchDescriptors, or scripts you use for testing and development.

Often it is not necessary to have any such. You should be using the autogenerated descriptors from templates. Note that scripts can enable the module without mentioning any version numbers.

Commit any such changes:

git commit -a -m "Towards version X.Y.Z"

Prepare and perform the source release

mvn -DautoVersionSubmodules=true release:clean release:prepare

(If not yet comfortable, then add the parameter -DdryRun=true)

This command will prompt you for input including the release tag/version, the next post-release SNAPSHOT version, as well as ask you to resolve any SNAPSHOT dependencies if you have any. Do NOT create releases with SNAPSHOT dependencies! Selecting the defaults are mostly fine. Your release tag must be prefixed with ‘v’ (the default) and you can always change the next SNAPSHOT version later if necessary.

For the question about the next post-release “new development version”, rather than accepting the default which suggests increment of “patch” version, instead specify the next “minor” version. For example 2.18.0-SNAPSHOT rather than 2.17.1-SNAPSHOT

Assuming there are no build errors, then you are ready to push your changes to GitHub and delete the and pom.xml.releaseBackup files.

git push && git push --tags
mvn release:clean

Optional: Update any scripts and descriptors for next development release

Update version numbers in the same places you did earlier, but now for the next development version:

git commit -a -m "Towards version X.Y.0-SNAPSHOT"
git push

(If the push fails, you should have been on a release branch. It is not too late to switch now! git checkout -b "release-X.Y.Z")

Build and release artifacts

An ‘artifact’ in this context could either be a Maven artifact released to the FOLIO Maven repository, a docker image released to Docker Hub, a Linux distribution package or some combination of artifacts depending on the project.

After preparing the release as explained above, the next step is done via the FOLIO Jenkins system. Jenkins credentials utilize the GitHub authentication for FOLIO developers, so ensure that you are logged in to GitHub to then enable login to Jenkins.

Select the GitHub folio-org folder, then follow to the relevant job (e.g. mod-circulation) and select the “Tags” tab. Select the new release version tag, then the “Build Now” link in the left-hand panel to trigger it.

Merge the temporary release branch into master

Go to GitHub and make a pull request for the release branch you just pushed. Wait for all the tests to pass and merge the pull request.

Add release notes to GitHub

Go to the “Releases” area (e.g. Okapi). Select Draft a new release then choose the tag of the new release and add the NEWS portion – only the part of NEWS since the previous release.

Prepare Jira for next release

Use the Jira “Admin” interface of your project to “Manage Versions”. Mark the current version as released, and add the next version(s).

Update platforms if bugfix

If this was a bugfix release, and the platforms need to be updated while waiting for a related UI release, then refer to the Add to platforms section below.


Send a note to #releases channel on Slack.

Stripes-based modules

All Stripes modules (i.e. stripes-* and ui-*) follow the Stripes release procedure.

Add to platforms


Currently there are two repositories maintained by the FOLIO project that bundle together UI and backend modules into a compatible set of FOLIO modules.

Each of these repositories contain configurations and tools to build a Stripes bundle as well as files that list a set of compatible backend modules.

Descriptions of key files

  • package.json - This NPM file specifies a list of FOLIO stripes and UI modules and additional NPM dependencies needed to build a Stripes webpack.
  • stripes.config.js - Stripes-specific configuration file. If your UI module is a FOLIO app and contains a module descriptor, it should be added to this file.
  • install.json - This file contains a json-formatted list of all FOLIO modules that comprise the platform. It is automatically generated by CI and should not be edited directly. This is the complete list of modules that can enabled for a tenant using Okapi’s ‘/_/proxy/tenants/TENANT/install’ endpoint.
  • okapi-install.json - This file is also automatically generated by CI and should not be edited directly. It describes a subset of modules in the platform that Okapi should deploy when utilizing Okapi in deployment mode.
  • stripes-install.json - This file is automatically generated by CI and should not be edited directly. It describes a subset of modules in the platform that can be enabled for a tenant but are not deployed by Okapi (when utilizing Okapi’s deployment functionality).
  • install-extras.json - This file contains a list of backend modules that are not dependencies of any UI modules but should be included in the platform. This list can be edited.

The most typical operations in these repositories involve changes to ‘package.json’, ‘stripes.config.js’, and ‘install-extras.json’ files. (Note: The ‘install.json’, ‘okapi-install.json’, and ‘stripes-install.json’ files are generated by FOLIO CI. They should almost never be edited by a user directly.)

Descriptions of key branches

Each platform repository has three kinds of protected, long-term branches:

  • ‘master’ branch - This branch represents the most up-to-date set of compatible, released FOLIO modules.
  • ‘snapshot’ branch - This branch represents the most up-to-date set of compatible, unreleased (“snapshots”) FOLIO modules.
  • release branch (e.g. ‘r1-2023’) - These branches represent a set of compatible, released FOLIO modules that have passed user-acceptance testing. This is typically the most stable branch of the FOLIO platform.

Each of these branches is managed in similar, although not entirely identical ways. The master and release branches contain sets of FOLIO modules that are pinned to specific released versions. The snapshot branch, on the other hand, is generally configured to get the latest versions of unreleased, compatible modules.

Continuous integration

This is the CI process for a pull-request to master branch or a release branch of a platform. Consider platform-complete for example. The CI stages are defined in its Jenkinsfile.

As noted previously, FOLIO modules are pinned to released versions. A dependency bot called Renovate is configured to discover new, individual FOLIO frontend and backend module releases that are compatible with each branch of the platform. Specifically, the bot examines ‘package.json’ and ‘install-extras.json’ and compares the versions of modules listed in these files with the latest releases in the FOLIO NPM and Docker repositories. For the release branches, Renovate is configured to scan for newer patch releases. For the master branch, Renovates compares minor and patch releases. In both cases, Renovate will automatically create pull-requests to those platform branches for each compatible release that it detects. PRs issued by Renovate are not automatically merged. They still require developers or devops to approve and merge.

The ‘yarn build-module-descriptors’ stripes-cli command processes those declared modules and generates a temporary directory of ModuleDescriptors. Then a CI script processes those MDs to generate the “stripes-install.json” file.

Then additional modules that are declared in install-extras.json (see explanation below) are appended to that generated stripes-install.json file.

Then the final stripes-install.json is posted to Okapi /_/proxy/tenants/diku/install?simulate=true&preRelease=false to resolve all of the related dependencies, and the output is captured into the install.json file.

Then that “install.json” file is processed to extract the “mod-“ ones into the okapi-install.json file.

After a successful build, the generated artifacts (yarn.lock, install.json, okapi-install.json, stripes-install.json) are committed with message “[CI SKIP] Updating install files on branch”. Do not manually edit those files – they are autogenerated by Jenkins.

The link to the built platform “instance” and the link to the “UI Tests” are appended to the PR GitHub page. Note that these will expire after some short time.

Manage master and release branches

This section explains how and when to manage modules in the platforms (e.g. platform-complete) after a new version of a module has been released. There are cases when Renovate will not update modules automatically, so changes to the platform will need to be done manually. These cases include the following:

  • A new UI module needs to be included in the platform. Before adding a new module to the platform, ensure that the module has already been added and tested on the snapshot branch and included in the snapshot reference environments. Add the new UI module and specify the version in ‘package.json’. Add the module to ‘stripes.config.js’ (if appropriate).

  • A new backend module needs to be included in the platform, and it is NOT a dependency of any of the UI modules that are listed in the platform’s package.json file. In these cases, the module should be added to the ‘install-extras.json’ file. As with new UI modules, ensure that the module has already been added and tested on the snapshot branch and included in the snapshot reference environments.

  • A new major release needs to be added to the master branch of the platform to either ‘package.json’ or ‘install-extras.json’ files.

  • A new major or minor release needs to be added to a release branch of the platform to either ‘package.json’ or ‘install-extras.json’ files.

Before opening any new pull requests in either platform repository, create your own local branch of the master or release branch, and push the branch to the appropriate platform repository. Pushing the local branch to GitHub is mandatory before issuing a new PR – so ensure that you have commit privileges.

As explained above, during the CI process Okapi resolves other module dependencies based on those declared UI modules, and on modules that are listed in the ‘install-extras.json’ file. So not every backend module will be listed in the ‘install-extras.json’ file. There is an exception to this rule. Once an intial release branch is finalized, all backend modules are pinned in the ‘install-extras.json’ file. This ensures that only new patch-level backend module releases are updated on release branches.

Once the changes in your branch are being properly processed by CI, then submit the PR and ensure its proper processing. Seek a PR review before merging to your target branch.

Some example PRs:

  • add mod-user-import – edits install-extras.json to add a back-end module that does not get included as a UI dependency.

Regular releases

In addition to the normal release steps explained above, there are some additional steps at the time of Regular FOLIO releases.

Be aware of the upcoming release dates and cut-off times.

Follow the module co-ordination spreadsheets, and keep the information entries for your modules up-to-date.

Ensure the accuracy of any “community release notes” for your modules.