Deploying And Releasing Software: What's The Difference?

Deployment and release are two software development terms that are used very frequently and some might be confused about the twos. Except they are different!

Software Applications require multiple updates, security fixes, and code changes. Their deployment on different platforms and environments requires proper management. Therefore, it is important to be clear about implementation and sharing.

Deployment is the transfer of software from one controlled environment to another. Releases are a collection of changes that end-users can experience.

Lack of control can result in infrequent releases, a manual deployment process, database update issues, interoperability issues, and so on. The proper and regular releases can improve the performance of your software.

This article aims to clarify the differences between software release and deployment and share techniques to improve the two processes. We also explain what metrics you need to track to scale deployment and releases.

What is deployment in software engineering?

Software delivery is the process of making software available. Regular software deployments play an important role in business growth and security, especially when they are timely and consistent. Updates and patches can help you meet the ever-changing business needs of your organization.

Deployment is the last phase of the software life cycle (SDLC). The process is designed to help the development team produce the highest quality software with the least possible financial and human resources. The deployment includes several interrelated actions at different levels. It is difficult to define specific processes or methods for each function because each software system is different. The deployment must be understood as a general process tailored to the specific needs or characteristics of software development.

The software deployment process includes the steps and processes that deploy and maintain applications. The functions of the software deployment process include software release, installation, testing, deployment and process monitoring. The deployment process includes all necessary technology checks without the risk of production traffic. This is a routine and risk-free process that allows developers to test a new version of their software.

What is software release in engineering?

A software release can be public or private and usually means the release of a new or updated version of an application that closely aligns with the customer experience and business strategy.

The release activity occurs following the development process is complete and is sometimes classified as a phase of the development process rather than the implementation phase. When releasing software, all steps must be taken into account to prepare the system for assembly and transfer it to the computer systems used during production.

As a result, you must also identify the resources the system will need to execute, plan and/or document the next phases of the implementation.

In short, software release comes after the deployment. But because the version control process is complex, it also requires clear guidelines for planning, designing, coordinating, and testing a version before release.

Types of software releases

- Major release. The major release brings significant changes to the current version of the software, including new features that improve the user experience.
- Minor release. A minor release brings small improvements to the functionality of the software. Instead of releasing new key features, modifications or changes are made to existing features.
- Emergency fixes. Emergency fixes are for urgent issues that may affect the user experience and require immediate attention.
- Maintenance releases usually fix and fix maintenance bugs.
- Feature releases happen when a new product feature/functionality is released.

What are the main differences between software release and deployment?

You already know what deployments and software releases are. Deployment and release are two software development terms that are often used interchangeably. But they are different!

Deployment is the transfer of code from one controlled environment to another. This is the final phase of the SDLC and is performed across a variety of domains. Deployment does not always mean that users have access to functionality. Some companies roll out the software at the same time as production starts, others may want to wait if new features need to be added.

Simply put, a software release is a set of changes to be made in a production environment. Software releases are publicly visible and customers can use the features provided, while the implementation is not always visible to the customer. Software companies only show implementation to a small percentage of their customers.

Conclusion: how can the success of software deployments and software releases be improved?

By looking at software deployment and releases, you get an overall picture of the progress of your team's work and thus streamline your implementations and releases. Our solution collects and analyzes data and insights from your technical stacks to help you optimize your deployment and release processes.

In addition to tracking key KPIs, it's equally important to follow best practices that will help you and your team improve both processes:

- Review the current state and requirements for each deployment and/or release
- Track your progress
- Get to know your current processes and look for areas of improvement
- Regularly monitor and test your results
- Make sure you have the right resources
- Keep constant communication with all the relevant individuals and teams.

Contact us to find out how TPP software can help you scale the speed of your software deployment and release processes!