Sunday, April 3, 2011

Checklist for application release notes

It is a norm to distribute release notes along with a software release. Software release notes are similar to the product literature that you get when you buy a physical product. You may vary the contents depending on whether the software release is a major release or a minor release, an upgrade to the application or just an update, customized for a specific customer or available generally. Find answers to the following questions to test the release notes that you receive before software testing.

Main information
  1. Does it mention the application name and the correct version number?
  2. Does it correctly list the features released and/ or bugs fixed in the software?
  3. Does it mention the correct software vendor name and date of the release?
  4. Does it mention the release numbers it requires as prerequisite or the release numbers it supersedes?
  5. Does it mention each of the available distribution modes (e.g. website download, email and disc)?
  6. Does it mention the correct distributed media (e.g. install package, executable programs or scripts) in which the software release exists?

Release feature information
  1. Does it explain each new feature (summary, benefits and details of how it works)?
  2. Does it explain bug fixed in this release?
Supporting information
  1. Does it list the minimum and recommended hardware, software and network requirements to deploy and use the release?
  2. Does it provide steps to backup the existing configuration and user data in the system?
  3. Does it provide detailed steps to install the release?
  4. Does it provide steps to restore the configuration and user data of the previous release?
  5. Does it provide the contact channels in case the software does not install or installs with problems?
Others
  1. Is the release notes available in a file format that can be viewed by the customer?
  2. Is the file format consistent with prior releases?