With the approach behind the API Release Management Process, the API link receives a stable update twice a year with new and/or improved functionalities. This is known as 'the main release'. Before this main release is approved, it is available to the software suppliers for some time as a ‘beta release’. In this phase, the last few aspects relating to functionalities are optimized and software suppliers run tests with a small group of users. The phase preceding it is known as the ‘alpha release’, where functionalities are designed and developed from scratch, also with a small group of users. During this (extremely) variable first phase, continual modifications are made, which serve as learning experiences and which are incorporated (where applicable) into the beta phase and ultimately the main phase.
For each new functionality that is to be developed, software suppliers are able to specify whether they wish to start in the alpha phase or later in the beta phase. A voting system enables software suppliers to indicate their preferences with regard to the functionalities that will be included in the alpha phase and the beta or main phase.
Before a stable version can be rolled out for growers and buyers who work with the API link, this version is tested extensively with 3 phases:
Alpha: The first phase of the version management process is the Alpha version. In this phase, we design and develop functionalities with a small group of users. During this (extremely) variable first phase, continual modifications are made, which serve as learning experiences and which are incorporated into the beta phase and ultimately the main phase.
Beta: In the Beta version, the functions are optimized further so it can be made ready for the Main release. In this phase, software developers run more tests with a small group of users.
Main: Twice a year, we create a stable Main version with new and/or improved functionalities. The software supplier involved rolls out this version to all users of the API link.