Together with software suppliers, we are working on 'version management of the API link' or 'API release management'. By working in this way, we are responding to a frequently voiced request from the software suppliers. The aim of this is more transparency, predictability, consultation and stability regarding the link between the software packages and Floriday. On Wednesday 7 July, the version management was elaborated on further during a meeting with the software suppliers. All of the software suppliers who were present agreed to start working according to the proposed process. What will this mean in the future for the software suppliers and for the growers and buyers who are linked to Floriday? Read more in this news item.
API Release Management Process
With this approach to release management, the API link receives a stable update twice a year with new and/or improved functionalities. This is known as 'the main release'. Before a main release is released, it is available to the software suppliers for some time as a 'beta release'. In this phase, the last few things relating to functionalities are optimised and the software suppliers carry out tests with a small group of users. The phase before this one 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, modifications continually occur, 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, the 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.
What does this mean for the growers and buyers who work with a link to Floriday?
Growers and buyers who work with a software package that is linked to Floriday will get a new release twice a year. This release will include the functionalities which have been determined through coordination between Floriday and the software suppliers. Software suppliers can ask growers and buyers at an earlier stage if they are willing to take part in tests so that sufficient practical experience can been gained before the release is widely rolled out. When the release is stable (the main release), buyers and growers will have to switch over to the newest release. This ultimately means that growers and buyers will receive software updates twice a year.
What does this mean for the software suppliers?
The structure of the release management process offers the software suppliers the opportunity to work more systematically on the link with Floriday and it offers flexibility regarding the moment when they incorporate the new functionality into their package. They are also involved in choosing which functionalities are added to the link. With the 'main releases' we offer a shared 'resting point' whereby the new or improved functionalities can be effortlessly incorporated into the suppliers' software packages.
First main release: 12 August
On 7 July, all of the software suppliers who were present and who currently have a working link with Floriday agreed to the API Release Management Process which we will optimise by means of interim evaluations. We have incorporated previous feedback on this. The next step will be on 12 August 2021 when the first 'main release' will become available to the software suppliers and their growers or buyers. This main release will contain the API functionalities which are now stable. The next 'main release' is scheduled for May 2022.
Updates on API-Link
In the coming weeks, users of the API link will be informed in several ways about the above process. A web page will be posted on the Floriday website. This will provide more clarity on which functionalities will be included in the next releases. Information on the various functionalities and schedule will also appear in the road map.