For annual releases, Totara Learning and their extensive partner network graft extensively to develop new features that meet the needs or enhancement requests of customers and users alike.
But these features are only released once a year, meaning that even if something was developed shortly after the new version release, a user would have to wait a whole year to get that new feature. Evergreen overcomes that issue with more consistent, regular code releases, starting at once a month initially with the scope to move to even weekly code updates in the future.
This means if you’re using Evergreen you will have rolling, on-going access to new features as they are developed – that can only be a good thing, right? Whether you choose to adopt a version of Totara that’s Evergreen or not will ultimately depend on your organisational requirements, as there are pros and cons to being on both (as well as some minor limitations around browser compatibility which we’ll cover later).
There are some clear and definable differences between these two options. So we’ve broken it down into a few key areas for you to be able to clearly see how they differ:
– Monthly minor releases on fixed schedule
– No major vs. minor differentiation
– May include UI and functional changes
– Possible to receive bug fixes without functional changes
– Bug fixes and features are bundled together
There’s some clear and definable differences between the two release options, so which is best for you?
We grabbed some time with our Chief Technology Officer and all-round Totara whizz Mark Lynch to get his thoughts on Evergreen, to help you better understand release type might suit your business.
There’s benefits to both release options here, but the biggest factor to consider is perhaps how much internal resource you have and whether you’d be able to have time to read regular release notes and keep up-to-date with your Totara training. I’ve broken down what I see as some of the major benefits and weaknesses of moving to Evergreen.
The Evergreen upgrade will be an overnight release, similar to how we currently apply point releases/patches to your major version. The only potential issue that would prevent an organisation moving to an Evergreen branch is browser compatibility. The reason for this is that it’s based on Totara’s latest annual release code base – Totara 9 – which has a minimum Internet Explorer version of 9.
Evergreen means that customers no longer have to wait for 12 months for new features to land in their LMS. Evergreen gives us the ability to have a continuous stream of improvements available in our customer LMSs as frequently as monthly. For instance – customers will make enhancement request to the new Seminar feature, using the old model they’d have to wait 12 months to see any of those land on their LMS. With Evergreen that could potentially only take a month.
If you’d like to find out more about Totara Evergreen and how it could potentially work for your organisation, we recommended you get in touch with one of our experts for a quick chat. We’re here to help and will happily answer your questions!
Get started by telling us what you need and one of our team will be in touch very soon.
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