Software release train

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A software release train is a form of software release schedule in which a number of distinct series of versioned software releases for multiple products are released as a number of different "trains" on a regular, pre-planned schedule. Generally, for each product line, a number of different release trains are running at a given time, with each train moving from initial release to eventual maturity and retirement on a pre-planned schedule. Users may experiment with a newer release train before adopting it for production, allowing them to experiment with newer, "raw", releases early, while continuing to follow the previous train's point releases for their production systems prior to moving to the new release train as it becomes mature.

Cisco's IOS software platform used a release train schedule with many distinct trains for many years. More recently, a number of other platforms including Eclipse, LibreOffice and VMWare have adopted the release train model.

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