The release method I am talking about is this:

  1. Release code that works with both old and new clients (forwards and backwards compatible)
  2. Release client that only works with the new code released in step 1
  3. Release code that removes the backwards compatibility that was supported in step 1


  1. Add new stored procedure that has modified signature
  2. Add new code that uses new stored procedure
  3. Remove old stored procedure

On a larger scale this could also refer to deprecating versions of internal APIs.

Is there a general name for this chain of releases? If not can we coin a term for this so I can stop calling it "That 3-step release thing that we need to do"

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, BobDalgleish, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Robert Harvey, Pieter B Oct 31 '17 at 17:24

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    I hereby dub this the transient compatibility pattern. – candied_orange Oct 7 '17 at 0:06
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    I think that "transition" is a relevant word, though less specific than you want. – Kevin Reid Oct 7 '17 at 4:27
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    @CandiedOrange I used "Transient Compatibilty Pattern" in a conversation yesterday and no one batted an eye. It is now a thing. – The Honorable Samuel Clemens Feb 1 '18 at 22:40
  • @TheHonorableSamuelClemens so long as they understood what you meant. Otherwise God help us all. – candied_orange Feb 2 '18 at 1:10

Unless there is a deliberate and announce shift to a new API this is called "good practice", "phased implementation", "transitory introduction" or "backwards compatibility" - if the process also introduces a warning when the transitory items are used, (also a good practice), it is called Deprecation.

It is also worth reading up on Semantic Versioning - unfortunately both the practice you are asking about and Semantic Versioning are more common in the open source world than in many commercial organisations.

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