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CLM 4.0.2 is here!

This release marks the first release in a new quarterly release rhythm for CLM.

Some of you might be thinking “Does this mean I need to upgrade every quarter?!” The answer is “No, we don’t expect you to do that.” We understand that upgrades involve significant planning and testing, and most of you will plan only a couple of upgrades per year. Our goal with quarterly releases is to ensure that, when you do decide to upgrade, the latest features and fixes are available. We also know that we need to earn your confidence to encourage adoption of the quarterly releases, so we’ve managed the content of this first quarterly release very carefully. CLM 4.0.2 is essentially a fix release.

Across the products, we’ve included over 60 APAR fixes and over 550 additional defect fixes in 4.0.2. We’ve back-ported many bugs that we discovered in our internal testing and development of future features, but we’ve also managed those back-ports carefully to make sure we don’t regress. We’ve put a focus on upgrading by adding upgrade tests to our automated deployment pipeline. Our goal is to make quarterly releases as easy to install as fix packs. In fact, the upgrade instructions for the 4.0.2 release are identical to our last fix pack.

When we talk to you about CLM quality, performance is a topic that comes up frequently. Therefore, we put a focus on careful performance fixes in 4.0.2, and delivered several performance fixes across the products. Once you’ve registered at, you can see the details on our Performance 4.0.2 Dashboard tab.  Also, you can see that we’re already working on some more ambitious performance items for our next quarterly release.

In addition to the fixes in this release, we’ve upgraded a few software dependencies. We officially support Firefox 17 now, so we fixed a few surprises that we ran into when testing CLM with that version. We also upgraded the bundled and supported versions of Tomcat and Java 6 to pick up critical fixes. See the system requirements for details.

While we put this fix release together, we also worked on improving our ability to deliver features which are truly “done, done” on a quarterly rhythm. We’ve adopted a checklist that guides the feature team to consider all the aspects of delivering a feature into the CLM release. For each feature, the team is responsible for reviewing the applicability of all the items on the feature checklist, and determining which are required. We build a wide variety of features, and not all of them have to check all the checkboxes. The point is that the team should consider them all and make a conscious decision. We’re finding that the team’s initial assumptions usually overlook one or two important items.  Check out a typical item under development.

As teams assess their features, they create the necessary tasks to ensure the checklist completion, and our normal release planning can track progress towards our Done Criteria. This may look like a lot of additional work, but in fact it’s just an honest assessment of the work we need to do beyond writing the code and testing.  In the past, we always had to address these requirements, but they were less visible, and often subject to pushing into the end-game of a release, causing a tremendous crunch to really get to done.

The performance improvements and our feature checklist are just a couple of improvements we’re making in our ways to deliver better quality features more frequently. We will continue to focus on improving our process to better enable us to support your needs as we continue our quarterly release rhythm for CLM. As I mentioned earlier, 4.0.2 is the start of this rhythm and we hope that you see the improvements in this release as well as our subsequent quarterly releases.

Scott Rich, Distinguished Engineer
IBM Developer Experience and Rational CLM Cloud Lead Architect