Looker Extended Support Release (Quarterly Release)

Table of Contents

What is the Quarterly Release?

The Quarterly Release has a slower deployment cycle than the standard release and a longer total window of support. Customers on the Quarterly Release cycle will receive new features later and less frequently and will need to update only four times a year (instead of 11).

A less frequent update cycle

The Quarterly Release is designed for customers who prefer a more gradual pace. Each quarter there will be a "Quarterly Release", which will receive support for a full quarter following its declaration as a stable Release.

As an illustration, Looker 6.6 will have a monthly standard release “rolling” cycle in February followed by another month-long staging period in March. Following the conclusion of the two-month “pre-stable” Quarterly Release Release period, Looker 6.6 becomes a stable Quarterly Release at the beginning of Q2 (April 1) and is supported for the entirety of the quarter.

What we mean by “support”

A Quarterly Release gets 3 Months of engineering attention. When relevant and feasible, resolved issues deemed S1 and S2 per Looker terms will be patched back to the currently supported Quarterly Release. Issues deemed S3 may be patched from time to time at Looker’s discretion.

Staging requirements

Customers participating in the Quarterly Release program are expected to pair production instances with staging ones. During the month a Quarterly Release is considered “pre-stable”, customers are expected to test a release on a staging server with an eye for new features, workflow changes, and issues. Looker support will be available during this staging period to assist with issue remediation, as appropriate.

Is the Quarterly Release right for you?

The Quarterly Release was designed to provide a route for customers with less flexible software update policies or who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to keep up with Looker’s standard monthly release cycle. If you think your organization might be a good fit for the Quarterly Release, ask yourself the questions below.

Ask yourself

Do I frequently find myself on an unsupported release?

The Quarterly Release will provide you a path to remain on a supported release if you frequently find yourself on an unsupported release. If you already stay up to date (or close to it), you might want to continue with your current update cycle to ensure that you’re getting new features in a timely fashion.

Would I rather deal with one large change or more frequent smaller ones?

If you can’t dedicate or don’t have a taste for frequent, small changes or have have long internal software update review processes, the Quarterly Release might be right for you.

Does the current release cycle work for me?

If “yes”, you should probably stick with it. You’re going to get less frequent goodies with the Quarterly Release.

How do I view the tradeoff between stability and non-urgent issues?

Looker anticipates that each release will be stable, but this is the world of software and unexpected things can happen, especially when the platform is used in novel ways (good on you for pushing the boundaries!). The Quarterly Release program will limit the chances of such an occurrence, but likely will not reduce your exposure to non-urgent bugs.

Costs and benefits of each release program

Standard Release

Benefits

  • Receive new features as soon as possible
  • Rapid iteration on new features with an eye on improving workflow and user experience
  • Faster deployment of fixes for non-urgent issues

Costs

  • Staying up to date requires attention every month

Quarterly Release

Benefits

  • Requires less frequent update attention

Costs

  • Delayed reception of new features
  • Less “release agility”
  • Not all issue fixes will be patched back (possibly more exposure to non-urgent bugs)

How to sign up

If it sounds like the Quarterly Release is right for you reach out to your Looker contact, your success team, or help.looker.com and we’ll get to work designating your license as part of this program.