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What is the Extended Support Release?
The Extended Support Release (ESR) has a slower deployment cycle than the standard release and a longer total window of support. Customers on the Extended Support Release cycle will receive new features later and less frequently and will need to update only four times a year (instead of 12).
A less frequent update cycle
The Extended Support Release is designed for customers who prefer a more gradual pace. Every third release will be an “Extended Support Release”, which will receive support for 12 weeks following its declaration as a stable ESR.
As an illustration, Looker 4.20 will have a four-week standard release “rolling” cycle followed by another four-week staging period. Following the conclusion of the eight-week “pre-stable” Extended Support Release period, Looker 4.20 becomes a stable Extended Support Release and is supported for 12 additional weeks (meaning Looker 4.20 gets a total of 20 weeks of support).
What we mean by “support”
An Extended Support Release gets 12 weeks of engineering attention. When relevant and feasible, resolved issues deemed S1 and S2 per Looker terms will be patched back to the currently supported Extended Support Release. Issues deemed S3 may be patched from time to time at Looker’s discretion.
Customers participating in the Extended Support Release program are expected to pair production instances with staging ones. During the four weeks an Extended Support 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 Extended Support Release right for you?
The Extended Support 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 four-week release cycle. If you think your organization might be a good fit for the Extended Support Release, ask yourself the questions below.
Do I frequently find myself on an unsupported release?
The ESR 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 Extended Support 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 Extended Support 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 Extended Support 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
- 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
- Staying up to date requires attention every four weeks
Extended Support Release
- Requires less frequent update attention
- 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 Extended Support Release is right for you reach out to your Looker contact, your success team, or firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll fix you up.