41

In another question where EU2 was behaving differently to EU5 I commented:

For what its worth, trust is listing EU2 as "Release: Summer '15 Patch 9.6" and EU5 as "Release: Summer '15 Patch 10". NA1 is on 9.6. I can't find anything that would explain the differences between 9.6 and 10.

Which left me wondering, How can we tell what is changing with each patch release?

The triannual Summer, Spring and Winter major releases are well documented.

Where is the documentation for the contents of each intermediate patch release?


@TimChadwick helpfully pointed me to https://success.salesforce.com/issues_releases_view?release=190000000, which shows the list of main pods and their current patch status.

Salesforce Pod Patch Status

What I found more interesting was the release=190000000 in the query string.

From the Scheduled and Fixed known issue pages I found the following samples:

This certainly seems useful, but applying it to the Summer'15 Patch 9.6, which I know existed as I noted it in the question, didn't reveal any known issues.

Also, not everything that is being patched appears as a known issue. Is there any other source of changes in the patches?

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    The first three digits looks like to correspond to the internal Salesforce version Number as v196 for Summer '15 - the next three or four digits seems to be the patch-version. – Uwe Heim Jun 22 '15 at 11:34
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    @DanielBallinger You do realize that they'd be forced to have you sign an NDA if you wanted to know more about the patches, right? Patches, by nature, contain very sensitive information about the internal structure of the code and databases, more than they could tell without risking leaking IP or enabling a determined attacker by giving them more information than what the general public already knows. – sfdcfox Jun 30 '15 at 19:36
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    @sfdcfox other companies must have addressed this without requiring an NDA or compromising IP and security. Maybe it would greatly reduce what we can know about the patches, but we would know that something is changing. For instance, the Microsoft Knowledge Base covers what is occurring via windows update, including security fixes. – Daniel Ballinger Jun 30 '15 at 21:15
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    @Bartley Salesforce is very protective of their systems, just as The Big Three in gaming generally force patches on their customers with no explanation of what the patch does. Salesforce feels it needs to keep internals from being leaked to avoid exploits and attacks. For example, what version of Oracle does Salesforce run? As far as I know, nobody outside of salesforce.com is allowed to know, to protect against exploits. I'm not saying I agree with the practice (I'd love to see more transparency), it's just not that big outside OSS at the moment. – sfdcfox Jul 3 '15 at 13:26
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    Not sure if this can be helpful, but I noticed that that you can get a list view & feed of issues at success.salesforce.com/a1p which could help reverse engineer some of the items being fixed. Also was nice meeting you on Thursday! – dzh Sep 7 '15 at 9:27
13
+100

There is a "current patch" view on the Known Issues site. Arguably this is the most important single piece of information, i.e. the stuff that is about to be fixed.

And you have inferred the correct structure of the query param. You can even see this if you use the following:

https://success.salesforce.com/issues_releases_view?release=198010000

You will see the current release. But the following indicates release in progress (as of the time of this post).

https://success.salesforce.com/issues_releases_view?release=198011000

Clearly the release team is trying to communicate the information you want, it just isn't very clear how to get to that information in some instances, and how it works (what is the numeric code that corresponds to a release, what are the patch numbers, when were they released, why is history incomplete, etc.)

I would suggest that this should be an idea on IdeaExchange, to the effect of, "Greater transparency and clarity in patch releases with regards to affected features, services, instances, and history."

I know that "have you tried IdeaExchange?" can start to be a pat answer from a Salesforce employee (like me), but I truly believe that this is precisely the kind of feedback that the technology teams should be getting from customers and implementers. You can also use it to suggest the level of documentation needed.

In fact, there is already an idea that is asking just that, 2 years old, with a measely 3 votes. If everyone who up voted for this question had voted instead, it would have increased the point count by times.

Some specific comments to clarify how what has been done already could be improved might also be good.

(Strike that...4 votes, as I just voted.)

Please vote for Easy navigation/searching for Scheduled/Fixed issues by release.

Update: Current idea point count as of Dec 2017 is at 390. If you up-voted the question above (or for this answer), then please vote for the idea!

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    Thanks. Make that 5 votes now. I've started a bounty to try and bring more attention to voting for the existing idea. – Daniel Ballinger Nov 9 '15 at 19:07
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    Shared internally – TimChadwick Nov 10 '15 at 15:35
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Currently, there are four popular types of Salesforce maintenance. These are system maintenance and release maintenance. System maintenance is to sustain system security, infrastructure and performance of salesforce supported services. There is not any predefined schedule for the system maintenance. Whenever Salesforce.com Company feels that system maintenance is necessary, the system maintenance is scheduled as per the requirements.

The next popular scheme is “Release Maintenance” that is used to upgrade the Salesforce services and release advanced versions with enhanced features and functionalities. The release maintenance category is further divided into three different kinds – Major releases, patch releases, and the Daily releases. All of them had their own meaning and significance.

Major Releases–This type of releases is usually posted after one year by the Company. They are well documented and it is easy to find out the major features enhancements and how they are beneficial for the users. The release date is also announced in advance with a release note that gives the snapshot of all major changes. The Help module and training materials are also prepared in advance to help the users in the best way.

Patch Releases – The next popular category is patch releases that is used to maintain scheduled releases almost every week even two-three times a week. Patch releases are usually announced at the peak hours of the weekdays and they are given in the format as shown below –

In the same way, winter patch releases are also announced with the version numbers mentioned at the end. The best part is that patch releases make sure that platform is progressing continuously as per latest technology trends while this is hard for the users to identify what is included inside every patch release and how it can be beneficial.

With the easy navigation options and tagging facility, more transparency has been added to the patches, still there is a requirement of proper documentation along with each patch release to make the things simpler for the users.

Daily Releases – The last category is daily releases that are scheduled on the day-to-day basis and gives assurance that issues are fixed on fixed time frames.

However, notifications for the different type of releases are sent in advance to the system administrator to make the quick action as needed for your organization.

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange! Please do not post promotional links except when they're needed to support your answer; see How not to be a spammer. – Glorfindel Feb 2 '18 at 7:08

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