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All about Release Notes

All about Release Notes

Welcome to the Release Notes forum! Whether you're a veteran to the Canvas Community or just joined us for the first time, take a minute to learn about Release Notes and how they can help you have the best experience possible with the Canvas LMS and its products.

What are Release Notes?

Canvas and its related products function in an agile environment, meaning new features and updates are released into various environments as often as every week. The purpose of this space is to keep you all informed with the latest and greatest functionality for all Canvas-related products. Release notes let you know exactly what to expect for a product release.

  • Release notes are a piece of the Canvas release process that indicate upcoming changes to the Canvas production environment. 
  • Release notes do not indicate features that are currently in development or could be in development. Such features may be noted and explored in Ideas‌.

Release Notes Products

We publish release notes for every Instructure product in the Canvas Community: Canvas LMS, Canvas Catalog, Canvas Data, Canvas Studio, and all Canvas mobile apps.

Release Notes Frequency

The minimum frequency that you’ll see release notes are as follows:

  • Canvas LMS: Every third Saturday of the month (view the schedule for Canvas beta, production, and test environments)
  • Catalog: As needed and aligns with the Canvas LMS release notes schedule
  • Commons: As needed and aligns with the Canvas LMS release notes schedule
  • MasteryConnect: Every two weeks
  • Mobile: As needed—release notes are only published for new/updated features (e.g. version 5.0, 5.1); releases that only contain bug fixes (e.g. version 5.1.1) only publish notes in the app’s description
  • Portfolium: As needed
  • Practice: As needed
  • Studio: As needed

Translated Release Notes

Canvas LMS release notes are translated into six languages:

These notes will be available in the community the Monday following the Canvas production release.

How do I know when a release is available?

Releases notes indicate availability in the production environment as indicated in the release notes date. Some products distribute release notes in advance, while other products distribute them the day of the production release.

Mobile releases are the only products indicated by version and are released in a phased rollout. The features indicated in release notes may not immediately be available to users at the time of the release notes availability.

  • Android Canvas app version updates are released to all users over time.
  • iOS Canvas app version updates are released to all users enrolled in automatic updates over time. iOS users can manually update the app at any time in the iTunes Store.

How can I get release notes updates?

The Canvas Community makes it easy to get updates for one, several, or all Canvas products. You can subscribe to specific release notes or an individual post. Learn how to subscribe to Community content.

How do I leave a comment about a release?

Since we're all about customer feedback, we welcome your comments and suggestions on every set of notes we post. Just make sure you are logged in to the community!

Comment Guidelines

Generally comment feedback falls into one of three categories: General feedback, feedback about broken functionality, or feedback for feature enhancements. General feedback is welcome in release notes, while broken functionality and feature enhancements should be directed to their proper channels as noted in Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines

Comment Policies

We keep track of comments according to release, so a release notes post is open for comments until another post is made for the same product, at which time we'll close comments in the prior release notes. Closing comments isn't because we don't love you—Instructure moves pretty fast, so we want to make sure all your comments remain timely and matched with a release to help our product managers keep track of your suggestions for changes to product features. So it's just our way of helping us help you.

As release notes are meant to be as current as possible, comments in the release notes are also treated with the same policy. If your comment requires a resolution, we'll remove your comment from the release notes as soon as the relevant information is also updated in the release notes. This protocol helps us keep the release notes and their comments current for all users. You'll be able to view any changes to the release notes document in the release notes change log.

If your comment cannot be resolved before the next release notes document is published, we'll leave a comment letting you know the current status of your comment and how you can stay informed of updates.

If you have a suggestion to improve this guide, or if you want to recommend corrections, please share your feedback