COVID-19 Updates to Canvas Releases and Deploys

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Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

July 2020


The Ready Release Features page has been discontinued. All content has been redirected to the main Canvas Release Notes page. 



June 2020


Ready Releases have fulfilled their purpose and have been discontinued. All opt-in features included in these releases will be enforced for all institutions as part of the 2020-07-18 Canvas release. For a summary of all features, please see July 2020 Canvas Feature Enforcements





Since Saturday, 21 March, Canvas teams have been aligning release and deploy processes on a weekly basis. The full list of Ready Releases to date can be viewed in the Ready Release Features page, with Deploys listed in the Recent Deploys page


Ready Releases

Our teams have several projects still in progress related to our COVID-19 response. These features may continue to be released weekly when available through May 2020. If no features are ready to be released on a given weekend, no Ready Release will take place. Both the Ready Release Features page and the Canvas Release Feature Archive will indicate if no Ready Release is available for a given week.



Canvas engineers have been branching new code weekly for a deploy, but like Ready Releases, a deploy may be postponed. Both the Recent Deploys page and the Canvas Deploy Archive will indicate if no deploy is scheduled for the current week.


Scheduled deploys will continue to take place on Saturdays until otherwise determined by our teams, at which time deploys will return to their regular weekday schedule.


As per our regular deploy processes, some code may be deployed to the production environment at any time as deemed necessary by Canvas support and Canvas engineers.



March 2020


Our commitment to you, our customers, is to provide resources and functionality that best support education and those of you on the front lines. As part of this commitment, we want to release meaningful features faster than our standard process currently allows.


Ready Releases

Beginning Saturday, March 21, Canvas teams will be modifying our deploy and release processes and providing updates on a weekly basis. This change is a temporary process until further notice. These changes will help us make responsive changes as you are making your own adjustments.


Ready Release Features

Ready release features are designed to provide immediate solutions to institutions. These features are being designed to be implemented as opt-in feature options for Canvas admins whenever possible. The Ready Release page has been linked in the regular Canvas release notes page and will provide announcements about available features.


Please note that some Canvas features do not currently support opt-in functionality. Canvas teams will remain strategic for any necessary updates in those features and how they should be released.


Deploy Notes

Deploy notes will be published each week (instead of every other week). Deploys will take place each Saturday; this process will temporarily replace the weekday deploys. Bug fixes are always included in deploy notes. Deploy notes will be posted in the existing Deploy Notes page.


Process Schedule

The Ready Release process will begin the week of March 23, with the initial release on March 28. As Canvas features are managed by multiple teams worldwide, releases may extend over the entire weekend.


The first deploy adjustment will also take place on March 28—the scheduled March 25 deploy will be delayed by three days.


The recurring weekly timeline for releases and deploys is as follows based on US Mountain Time:

  • Mondays: Deploy to beta environment
  • Tuesdays: Deploy notes published
  • Wednesdays: Ready Release features notes posted
  • Saturdays: Deploy to production environment; Ready Release features available in production environment


For specific dates and times, please see Instructure Time Zone Communications. Dates are also posted in the Canvas Release Calendar Overview


Regular Canvas Releases

On the third Saturday of every month, regular releases will continue to take place as well as any Ready Release. Regular releases contain new or updated features to Canvas but are less impactful to the specific needs of institutions currently facing COVID-19. 


As our main goal is to minimize disruption to the larger needs of all institutions everywhere during this unprecedented time, we are also offering temporary opt-in functionality. All features introduced as part of a regular release date will be opt-in by Canvas admins until July 2020. On 18 July 2020, all previously introduced features will become default for all institutions, unless otherwise indicated.



We hope these changes will be beneficial to you! Please let us know if you have any additional questions or feedback.

The content in this blog is over six months old, and the comments are closed. For the most recent product updates and discussions, you're encouraged to explore newer posts from Instructure's Product Managers.