The ArchivesSpace development process is informed by the concepts of Agile software development. The ArchivesSpace codebase is continuously updated with new features and fixes for bugs reported by the user community. New releases appear often (typically three times a year), though it is not expected that system administrators will update their installation each time a release appears.
The process is intended to be driven by use cases, feature requests, and bug reports contributed by ArchivesSpace users and processed into ticketed items in JIRA, our issue tracking system. Development is organized in sprints, with a set of issues distributed to participating developers at the beginning that are then reported out at the end. Issues may be delivered at any time during the sprint cycle. Some issues are completed in a single sprint, some over multiple sprints. As they are delivered, issues are tested by acceptance testers, who comment on them in JIRA. As the time of a release nears, additional testing takes place to ensure that there have not been any regressions. In preparation for a release, the ArchivesSpace team usually puts out at least one release candidate and publicizes an opportunity to test it before the production release comes out. All releases are distributed via GitHub, with detailed release notes that highlight what is included as well as contributions from individual developers and other community members.