Release notes describe what features, improvements, and bug fixes are included in a software release. They are typically written by development teams and shared with customers and users to keep them informed about the changes and improvements made to the software. They provide information about what has been changed or updated in a software release. This information is helpful for users to understand the impact of the release on their workflow and for IT teams to plan for and manage the update. The information about new features or improvements, bug fixes, and known issues can help users to make informed decisions about whether or not to update their software.

How do release notes benefit customers?

Release notes provide clear and concise information about what has changed in the software, which can help them understand how to use the new features or improvements and troubleshoot any issues they may encounter. Product managers can follow some release notes best practices to formulate the release notes. They can also help customers plan their software upgrades and deployments based on the update change so that users know about the added or removed features. Here are some of the end-user benefits of timely released notes:

  1. Improved functionality: Release notes provide end-users with information about new features and improvements that have been made to the software or app, allowing them to take advantage of the latest functionality.
  2. Bug fixes: Release notes also inform end-users about any bugs that have been fixed, ensuring that the software or app is more stable and reliable.
  3. Better performance: End-users can benefit from release notes by learning about performance enhancements that have been made, resulting in a smoother and more efficient user experience.
  4. Increased security: Release notes often include information about security updates and patches that have been applied, providing end-users with peace of mind that their data is protected.
  5. Improved usability: Cloud release notes can also provide end-users with information about changes to the user interface whenever they need it, making the software or app more user-friendly.
  6. Better communication: Release notes enable end-users to stay informed about the development and evolution of the software or app and also allow them to provide feedback and suggest future improvements.

The need to automate release notes

Manually creating software release notes can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. Automating the release notes generation process can help development teams save time and reduce errors, which allows them to focus on developing new features and improving the software. Additionally, cloud release notes can ensure that the notes are consistent, accurate, and up-to-date, improving customer satisfaction and trust. 

Some of the end-user benefits are:

  1. Faster and more efficient release cycles: Automated release notes allow end-users to quickly and easily stay up-to-date with new software releases.
  2. Improved communication and transparency: Automated release notes provide clear and detailed information about the changes and improvements in each release, helping end-users understand how the software is evolving.
  3. Reduced errors and inconsistencies: Automated release notes eliminate the need for manual updates, reducing the chances of errors or inconsistencies in the information provided.
  4. Increased productivity: Automated release notes allow end-users to quickly understand and utilize the new features and improvements in the software, increasing their productivity.
  5. Better tracking and history: Automated release notes provide a complete record of all changes and updates to the software, allowing end-users to track and reference previous releases easily.
  6. Better user feedback: Automated release notes allow end-users to quickly provide feedback on new releases, which can help the development team to improve the software.

How to automate release notes in Jira?

Jira is a popular issue-tracking and project management tool that can be used to automate the cloud release notes generation process. Here are the steps to automate release notes in Jira:

  1. Create a new issue type for the release notes.
  2. Use the Jira API to pull data from the project and create a release notes template.
  3. Use JQL (Jira Query Language) to search for issues that have been resolved or closed in the current release.
  4. Use the Jira API to pull data from the issues found in step 4 and populate the release notes template.
  5. Use Jira’s webhooks to trigger the software release notes generation process when a new issue is resolved or closed.
  6. Publish the release notes to your website or send them via email.

By following these steps, you can automate the release notes generation process in Jira, saving time and reducing errors. This can help development teams focus on developing new features and improving the software while improving customer satisfaction and trust.

Note: Some third-party Jira plugins like Automated Release Notes (ARN) work as release note generators, and they can help you automate the process.

Save time with ARN

The work of a release notes generator is not just about ensuring all details are included – different strata of customers need further updates highlighted. Starting a developer-centric release note with changes to marketing messaging to highlight new features will make the user lose interest quickly. With Automated Release Notes, however, you can modify how the release note is generated – and change parameters and triggers.

Share notes faster with every release

It can get monotonous to generate software release notes manually after every update. Product managers have to keep in mind the different kinds of formats, consistency across previous versions, highlighting changes significant to stakeholders, and a lot more. They can focus on building better features in the product instead of wondering if the feature details need to be added to the release note.

Give customers what they’re looking for

Customers need help keeping track of frequent releases. If they’re enterprise-level, they have to check if changes brought forward in the new version have any other dependencies with their other plug-and-play tools (or mission-critical ones). Automated Release Notes can create tailored notes for such customers, where the changes are listed on a dedicated release page and through in-app methods. The tool also simplifies getting customer feedback on release notes, so that product managers can understand where customer need is going. A one-time activity of setting the pages and widgets up results in a forever solution that keeps customers in the loop through the power of automation.

Rules that are made for convenience

ARN can automate the process of generating release notes – and sharing them with relevant groups, too. The process can be triggered through rules set by product managers (or whoever is responsible for release note generation). Stakeholders get the requisite information in a format that is digestible to them. From emails to the higher-ups to pdfs for client review, Automated Release Notes can generate reports based on any set rule and can be integrated with other tools through webhooks.

One note, multiple views

The versatility of release notes can be a bane as much as a boon: They need to be accessed on various platforms – like Confluence space, emails, pdfs, and others. The template library of the Automated Release Notes provides an excellent starting structure for all, making generating software release notes easier than saying ‘Release.’

Automate release notes and save precious time

Release notes provide a novel avenue for customer communication and stakeholder interaction. Their targeted content can increase customer engagement with the product and bring better collaboration opportunities forward. With Automated Release Notes for Jira, account managers can be more than just release notes generators during significant launches and bring in their best selves while handling routine tasks with the power of automation.