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Overview of Software Release Note

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  • Last Updated : 25 Nov, 2021
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Nowadays software purchases are in prime and people are interested to know more about the software before the purchase. Also, there are a good number of clients for your software then every update facilitates the clients or customers with relevant information. The document which carries the information is referred to as a software release note

Software Release Note :
Release note refers to the documentation that comes with the purchase of software or with the software updates. The release notes summarize the details about the software product or the specific changes in the software updates.

Also, release notes can’t be used as a user guide. It only says about what the product or update is, not about how the product works.

Sections in release notes :
Every release note is unique according to the software and updates. But it is essential to add the important sections which can not be avoided so that the user will have a good understanding of the technical information.

Release notes must be written in simple language because the readers are not always tech people.  

  1. Header –
    The first section to include in the release note is a header. This section contains information like document name, production, version number, and release note date. Be crisp while writing the header and be accurate, a small change in date or version will bring a lot of confusion.
  2. Overview –
    This section includes all the essential information you like to give to the client. Let it be a new product or update this will be the main part.
  3. Purpose –
    Release notes for every update should include this section. This section explains why the update is made.
  4. Issue summary –
    This section explains the bug or any enhancements made. In this, information about every bug will be provided.
  5. Steps to reproduce –
    In this section, include all the steps needed to resolve the bug.
  6. End-user impacts –
    This section will explain the changes and actions the end-user needs to complete, due to the fixing of bugs or any enhancements.
  7. Notes –
    This section includes steps to be included in the hardware or software installation of the product.
  8. Disclaimer –
    All disclaimers should be included in this section.
  9. Contact –
    Contact information for customer support and technical support from the product side to the clients or customers. Such as phone numbers, mail IDs, websites, etc.

Purpose of Release Note :

  • Release note provides summarized details about the software product that is to be released.
  • It provides information about the specific changes in software during any updates.
  • It acts as a user guide for clients or end-user.
  • It acts as a record of current software in use as it holds info. about features, technology, version, and many more.
  • Release note gives a smooth experience to the user to adapt to new changes.
  • It helps in marketing and support needs.

Tips to write good release notes :
Even though a release note carries much technical information but it should be written in simple words for better understanding. Many people avoid this factor and many people ignore reading it.

To write a good release note:

  • Use plain language.
  • Make it simple, clear, and easily understandable. Don’t load with heavy technical terms. If it is a must to add a lot of technical terms, include a section where you can simply explain those terms.
  • Keep the release note short and precise.
  • Don’t make it long otherwise, it will be complex and tough to understand. Be precise and include only the most relevant and important information.
  • While writing the release note focus on how it benefits the customer instead of telling a lot about the company side. Write about the importance and enhanced features and more of the product.
  • If at any place extra detailing is required, it is not relevant to include it in the note. Add some links to the external websites where those terms are explained.
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