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Release management is a software engineering process intended to oversee the development, testing, deployment and support of software releases. The practice of release management combines the general business emphasis of traditional project management with a detailed technical knowledge of the systems development lifecycle (SDLC) and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) practices.
Release management usually begins in the development cycle with requests for changes or new features. If the request is approved, the new release is planned and designed. The new design enters the testing or quality assurance phase, in which the release is built, reviewed, tested and tweaked until it is ultimately accepted as a release candidate. The release then enters the deployment phase, where it is implemented and made available. Once deployed, the release enters a support phase, where bug reports and other issues are collected; this leads to new requests for changes, and the cycle starts all over again.