Every 3-4 months the NextGen software is distributed to customers in a new "official" or "stable" version. This version is generally denominated with the current year, followed by a progressive number within the same year. The "zero" version of the year is the one distributed with a new version number in January or February (e.g. this year, 2017.0).
Between one version and another what has been modified is listed in a list of changes, or changelog, available for consultation at this link.
The updates consist of a series of "bugfixes", i.e. correction of errors in the software, optimizations (improvements of features already available in the software) and new features. These changes are what the development team has worked on in the months between an official release and the next one.
In the days before the distribution of an official release, the development team focuses mainly on testing the features introduced for the new version and checking the effective removal of bugs reported by customers or found internally. For this reason, some features or bugs reported near to the distribution of a new version are planned for the next one, so as not to conflict with the verification work already carried out.
A version called "beta" is an intermediate version between two "stable" versions: this version contains everything available in the latest "stable", in addition to all the changes made by the development team from the official release of the latest version to the current one.
When we provide a "beta" version, we request to accept a series of conditions, in particular the fact that the software is provided "as is", and on these versions the assistance is not guaranteed (it is always possible to return to the previous official version).
What do the "beta" versions differ from the official ones? As already mentioned, they contain the changes made in the last months by the development team. Above all, a "beta" version may contain an urgent correction requested by a customer. These changes will go through a complete verification process only near the official release: the software is however automatically tested every time its installation package is created, but it will still have to go through a verification process that for a "beta" version has not been done.
Some important points to consider: