We have release procedures for the following scenarios:

cBioPortal community release of code already in production

We often run code in production that is not ready yet for use by the wider cBioPortal community. We deploy to production what's in the master branch of the backend repo and the frontend repo. Often times this is not a tagged release. At some point this code should be released for the wider community. These are the steps we follow:

  1. Create a new frontend tag. The releases can be found here: We usually

    already have a MAJOR.MINOR number for this release. Increment the PATCH

    number, i.e. MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH. Look at what new commits are in this release

    compared to the old release by using e.g.:

    Adjust the tag and branch name in between the ... of the link accordingly

    to see the new commits. Add significant PRs and issues to the release log: Follow the

    same style as the other releases shown in: You can save

    your work as a draft if necessary.

  2. Once the frontend code is tagged, create a pull request to the backend repo

    where the frontend version is incremented in portal/pom.xml:

  3. Once that PR is merged, one can create a tag for the backend repo with the

    same tag as the frontend repo. Copy over the release log from the frontend

    repo. You can look at backend specific commits in the same manner: Note that

    the release log of frontend and backend should be identical. Both list the

    significant frontend and backend changes. You can update existing release

    logs using the github interface.

New Feature Release

For new feature releases, we increase the MINOR number in MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH. For those releases we have a separate branch (see, which needs to be merged to master on both backend and frontend:

  1. Make sure no auto deployment is running for frontend from netlify

  2. Merge frontend release-x.y.z branch to frontend master

  3. Follow same procedure as for [a PATCH


    but instead of having a separate PR to update the frontend (step 2) one can

    add it to the already existing backend branch release-x.y.z and open the PR

    from there to backend's master. This is merely for convenience to avoid

    having to create another branch just to update the frontend version.

A note on versioning

We follow the following logic when deciding how/when to increment the version of cBioPortal. It's a complete modification of semantic versioning (MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH) more suitable for our purposes:

MAJOR : A big change in how cBioPortal works. We changed the major version from 1 to 2 when we completely moved from using JSPs to a Single Page App written in React calling a REST service.

MINOR : Backwards incompatible features that requires both backend and frontend changes. If the frontend change is very significant we can increase the MINOR version as well.

PATCH : Backwards compatible fixes. Can be e.g. frontend only changes or fixes to backend.