AWS SDKs and Tools Maintenance Policy - AWS SDKs and Tools Shared Configuration and Credentials

AWS SDKs and Tools Maintenance Policy

Overview

This document outlines the maintenance policy for AWS Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Tools, including Mobile and IoT SDKs, and their underlying dependencies. AWS regularly provides the AWS SDKs and Tools with updates that may contain support for new or updated AWS APIs, new features, enhancements, bug fixes, security patches, or documentation updates. Updates may also address changes with dependencies, language runtimes, and operating systems. AWS SDK releases are published to package managers (e.g. Maven, NuGet, PyPI), and are available as source code on GitHub.

We recommend users to stay up-to-date with SDK releases to keep up with the latest features, security updates, and underlying dependencies. Continued use of an unsupported SDK version is not recommended and is done at the user’s discretion.

Versioning

The AWS SDK release versions are in the form of X.Y.Z where X represents the major version. Increasing the major version of an SDK indicates that this SDK underwent significant and substantial changes to support new idioms and patterns in the language. Major versions are introduced when public interfaces (e.g. classes, methods, types, etc.), behaviors, or semantics have changed. Applications need to be updated in order for them to work with the newest SDK version. It is important to update major versions carefully and in accordance with the upgrade guidelines provided by AWS.

SDK Major Version life-cycle

The life-cycle for major SDKs and Tools versions consists of 5 phases, which are outlined below.

  • Developer Preview (Phase 0) - During this phase, SDKs are not supported, should not be used in production environments, and are meant for early access and feedback purposes only. It is possible for future releases to introduce breaking changes. Once AWS identifies a release to be a stable product, it may mark it as a Release Candidate. Release Candidates are ready for GA release unless significant bugs emerge, and will receive full AWS support.

  • General Availability (GA) (Phase 1) - During this phase, SDKs are fully supported. AWS will provide regular SDK releases that include support for new services, API updates for existing services, as well as bug and security fixes. For Tools, AWS will provide regular releases that include new feature updates and bug fixes. AWS will support the GA version of an SDK for at least 24 months.

  • Maintenance Announcement (Phase 2) - AWS will make a public announcement at least 6 months before an SDK enters maintenance mode. During this period, the SDK will continue to be fully supported. Typically, maintenance mode is announced at the same time as the next major version is transitioned to GA.

  • Maintenance (Phase 3) - During the maintenance mode, AWS limits SDK releases to address critical bug fixes and security issues only. An SDK will not receive API updates for new or existing services, or be updated to support new regions. Maintenance mode has a default duration of 12 months, unless otherwise specified.

  • End-of-Support (Phase 4) - When an SDK reaches end-of support, it will no longer receive updates or releases. Previously published releases will continue to be available via public package managers and the code will remain on GitHub. The GitHub repository may be archived. Use of an SDK which has reached end-of-support is done at the user’s discretion. We recommend users upgrade to the new major version.

The following is a visual illustration of the SDK major version life-cycle. Please note that the timelines shown below are illustrative and not binding.


                Maintenance policy timelines

Dependency life-cycle

Most AWS SDKs have underlying dependencies, such as language runtimes, operating systems, or third party libraries and frameworks. These dependencies are typically tied to the language community or the vendor who owns that particular component. Each community or vendor publishes their own end-of-support schedule for their product.

The following terms are used to classify underlying third party dependencies:

  • Operating System (OS): Examples include Amazon Linux AMI, Amazon Linux 2, Windows 2008, Windows 2012, Windows 2016, etc.

  • *Language Runtime:* Examples include Java 7, Java 8, Java 11, .NET Core, .NET Standard, .NET PCL, etc.

  • *Third party Library / Framework: Examples include OpenSSL, .NET Framework 4.5, Java EE, etc.

Our policy is to continue supporting SDK dependencies for* at least 6 months* after the community or vendor ends support for the dependency. This policy, however, could vary depending on the specific dependency.

Note

AWS reserves the right to stop support for an underlying dependency without increasing the major SDK version

Communication Methods

Maintenance announcements are communicated in several ways:

  • An email announcement is sent to affected accounts, announcing our plans to end support for the specific SDK version. The email will outline the path to end-of-support, specify the campaign timelines, and provide upgrade guidance.

  • AWS SDK documentation, such as API reference documentation, user guides, SDK product marketing pages, and GitHub readme(s) are updated to indicate the campaign timeline and provide guidance on upgrading affected applications.

  • An AWS blog post is published that outlines the path to end-of-support, as well as reiterates the campaign timelines.

  • Deprecation warnings are added to the SDKs, outlining the path to end-of-support and linking to the SDK documentation.

To see the list of available major versions of AWS SDKs and Tools and where they are in their maintenance life cycle, see AWS SDKs and Tools Version Support Matrix.