Be up to date with releases and don't miss important announcements

You may be aware that we created the AxonIQ Discuss platform as a place to ask questions and discuss ideas around DDD, CQRS, Event Sourcing, and Axon. For the last two years, it has grown to be the online place where the AxonIQ developers and community members help each other design and build better software.

Even if you are a frequent Discuss visitor, you may not know about some of its practical use cases. Did you know you can use the platform to track product releases and configure it to notify you when new versions are published?  


The "Announcements" category

From the very beginning, we have the "Announcements" category. Only AxonIQ employees are allowed to create new topics there. Of course, everyone can see those and respond. The motivation for that decision was to provide a relatively low traffic source, which only contains essential official information. We use it to announce :

If you have used Discuss, you probably know how to display "Announcements" content in a web browser. Links to all categories are on the main page, after all. But there is more!

RSS/Atom Feeds

The content of every category is also available as an RSS/Atom feed. To access the feeds from your reader, all you need to do is append the .rss suffix to the category's URL. Here is what the "Announcements" category looks like in Feedreader:

Screenshot showing the Feedreader UI

Of course, there are plenty of other feed readers out there. They come as web apps, stand-alone applications, mail client extensions, browser extensions, mobile apps, and probably many more. While they don't provide the experience you have using the Discuss platform directly, they may be a good fit for announcements, particularly if they allow you to configure notifications on your terms.

Email notifications

Another way to not miss an announcement is to subscribe for notifications via email. You first need to enable email notifications in your account preferences. Click on your profile picture, go to the last tab, and select "Preferences". Then in the "Emails" choose to be always notified "when I am quoted, replied to, my @username is mentioned, or when there is new activity in my watched categories, tags or topics":

Screenshot showing account preferences menu Screenshot showing email configuration options


Once email notifications are enabled, you can watch/track a category. Go to the category page and click on the bell icon. For the "Announcements" category, it makes sense to choose "Watching First Post" as those are the official notifications (and there are almost no replies there anyway):

Screenshot showing how to start watching a category

That's it! Now every time we announce something, you'll receive an email.


Tracking only announcements about new product releases

Subscribing for the entire "Announcements" category is what we recommend you to do. Judging by the number of posts in the last two years, you'll get one or two emails per week at most. A small price to pay for never missing anything important. 

Sometimes though, that's still too much. Sometimes you only want to track new product releases. For such scenarios, we have the "release" tag. As with the "Announcements" category, only AxonIQ employees can use it, and we only add it to posts that announce new product releases. You can select all topics tagged with "release" from the tags dropdown menu:

Screenshot showing how to go to a tag page

If you end up checking that often or want to use it in some automated process, the direct URL is https://discuss.axoniq.io/tag/release. Of course, as with categories, you can get an RSS/Atom feed by appending the .rss to the URL. You may as well subscribe to receive an email when a new "release" tagged topic is published. The process is the same as the one described for the categories above:

Screenshot showing how to start watching a tag

We encourage you to use the above techniques to stay updated with new product releases and official announcements.


How reliable are the announcements?

Up until now, all the announcements were published manually by the people in charge. If you check the history, you'll notice that Steven van Beelen posted all announcements about Axon Framework (and plugins) releases, Marc Gathier wrote the Axon Server releases posts, Sara Torrey announced new podcast episodes, and so on. We love the human touch of those. But they are not error-prone. It has happened in the past that we forgot to announce a release. 

While I'm writing this post, we also automate the product release announcements. Very soon they will be part of the product release process. Instead of Steven or Marc, you'll see topics published by a mysterious "axonbot". The product release announcements will not be story-telling or entertaining but they'll be reliable and accurate as they will contain the same information found in the release descriptions. 


Written by:
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Milen Dyankov

Milen is a Developer Advocate at AxonIQ on a mission to help fellow Java developers around the globe design and build clean, modular and future proof software! After more than 15 years developing, designing and consulting on various solutions for leading European companies, he currently spends most of his time supporting communities and organizations and speaking at conferences all over the world.