A code freeze is a period of time where changes to a product are restricted or prohibited. This provides stability for processes such as functional, integration, performance and security testing. Code freeze is a somewhat ambiguous term that is commonly used to denote several different levels of freeze:
Feature FreezeAll work on adding new features is suspended to focus on quality improvement, user experience and bug fixes. Changes to requirements and design may occur to address quality and experience improvements. Also known as feature complete.
Specification FreezeAll specifications are frozen in an effort to stabilize the current code base for launch. This means no changes to requirements or design. Developers prioritize bug fixes and the code is still updated.
Code CompleteChanges to a branch of code are strictly prohibited or minimized to some essential activity. For example, information security testing may require a final version of code to be completely frozen. In this scenario, only security related bug fixes would be applied.
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