The Release Notes for a product version are generated automatically by the Project Management System (JIRA) and additionally edited manually when necessary.
To mazimize the value of the automatically generated Release Notes and minimize the manual work, the following giudelines are in place:
Use concise but descriptive issue names
Open the right kind of issue. See issue types
Release notes for intermediate project versions
JIRA offers a convenient way of generating release notes for project versions. In order for an issue to appear in the release notes for a given version it needs to have its field "Fix Version/s" set to the given version. Usually an issue affects only one particular version and it is fixed within that version. Sometimes however an issue affects multiple versions and it is addressed for each one of them. In the latter case the "Fix Version/s" fields comes handy.
How to generate release notes?
Go to the project home page. For example http://jira.jboss.com/jira/browse/JBTPL
Click on Release Notes.
Pick the version you are intereted in the Please Select Version: drop down menu.
Select whether you want HTML or Plain Text format in the Please Select Style: menu. The HTML version provides links next to each issue in the release notes report that can be followed for more details. The Text version places the issue ID (e.g. JBTPL-11) next to the release note, which can be also used to obtain issue details.
You should see something similar to: http://jira.jboss.com/jira/secure/ReleaseNote.jspa?version=10014&styleName=Html&projectId=10010&Create=Create
The following are examples for automatically generated Release Notes:
Notice that "Major feature 1" appears in both release notes. This is because the "Fix Version/s" for this issue are set to 1.0 RC1 and 1.0 Final. If you look at the issue description you will notice the following line:
Fix Version/s: 1.0 Final, 1.0 RC 1 (Release Candidate)
Release notes for a major release
List of features
While release notes are appropriate for listing changes between two immediate versions, there are other ways to extract higher level reports such as the list of all features implemented for a major release. The following filter does that for the template project:
Listing all issues for a major version
The following filter can be used as a template for listing all closed issues, including new features, improvements, tasks and bug fixes.
When JIRA generates HTML Release notes, it automatically includes links next to each issue that goes back to the JIRA issue page. When closing an issue of importance, it is a good practice to modify the issue description to include additional overview comments and links to known wiki, forum or other relevant content.