Product life cycle

Open Inventor 9.6 (September 2015)

FEI publishes this explanation of the Open Inventor product life cycle in an effort to provide as much transparency as possible. However we reserve the right to make exceptions to these policies as conflicts arise. Feel free to contact us at vsghotline@fei.com if you have a special request.



Version compatibility

  • Major release: for example from V9.0.0 to V10.0.0, Introduces major enhancements and new features, but may introduce incompatibilities.
  • Minor release: for example from V9.1.0 to V9.2.0, Introduces enhancements and new features but preserves source code compatibility.
  • Maintenance release: for example from V9.0.1 to V9.0.2, Contains only bug fixes, preserves, as much as possible, binary compatibility.

Support policy for operating system versions

  • We support an OS version until the first release of a major version of Open Inventor after the end of standard support by the vendor of the OS. For example:
  • Windows XP is an exception to the previous rule and will be supported until the end of the extended support by Microsoft in April 2014.
  • New minor and major versions of Open Inventor are always released with the latest version of the service packs/updates available for the OS at the time of the release.
  • 64-bit versions of future OS will be supported in priority.

Support policy for compiler versions

  • We support a version of a compiler until the first release of a major version of Open Inventor after the end of standard support by the vendor of the compiler. (For example, for a given version of Visual Studio, Microsoft officially provides support for five years, more information on http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeSelectDevtools).
  • New minor and major versions of Open Inventor are released with the latest version of any service packs available for the compiler at the time of the release. 

Third party library version update

  • To introduce new features in Open Inventor, a third party library can be added in a minor or a major version of Open Inventor.
  • A third party library can be updated to its next minor or maintenance version in a minor version of Open Inventor only if necessary to fix a bug introduced by this library.
  • A third party library can be updated freely in a major version of Open Inventor
  • Any such change to a third party library may require changes to the application build and/or deployment, especially if the application uses a version of this library directly.
  • Third party libraries used by Open Inventor include file format libraries (e.g. JPEG), CUDA, Qt and others. You can see a list of third party libraries used by Open Inventor in section "third party softwares".

Deprecation process

  • ”Deprecated” means that a feature is still available and produces the same result but a better way of doing the same thing is available and should be used instead. Deprecated methods in Open Inventor classes are marked in the documentation along with an explanation of the replacement method(s).
  • An Open Inventor API method can be deprecated in a minor version M.m. In following versions use of a deprecated method will:
  • Produce a compiler warning between version M.m and major version M+3.
  • May be removed from the API in the major version M+3 or following.

To sum up: What can happen in a version?

Major release:

  • Contains major enhancements and new features, but may introduce incompatibilities that require changes in application code.
  • Support for an operating system version may be ended if the standard support of the OS vendor has ended.
  • Support for a compiler version may be ended if the standard support of the compiler vendor has ended.
  • API methods deprecated for at least 3 major versions may be removed.
  • A third party library may be added, removed or updated to a new version.

Minor release:

  • Contains minor enhancement and new features but preserves code source compatibility.
  • The service pack/upgrade applied to an operating system may be upgraded.
  • The service pack applied to a compiler may be upgraded.
  • An API method may be deprecated.
  • A third party library may be updated to the next minor or maintenance version, but only in order to fix a bug introduced by the third party library.

Maintenance release:

  • Contains only bug fixes and preserves, as much as possible, binary compatibility.

Upcoming life cycle events

To enable to anticipate upcoming events, FEI publishes this list of planned life cycle events.  Feel free to contact us at vsghotline@fei.com if you have a special request.

  • Open Inventor 10.0.0:
    • Visual Studio 2008 will no longer be supported (Microsoft support ends April 2013).
    • Visual Studio 2010 could no longer be supported (Microsoft support ends July 2015).
    • RHEL4 will no longer be supported (Red Hat support ends February 2011).
    • RHEL5 could no longer be supported (Red Hat support ends January 2014).
    • Windows Vista will no longer be supported (Microsoft support ends April 2012).
    • Windows XP could no longer be supported (Microsoft extra extented support ends April 2014).
    • OsX required version will be rise from OsX 10.7 to 10.10.
    • OsX compiler could change from GCC to CLANG.
    • The deprecation process described in this document will be applied.
    • API methods deprecated before Open Inventor 8.0.0 could be removed.
    • The “mc” packages will be removed from the Open Inventor Java API (use the “com.openinventor” packages instead).
    • The Java JDK requirement could be rise from JDK 1.6 to JDK 1.8.
    • On Windows Open Inventor Java could be based on the runtime of Visual Studio 2012.
    • On Linux Open Inventor Java could be based on the runtime of RHEL6.
    • The module FXViz will be removed from the API (bump mapping, particle animation and appearance preserving simplification).
    • The module DirectViz will be removed from the API.
    • The module ScaleVizViz will be removed from the API.
    • The module SolidViz will be removed from the API.
    • The module TerrainViz will be removed from the API.
    • The VRML API will be removed.
    • The IVF API will be removed.
    • The OpenFlight file reader will be removed.
    • The versions of third party library will be updated (e.g: Qt, Cuda,...)