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Project Lifecycle

The term “project” within Hyperledger will refer to a collaborative endeavor to deliver a work item. There may be some projects that are intended to produce a document, such as a requirements or use cases document, a whitepaper, or analysis. Others may be to develop a new capability, or refactor (or remove) an existing capability for the Hyperledger technology releases. Such projects may take the form of a new component (e.g. a new repository) or may propose additions, deletions or changes to an existing repository(s).

Many other open source initiatives leverage an incubation process for new work items, and this seems to have a desired effect of encouraging new ideas and tracks of work, while at the same time providing clear guidance to the broader community as to what is real and supported, versus what is still in the exploratory/experimental/developmental phases.

Therefore Hyperledger has adopted a similar lifecycle process as follows:

Project lifecycle in graph format.

Projects are in one of six possible states:

Projects may not necessarily move through those states in a linear way and may go through several iterations.


Project Proposals shall be submitted to the TSC for review, using Proposal Template. Proposals that are approved shall enter into an Incubation state, unless they are of a refactoring nature, in which case they will be turned over to the relevant project maintainer(s) to handle as they deem fit.

A Proposal must:

  • have a clear description
  • have a well-defined scope
  • identify committed development resources
  • identify initial maintainers
  • be vendor neutral


Approved project proposals enter into Incubation. For new components/modules, a repository will be created under the Hyperledger Github org and optionally in JIRA, if requested. New features/capabilities should be handled through pull requests labeled with tags that identify the project and tag it as incubator (and will ideally be capable of being enabled/disabled with feature-flags).

Projects in Incubation may overlap with one another. Entering Incubation is meant to be fairly easy to allow for community exploration of different ideas.

Once a project qualifies to be declared Graduated, the project's maintainers can then vote to request a graduation review by the TSC.

Entering Incubation does not guarantee that the project will eventually get to Graduated state. Projects may never get to Graduated state.

Projects seeking to graduate from Incubation must meet the criteria defined in the Incubation Exit Criteria document.


(Formerly called ‘Active’)

Projects that have successfully exited the Incubation phase are in the Graduated phase.


Projects in the Dormant state are ones in which the normal functions are suspended or slowed down for a period of time. The TSC will make the decision as to whether a project will move to or from the Dormant state upon request. If Dormant projects become re-activated, they will re-enter the Incubation state even if they entered the Dormant state from the Graduated state.


Anyone may propose that a project be Deprecated, by submitting a rationale and identifying a substitute project/component (if any). The maintainers of the project shall vote on such a request and if it passes, make that recommendation to the TSC. Members of the community that disagree with the request shall make their case before the TSC. The TSC shall consider all points of view and render a final decision to deprecate or not.

A Deprecated project will be maintained for a six month period by its community, after which it will be removed from any subsequent formal releases. Notice will be given to the public of the project's deprecation. After the six-month deprecation period, the project will be labeled End of Life.

End of Life

A project that is no longer actively developed or maintained.