This topic describes the life cycle stages that Google Maps Platform products and features may move through, such as the launch stages Experimental, Preview, and General Availability (GA), or end-of-life stages Deprecated and Decommissioned. Features in non-GA stages are tagged as such in the documentation with icons and notes.
Experiments are focused on getting customer feedback about a prototype. They are not intended for production use or covered by any SLA, support obligation, or deprecation policy and might be subject to backward-incompatible changes. Experimental releases are generally suitable for use in test environments only and typically last up to 12 months, but this may vary.
Experimental is a pre-GA offering whose terms and conditions are defined in the Google Maps Platform Service Specific Terms under Pre-GA Offerings.
At Preview, a product or feature is ready for testing by customers before adopting it for production use at GA. Preview offerings are often publicly announced, but are not necessarily feature-complete, and Google provides no SLAs or technical support commitments for these. Unless stated otherwise by Google, Preview offerings are intended for use in test environments only. Subject to the terms described below, features in Preview are typically expected to reach GA within 12 months, but this may vary.
Preview is a pre-GA offering whose terms and conditions are defined in the Google Maps Platform Service Specific Terms under Pre-GA Offerings.
General Availability (GA)
General Availability products and features are "production ready," though not always universally available. Some GA releases may only be available to a limited group of customers. General Availability releases are covered by the Google Maps Platform Terms of Service, including the Google Maps Platform SLA and Google Maps Platform Technical Support Services Guidelines, where applicable. Google typically supports General Availability products and features through APIs, SDKs, and the Google Cloud Console, except in unusual circumstances where providing one or more of the foregoing capabilities is unreasonable in the context of the particular product or feature.
Early Access, Alpha, and Beta
stability levels, such as "alpha" and
Versioning topic as an example. Also,
Google Maps Platform SDKs for Android and iOS may use version numbers that
contain an industry-standard stability level such as "beta" in the version
numbering, such as
Some products and features that were released prior to the introduction of "Experimental" and "Preview" may be labeled with legacy launch stages such as "Early Access," "Alpha," and "Beta." Those legacy terms will continue to be used for the duration of those launches. In general, Early Access and Alpha are similar to Experimental, and Beta is similar to Preview. Any use of an Early Access, Alpha, or Beta is subject to the terms and conditions defined in the Google Maps Platform Service Specific Terms.
Additional life cycle stages
Marking an offering deprecated indicates that the product, feature, or version should no longer be used. For more information, see the "Deprecation Policy" section of the Google Maps Platform Terms of Service. Features and products in the Google Maps Core Services listed at https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/terms/maps-deprecation are subject to the Deprecation Policy.
For a list of deprecated products and features, see the Google Maps Platform Deprecations topic.
Decommissioning an offering means that the product or feature is no longer available. Calling decommissioned software can result in unpredictable behavior or invalid responses.
Decommissioned offerings are removed from documentation. For a list of decommissioned offerings, see the Google Maps Platform Deprecations topic.