Create a myTrailhead Release

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe what a release is.
  • Create and add items to a release.
  • Explain the release operations.
  • Describe the actions that are possible at the different release statuses.
  • Explain how myTrailhead changes when you publish a release.


The Pure Aloe company creates moisturizers and creams made from aloe vera. Thanks to the wild success of its products in the marketplace, the company is growing fast. Pure Aloe wants to make sure all of its employees can learn the skills they need to be successful. So Pure Aloe signed up for myTrailhead. 

The myTrailhead team at Pure Aloe creates and publishes content just for Pure Aloe staffers. They create modules—bite-size pieces of content that are centered around a particular skill or topic. And they create trails—collections of related modules that are organized into guided learning paths that cover a broader topic.

Marisol is the myTrailhead release manager at Pure Aloe. She oversees the company’s myTrailhead publishing flow. The Trailmaker Release app is an integral part of her work. With Trailmaker Release, she creates, manages, and publishes Pure Aloe’s myTrailhead content releases. 

What’s a Release?

Essentially, a release is a list of modules and trails that the myTrailhead team plans to publish. With a release, Marisol can:

  • Upsert content—that is, publish new content or update existing content
  • Archive published content
  • Restore previously archived content

Releases are key to publishing myTrailhead content. If a module or a trail isn’t listed in a release, it can’t be published.

In this module, we assume that you're a myTrailhead release manager with the proper permissions to create and manage myTrailhead releases. If you aren't, you can still read on to learn how your release manager does this work. However, you can't follow the steps in a Trailhead Playground, because myTrailhead isn't available in Trailhead Playgrounds.

Creating a Release

First things first. How does Marisol create a release? 

  1. Marisol logs in to myTrailhead, clicks the avatar next to her name, and selects Trailmaker.
  2. In the navigation bar, she clicks Releases.
  3. On the namespace page, she clicks New Release.

Namespace page in Trailmaker Release, showing New Release button

  1. She enters the name of the release—for example, July Jellybean. Trailmaker Release generates the API name for the release based on the title, but Marisol can change it if she likes.
  2. She clicks Create.

Create a release screen in Trailmaker Release


Adding Items to a Release

Once she’s created a release, Marisol has two options for adding modules and trails to the list. She can add these items individually or, if she has a long list of items, by uploading a .csv file. 

For example, Marisol can add individual items to a release in anticipation of content submissions from Cindy, the Pure Aloe myTrailhead writer. She can also upload a .csv file that lists 20 items or more to be updated.

Cindy can add items to a release, too. When she uploads a module or trail to a release from Trailmaker Content, she automatically adds the item to the release list, if the content isn’t already on the list. For a closer look at this process, check out Trailmaker Content Basics

Adding Individual Items to a Release

To add items to a release individually, Marisol navigates to the release that she created in Trailmaker Release. 

1. On the release page, she clicks Add Content.

2. She enters the API name for the module or trail that she’s adding. For example: pure-aloe-sales-goals.

3. She selects the content type. For example: Module.

4. She selects the operation. For example: Upsert.

5. To add another module (or trail) individually, she clicks Add. Otherwise, she clicks Save.

Add to release screen in Trailmaker Release, showing an individual item to add to the release

Adding Multiple Items to a Release Simultaneously

To add multiple items to a release all at once, Marisol needs the API name for each item that she wants to add. An API name is a unique ID that points to a piece of content. When Cindy creates a module or trail, Trailmaker Content creates the API name for her, based on the content title. On myTrailhead, the API name for each module and trail appears in the content’s URL, following the final slash.

Once she has the API names, Marisol creates a table in a .csv file with column heads for api_name, type, and operation. In the table, she lists each module and trail that she wants to add to the release. For example:


Then she goes to the release page in Trailmaker Release. 

1. On the release page, she clicks Add Content.

2. She clicks Import.

Add to release screen in Trailmaker Release, showing the Import button to add multiple items to the release from a CSV file

3. She navigates to her .csv file, selects it, and clicks Open. All the items in her .csv file appear on the Add to release screen.

Add to release screen in Trailmaker Release, showing multiple items added to the release from an uploaded CSV file

4. She clicks Save.

In both cases, what Marisol is doing is compiling the release list. To complete the upsert process for new or revised content, Cindy still needs to upload the content from Trailmaker Content.

Release Operations

Each item on a release list has one of three operations. Marisol selects the operation when she adds each item to the release list.

  • Upsert adds new content to myTrailhead or updates existing content.
  • Archive hides published content from myTrailhead.
  • Restore brings archived content back out of hiding.

The selected operation for each release item appears on the release page.

Release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the selected operation for each item in the release

Most of the time, Marisol is publishing new content or corrections to existing content. So most of the time, she selects Upsert. (When Cindy adds content to a release from Trailmaker Content, the operation defaults to Upsert.)

Sometimes content becomes obsolete, for example when company processes change. To remove outdated content from myTrailhead, Marisol selects Archive. (However, any Trailblazer who earned the badge for an archived module gets to keep it.)

Sometimes archived content becomes relevant again—for example, the modules that prepare Pure Aloe sales reps for their annual meeting. Marisol archives the modules after each year’s meeting. In the weeks before the next annual meeting, she resurrects them by selecting Restore.

Release Status and What It Means

Multiple players can contribute to a release—for example, the writer, badge designer, and localization manager. Marisol controls the flow of content and determines which content gets published when. To help her direct that flow, she uses the release status.

A release can have one of three statuses.

  • Open
  • Locked
  • Published

Marisol can toggle a release’s status between Open and Locked.

Release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the Status picklist

Open Releases

When a release status is Open, Marisol can add items to it, and Cindy can upload content to it. So can the Pure Aloe localization manager. And they all can view the content in preview mode. (In preview mode, users can view unpublished content on myTrailhead—they can proofread the content, check images for sizing and legibility, and test the quizzes.)

But what if Marisol is ready to publish a release, and Cindy is still working on one of the modules? When the release status is Open, Marisol can delete the module from that release and add it to the next one. When Cindy finishes working on the module, she can use Trailmaker Content to upload it to the next release.

Locked Releases

The Locked status helps Marisol ensure that a release contains only content that’s ready to be published. When a release status is Locked, users can still preview the content in the release, but nobody can add content to it. When Marisol is getting ready to publish a release, she changes the status to Locked, just to be safe.

Published Releases

After Marisol publishes a release, its status permanently changes to Published. If published content needs to change—for example, to correct errors—Cindy adds the corrected content to a new release, and Marisol publishes the corrected version.

When a Release Is Published, How Does myTrailhead Change?

When Marisol creates a release, Trailmaker Release makes a behind-the-scenes duplicate of all the existing content on myTrailhead and holds it in reserve. Then Cindy adds her new and revised content to the release. When Marisol publishes the release, Trailmaker Release overwrites all of the content on myTrailhead with what’s in the release. In other words, Trailmaker Release republishes the duplicated content and publishes the new and revised content.

Here are examples of how myTrailhead changes when a release is published, depending on the operation that Marisol selects.

Content Changes
Selected Operation
Published Result
Add a new module to a release
The new module appears on myTrailhead
Update an existing module with new information and add the module to a release
The updated module with the new information appears on myTrailhead
Add an existing module to a release
The module disappears from myTrailhead (but users who earned the badge for the module get to keep it)
Add an archived module to a release
The module reappears on myTrailhead
Delete a unit from a module and add the module to a release
The module stays on myTrailhead, but the deleted unit disappears

In the next unit, Marisol uses Trailmaker Release to manage her releases.


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