The term "release to manufacturing
" or "release to marketing
" (both abbreviated RTM)—also known as "going gold"—is used to indicate that the software has met a defined quality level and is ready for mass distribution either by electronic means or by physical media. RTM usually does not mean the software is actually released; it would in most cases mean that the software is being released to manufacturers, for pre-installation on ready machines, or for the manufacturer to adjust the software for their manufactured hardware and settings. The term does not
define the delivery mechanism, it only states that the quality is sufficient for mass distribution. The deliverable from the engineering organization is frequently in the form of a gold
master CD used for duplication or to produce the image for the web.
RTM happens prior to general availability (GA
) when the product is released to the public.