WebStorm EAP: What It Is and Why to Take Part

Posted on by Ekaterina Ryabukha

At JetBrains, we value feedback and try to collect it through various channels. One of those channels is our Early Access Program, or EAP. It lets you use pre-release builds of our products, such as WebStorm, PyCharm Professional, and the like.

If you’ve never participated in our or any other Early Access Programs, you may be wondering why you might sign up. In this blog post, we’ve tried to offer a thorough answer to this question so you can decide whether to take part in our EAP.

Key facts about the Early Access Program

First, here are a few things you should know about our EAP:

  • For WebStorm and other IntelliJ-based IDEs, the EAP happens three times a year, normally starting around the end of January, May, and September.
  • Each EAP lasts about two months. Every week, all the way through to the end of the program, we roll out a new EAP build with the latest improvements. You can read about those improvements on our regular EAP blog posts.
  • EAP builds are free to use and expire within 30 days of the build date.
  • It’s not possible to download the EAP builds when the program is closed. When it’s closed, you won’t be able to access the EAP page, and going to the website will take you to the What’s New page instead.
  • If you want to file a bug report, you can do it right from the IDE. Just go to Help | Submit a Bug Report from the main menu. Alternatively, you can go straight to our issue tracker. Either way, please don’t forget to mention the build number you’re using.

Why take part in the Early Access Program?

Now let’s look at some of the reasons why you may want to join our active EAP users:

  • You’ll be one of the first to try all the latest enhancements and the newest features. Everyone else will only get the chance to try them when a stable version gets released.
  • You’ll be able to have an impact on product development. We often change aspects of the product or decide not to turn on a specific feature in a stable release based on the feedback we get from our EAP users.
  • The EAP allows you to use pre-release versions of JetBrains products for free.
  • You may be able to get a free WebStorm license. When the EAP comes to its end, we go through the list of the EAP users who have reported problems on our issue tracker and give away free licenses to the most active ones.

Using EAP builds also comes with a downside. These builds aren’t fully tested and can be unstable. To mitigate any risks related to this, we recommend installing EAP builds alongside a stable version. The easiest way to do this is to use the Toolbox App. This tool not only lets you manage several product versions from one place, but it also simplifies the process of downgrading to the previous EAP version if you find it to be more stable.

toolbox-app-eap-webstorm

We hope that this information helps you decide whether participating in the EAP is a good choice for you.

The WebStorm team