Configuration Management

A brief description.*

In the past, engineers have wanted a solution for source code version control, however, more and more they are realizing there is a need for a broader process. This process is called Configuration Management (CM), or Software Configuration Management (SCM).

There are several functions that an effective CM / SCM system should provide. Each of these functions can be grouped under one the following four categories:

Version Control:
  Tracking all changes to every file in secure, scalable, distributed repositories.
Workspace Management:
  Provides each developer with one or more configurations of the versioned elements in the system.
Build Management:
  Parallel, distributed building; sharing of binaries without copying; and automatic production of an accurate “bill of materials” that documents software system builds.
Process Control
  Controlling what is being changed, who is allowed to make changes, and enforcing good development practices.

This description of CM has been paraphrased from a document entitled: The Problems of Parallel Copyright Atria Software, Inc. 1995.

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