Software Configuration Management
Whenever new software is built, there is always a scope for improvement and up-gradation. Those improvements and up-gradation may be required to bring changes, either modify an existing solution or creating a new solution for a problem. Modification needs daily to keep on upgrading the systems on the current requirements and needs to give the desired outputs. Before implementing the existing system, changes should be analyzed, reported, and controlled in an organized manner to improve qualities and reduce errors. Here, the need for System Configuration Management arrives.
So, in today’s article, we, Techvaio, are discussing what software configuration management is, the basics of SCM, the processes of SCM, Software configuration management tools list, and many more. It will help you to understand the SCM and Software configuration management in software engineering also.
What is Software Configuration Management?
Software Configuration Management (SCM) is a simple process to manage, organize, and control the changes in the codes, documents, and other substances consistently during the Software Development Cycle. The main goal is to increase productivity by improving small mistakes. SCM is a part of the cross-disciplinary field of configuration management that can accurately determine about revision maker.
The need for Software Configuration Management
The reason behind the need for Software Configuration Management is stated below.
- Multiple people are working on software to update continuously.
- As a team, multiple versions, branches, and authors are distributed geographically to be involved in a software configuration project and works concurrently.
- User requirements, schedule, policy, and budget should be changed in need of accommodation.
- The software will be able to run on both the different Operating Systems and various machines.
- Besides the development of coordination among stakeholders, SCM is also beneficial to control the costs while implementing changes in a system.
Software Configuration Management Process
For smooth work control on products, Software configuration management creates a disciplined environment that involves the following processes.
Configuration identification is a method to determine the scope of a software system. Users can manage and control something even if it is unknown. It contains the Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI), version information, and a project identifier.
Activities during this Configuration Identification:
- It identifies the configuration Items such as test case, source code modules, and specification requirement.
- By using an object-oriented approach, it identifies each CSCI in the Software Configuration Management repository.
- The process starts with a basic group of aggregate objects that contains the details of what, why, when, and by whom changes are made.
- Every object has its own features to identify and explicit other objects.
A baseline is an officially accepted version of a software configuration management. It is designated at a fixed time during the conduction of the SCM process. It can only be changed through official control procedures.
Activities during this Baseline process:
- It simplifies the construction of different versions of an application.
- It defines and determines the mechanisms to manage various versions of work products.
- Reviewed system requirements can be functionalized by baseline.
- The baselines are used widely includes functional, developmental, and product baselines.
During making the changes in the configuration model, Change controls, a procedural method, ensures quality and consistency. In this procedure, the software configuration manager accepts the submission of the change request.
Activities during this process (Change Control):
- Control ad-hoc changes are made to build a stable software development environment with a committed repository.
- The request will be checked by the software configuration manager based on the technical merit, possible side effects, and overall impact.
- It also manages the changes and configures the available items during the lifecycle of software.
Configuration Status Accounting
Configuration status accounting is the stage to tracks each released version and changes to that version during the SCM process.
Activities during this process (Status Accounting):
- It keeps all records of changes from the previous baseline to a new baseline.
- It identifies all items of the software configuration. So it can define all.
- Change requests are monitored and hold the list of all changes from the last baseline.
- It allows progress tracking to the next baseline.
- It also allows checking previously released versions to be extracted.
Configuration Audits and Reviews
Software Configuration audits verify all the software product that satisfies the baseline needs. It ensures about it’sit’s built and delivery.
Activities of Audits and Reviews:
- Configuration auditing is conducted to define processes by auditors that ensures the satisfaction of SCM goals.
- It helps to verify compliance with configuration control standards, including auditing and reporting about made changes.
- Traceability must be maintained; SCM audits to ensure that during the process.
- The changes made to a baseline ensure to comply with the configuration status report.
Participants of Software Configuration Management
The participants of software configuration management are given as follows.
- Configuration Manager is the head for identifying configuration items with responsibilities.
- CM has the right to approve or reject change requests.
- CM ensures SCM processed team.
- The developer is the person who can only change the code as per request or standard development activities. He is mainly responsible for the configuration of codes.
- The developer must check the conflicts and resolves them by changing.
- An auditor is responsible for audits and reviews in SCM.
- HE must be consistent and completely released.
- PM is looking at the product’s development within a certain time frame.
- He is monitoring the development progress and recognizes issues and generate reports.
- He gave confirmation on processes and policies that are followed for creating, testing, and changing.
- The user should understand the key SCM terms so that he can utilize the latest version of the software.
Best Software Configuration Management Tools List
Any Change in Software configuration management must have the 3 Key features as follows.
Concurrent operation means happening of two or more tasks at the same time. Concurrency in context means that the same file edited by multiple persons at the same time in SCM.
If concurrency is not managed correctly using SCM tools, then it may create many issues.
SCM uses the archiving method or saves every change made to file. With the help of archiving or save feature, it is possible to roll back to the previous version in case of issues.
Users can check out more than one file or an entire copy of the repository. The user then works on the needed file and checks in the changes back to the repository. They can synchronize their local copy to stay updated with the changes made by other team members.
The following are popular Software Configuration Management tools.
SolarWinds Server Configuration Monitor
SolarWinds provides a Server Configuration Monitor that detects unauthorized configuration changes to servers and applications. Besides improving visibility & team accountability, Solarwinds decreases the troubleshooting time to help in baseline server and application configuration on the operating systems of Windows and Linux.
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CFEngine Configuration Tool
CFEngine is another software configuration management tool that provides automation configuration for huge computer systems, embedded networked devices, mobile devices, and other systems.
Puppet Configuration Tool
An open-source software configuration management tool, Puppet is used for deploying, configuring, and managing servers. It is based on master-slave architecture.
CHEF Configuration Tool
The chef is an automation platform to configure and manage infrastructure. Infrastructure implies the execution of coding than manual execution. For writing the configuration, the chef works on Ruby and DSL.
Ansible Configuration Tool
Ansible is the best software configuration management tool for deploying and open-source automation engine. Ansible is a push-based configuration tool that helps to automate the entire IT infrastructure. Ansible connects through SSH, remote PowerShell and other remote APIs.
SALTSTACK Configuration Tool
Working on a master-client setup model, SaltStack is another software configuration management tool. It is based on Python programming language. SaltStack uses push and SSH methods to communicate with clients.
JUJU Configuration Tool
Juju is an open-source software configuration management tool created by Canonical Ltd. Juju is mainly looking at decreasing the operational overhead of new generation software. It provides many facilities such as quick deployment, scaling, integration, configuring, and operational tasks on cloud service, holding both public and private servers, open stacks, local systems.
The rudder is one of the most used open-source, role-based solutions, web-driven, configurations, and audit management and famous tool to make automated system configuration. Depends on an installed light local agent for the managed system, Rudder’sRudder’s web interface is built by Scala language, whereas a local agent is written in C language.
Bamboo Configuration Management
Atlassian’sAtlassian’s continuous delivery and management tool Bamboo offer a high standard of regular delivery. Bamboo gives output in a single flow. Bamboo shared common space to work and share information with developers, testers, build engineers, and system administrators for storing sensitive operations such as production deployment and security.
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TeamCity Configuration Tool
Released on 2nd October, TeamCity is one of the management and continuous integration server that provides up to 100 build software configurations management jobs and runs unlimited builds and developed by Jet Brains.
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