The demand of technically advanced devices is increasing day-by-day in today’s day and age. People all over the globe, wait eagerly for the release of new devices, which have latest applications and great software enhancements. Whether you look at a smartphone device or a desktop computer, everything is changing rapidly and getting modified, to increase the convenience of the end users. These demands of exceptionally great and advanced applications and software systems, has had a great impact on the development and testing techniques and methods. Software engineers are using new and innovative methods to develop and test a software, which validates its performance, functionality, effectiveness, features, and quality. Software Configuration Management is one such technique, which has garnered great importance in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Software Configuration Management (SCM) is the overall management of the software product or system, which includes technical aspects of the project, organizations, and the control of modifications and changes to the project plan, which are executed during the development phase.
Also known as Software Control Management, Software Configuration Management (SCM) is the discipline for systematically controlling the changes that take place during the development process. It consists of standard processes and techniques, which are often used by organizations to manage the changes that are introduced in their software products. Software Configuration Management further helps in identifying individual elements and configurations, tracking changes, and version selection, control, and the establishments of baselines. Moreover, it aims at controlling changes introduced to large and complex software systems, through reliable version section and version control. If something goes wrong in a software system, Software Configuration Management can determine what was changed and who changed it. Also, if a configuration is working well, it can determine how to replicate it across many hosts.
IEEE STD defined Software Configuration Management in 1987 as “the discipline of managing the evaluation of complex systems”. Its main purpose is to systematically control changes in the system’s configuration and maintain the integrity and traceability of the system configuration throughout its life cycle. Additionally, Software Configuration Management is an umbrella activity that is applied throughout the software process. This process controls the basic components of the software such as, software objects, program code, test data, test output, design documents, and user manuals. Moreover, there are four major components of Software Configuration Management, all of which play a very crucial role in completing the process of configuration management. These components are:
The major work of a software configuration management is to identify, report, control, verify and audit the system’s configuration. However, the responsibilities of Software Configuration Management is not limited to these components. There are other numerous roles of this process that make it popular amongst all software engineers. Hence, mentioned below are some other purposes of Software Configuration Management:
If we look at a single process of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), we will find that it is full of various complicated and simple phases, each of which require different development and testing techniques. Similarly, the process of Software Configuration Management is an amalgamation of several activities and procedures. In order to keep a track of each and every element of the system, a software developer needs to prepare a checklist, which can assist him/her is performing configuration management without missing out any issue or component. Therefore, here is a software configuration management checklist, to assist software developers with the process of Software Configuration Management:
Managing software systems and application after changes or modifications are implemented in them, is the most important part of software development process. It can prevent expenditure of extra efforts, time and cost on the project, which would have been invested in making sure that the software is developed perfectly. Therefore, with the assistance of Software Configuration Management, software developers and testers can ensure that their product is developed as per client’s demand and fulfil all their requirements. Other advantages of implementing Software Configuration Management are:
A software consists of a collection of items such as, programs, data, codes, documents and more, that are changed at any time during the software development process. In a software, the design, code and even the requirements are changed frequently to achieve appropriate results and outcomes. This easily changeable nature of software and the fact that changes are implemented so often in the software, require that the changes should be done in a controlled manner. To ensure this, Software configuration management (SCM) is executed during the software development process. It is the discipline for systematically controlling the changes that take place during development. Creating proper SCM standards and processes during the early stages of project is strategic and can reduce risk and provide cost mitigation. Moreover, it helps control change without impeding justifiable changes. Hence, with the assistance of Software Configuration Management, a software developer can implement changes in the software effortlessly and ensure its quality, functionality, performance and effectiveness.