Loading

Software Configuration Management Tools


What is meant by the term "software configuration management"?

Sometimes, bringing a large amount of changes on a frequent basis during the development process may put developers in an ambiguous and complex situation to make a wrong selection among the various modified versions of the software product, thereby delivering the different or previous version, not the latest or the desired one to the testing team to carry out testing activity over it.

This type of act may produce various misguided results such as successfully passing the test of the software, discovery of lesser number of defects, etc. whereas the actual, desired version may likely to generate, exactly opposite results. To avoid such type of circumstances, the need of software configuration management arises.

In the context to software engineering, the term "software configuration management (SCM)" refers to the activity of monitoring and systematically controlling, the changes or modifications, frequently introduced in the software product during its development process. It is a major part of a larger field of configuration management, which is independent of the development process.

However, to monitor and control the changes during the entire development process, demands the need of specific tools, namely SCM tools to carry out this complex process in an effective manner.

Here, we are listing out some of the well known tools used for the purpose of software configuration management and are readily available in the market.

Sl.No. Tools Characteristics
1. IBM Rational Team Concert
  • An IBM product, developed by the Rational Software Division of the IBM.
  • It is licensed under IBM EULA.
  • A type of IDE built on IBM Jazz to manage almost all aspects of the development process such as plans, defect tracking, source & revision control, build management, etc.
  • Ability to integrate with other products, also.
  • Provides the platform to collaborate user and developer in the development process.
  • Customize Dashboard for the status of the meeting.
  • Enables to create, review, share, deliver, deploy and apply patches to code.
2. Concurrent Version System (CVS)
  • An open source configuration management tool licensed under GNU General Public License.
  • A client server architecture to store current and previous version(s) of the project enabling client to look over the whole story of the project.
  • Cross platform tool that runs on multiple variants of UNIX and additionally supports some of the version of Microsoft operating system.
  • Advantage of maintaining a separate copy of files for the editing purpose and merging the changes with original copy.
  • Enables geographically separated developers to collaborate, virtually.
  • Enables developers to simultaneously work on the group of files at a same time.
3. Rational Clearcase
  • An IBM product, originally developed by the Atria Software and licensed under IBM EULA.
  • An Enterprise management application supporting work and build management, managing files and directories throughout the development lifecycle.
  • Manages Parallel development.
  • Supports design data management of electronic design artifacts.
  • Provides the advantage of hardware development, along with the software development.
  • Ability to integrate with other development tools and frameworks, such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.
  • Capability to store binary files and large repository of files.
  • Empowers to manage edit-build-debug cycle in an effective manner.
4. Borland StarTeam
  • It is a SCM tool along with the SDLC software application licensed under Named and Concurrent End-user license options.
  • A revision control system used in the software development for the projects having teams distributed at multiple locations.
  • It is a client-server based application supported by the relational database to absorb & maintain all changes occurred during the development process along with the versioning and branching.
  • Advantage of live & dynamic back-up.
  • Multilingual tool, which not only stores the requirements, project task, change requests and discussion but also interlink them to provide better picture of traceability in the project.
  • It caters to meet the requirement of all sorts of workflows ranging from simple to complex.
5. SVN: SubVersion
  • An open source and one of the most popular software configuration management tools.
  • Manages the files and directories, along with the changes introduced in it during the course of time.
  • Empowers to go back to the previous version in order to study and analyse the changes.
  • Operates across multiple networks.
  • Easy to set up and administered.
  • Easy switching between the branches.
  • Clearly imparts the changes, implemented in the file along with the advantage of undo the changes.