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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Software Configuration Management Process

The SCM repository is the set of mechanisms and data structures that allow a software team to manage change in an effective manner. It provides the obvious functions of a DBMS but in addition, the repository performs or precipitates functions such as :
- data integrity.
- information sharing.
- tool integration.
- data integration.
- methodology.
- document standardization.
To achieve these functions, the repository is defined in terms of a meta-model.

Software Configuration Management Process :
A process defines the steps by which you perform a specific task or set of tasks. An SCM process is the way SCM is performed on your project—specifically, how an SCM tool is applied to accomplish a set of tasks.
- Identification of Artefacts
Early identification and change control of artefacts and work products is integral to the project. The configuration manager needs to fully identify and control changes to all the elements that are required to recreate and maintain the software product.
- Version Control
The primary goal of version control is to identify and manage project elements as they change over time. The Configuration Manager should establish a version control library to maintain all lifecycle entities. This library will ensure that changes (deltas) are controlled at their lowest atomic level eg documents, source files, scripts and kits etc.
- Change Request Management
Change Request management can be described as management of change/enhancement requests. Typically the Configuration Manger should set up a repository to manage these requests and support activities like status tracking, assignment etc.
- Configuration audit
Identification, version control, and change control help the software developer to maintain order in what would otherwise be a chaotic and fluid situation. But how can we ensure that the change has been properly implemented?
A software configuration audit complements the formal technical review by addressing the following questions :
- Has the change specified in the ECO been made? Have any additional modifications been incorporated.
- Has a formal technical review been conducted to assess technical correctness.
- Has the software process been followed?
- Has the change been highlighted in SCI?
- Have SCM procedures for noting the change, recording it, and reporting it been followed?
- Have all related SCIs been properly updated?

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