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Saturday, July 7, 2012

How is Configuration management (CM) process applied in software testing?

Configuration management or CM finds its use in a wide number of fields including software engineering. The configuration management in the field of software engineering is called “software configuration management” or SCM. 

What is Software Configuration Management?

- SCM over the years has proven itself to be one of the best practices for monitoring the changes in a software system or application. 
- This process has been very effective when it comes to the identification of the physical as well as functional attributes of a software system or application at various intervals of time.
- This process also takes the responsibility for taking over the systematic control of the changes to be made to the identified attributes from the user and maintains the software traceability as well as integrity through out all the stages of the software development life cycle. 

In this article we have focused up on the application of the configuration management in the process of software testing. So let us see how to apply the configuration management process in software testing. 

What is Configuration Management?

- Configuration management is all about doing a detailed updating and recording of the information that gives a description of the computer system or network. 
- As the software systems and applications being developed today continue to rise in the measure of the complexity, the need for software configuration management drives in. 
Software building organizations require developing and maintaining variants of their software system or application in order to reach out to a diversified market. 
- Today almost every one is aware of the need for a better management and control of the software products.
- Customers, managers and developers all want to modify the requirements, technical approach and the project approach. 
- Though the modification is quite necessary as the time passes, it is very important that the changes that are to be made are properly controlled.
- It is important for the project leader to known about the state of the software product that is under development and whether or not it is satisfying the needs of the customers.
- Software configuration management can be considered to be a support or assistant that can help a manager to manage and control the software production in a much better way.

Under the concept of software testing, the software configuration management is often considered to be same as the change control which is wrong. 
- Both these processes are only related in the way that the change control forms a critical part of the software configuration management. 
- One thing that needs to be addressed in the configuration management is the modification of the test objects should be installed only in the test environment first and that too with the permission of the test team lead. 
- This approach of configuration management prevents a software system or application from failing in such situations where another version of the same object is being tested. 
- After this the change management documentation has also to be updated since it bears a very critical relation with the testing of the software system or application. 
- Plus the way in which the changes have been dealt with should also be mentioned. 

In simple words, we can say that the evolution of the software systems or application is controlled by the software configuration management and so it makes un- neglect-able contributes to the quality of the software system or application and also to its delay constraints. 
The software configuration management was introduced in the field of software testing as a result of the “software crisis” i.e., when it was realized that the programming was not everything in software engineering. 

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