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Reload this page Version/Change and Configuration Management

Here are my notes on using Version/Change and Configuration Management software to manage digital assets.

Take the Brainbench certification test on Software Configuration Management (SCM)


Topics this page:

  • What is SCM?
  • Competing Products
  • ClearCase
  • Your comments???


  • Programming Logic,
  • Applications Development

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    Set screen What is Software Configuration Management (SCM)?

      Software Configuration Management (SCM) is the discipline to organize and control evolving software systems.

      Maintain an auditable and repeatable history of your organization's source files and software builds.

      According to the SEI CMM Software Configuration Management Key Process Area (KPA), the goal of Software Configuration Management:

      • Changes to identified software products are approved, controlled, and verified.
      • Members of the SCM group and the software engineering group are trained to perform their SCM activities.
      • A board having the authority for managing the project's software baselines (SSCB or equivalent) exists or is established.
      • Selected software work products are controlled and available.
      • Software Configuration Management activities are planned.

      The Change Control Board (CCB) determines what changes will be approved and implemented during the Code Implementation, System Test, Post-Release phases. (Not during Requirements or Design phases).

      In SCM, one deals with the problem of several people developing, building, shipping, and maintaining several copies of software products, each with an individual set of changes applied to make it fit into a particular environment.

      SCM engineers identify and control these changes so that resulting work products are well-identified and well-defined.

      Software Configuration Management consists of four basic processes:

      • Configuration Identification
      • Configuration Baseline Management
      • Configuration Control
      • Configuration Status Accounting
      • Configuration Audit

      The normal hierarchical structure of CSCI components, from highest to lowest:

      1. Subsystem or Segment
      2. Software Unit
      3. System
      4. CSCI

      Responsibilities of the CMO (Configuration Management Officer) include:

      • Controlling the software and providing the official version for the release
      • Providing a version description document
      • Building the release by integrating various configuration items
      • Maintain control of an original version of the release after distribution
      The CMO does not prioritize defects.

      The key success factors for implementing a change management process include:

      • The process is fully compliant with the IEEE guidance on change management
      • The change process should be simple and straight forward.
      • The process provides a complete record of all changes approved for implementation
      • The process is consistent with the culture and requirements of the project.
      • The process is supported by the methods and tools of the project.
      • The process includes the tracking of progress and requests for new features.

      A waiver is designated as major if the configuration documentation defining the requirements for the item classifies defects in requirements and the waivers consist of a departure from a requirement classified as major.

      According to MIL-STD-498 and IEEE standard Std 610.12-1990, Allocated Configuration Identification is the approved allocated baseline plus approved changes.

      The current approved or conditionally approved technical documentation defines the configuration of a CI during the production, operation, maintenance, and logistic support phases of its life-cycle.

      A Functional Configuration Identification (Functional Configuration Item) is approved functional baseline plus approved changes to functional characteristics, design constraints, and lower level CIs.


    webpage article Source Control HOWTO by Eric Sink

    A website external to this site Brad Appleton's Software Configuration Management Links

    A website external to this site Unix Configuration Management Tools

    Packages such as Moonlight collect and store configuration settings in a specialized repository SQL database system.

    HP's LGPL SmartFrog (Framework for Object Groups) has runtime daemons (written in Java) to implement PKI-secured requests written in its generic configuration description XML language and stored in Java data structures. It was originally designed as a framework for building and managing large monitoring systems where flexible configurations are essential. Its components include sequencing, distributed workflows, failure detection, script execution, installation of software, ignition, dynamic discovery and naming.

    Among the 618 projects under System > Install/Setup projects, System Installation Suite, which includes SystemImager, to make the installation of Linux to masses of similar machines relatively easy by taking images containing unconfigured OS plus apps from a "golden" base. Images are stored in an image server. This makes software distribution, configuration, and operating system updates easy, and can also be used for content distribution.

    Modeling your applications for understandability and consistency

    • Files
    • Reference configurations
    • Deployment actions
    • Per-server customizations
    • Patches
    Providing the "gold copy" of application files
    • Centrally maintained
    • On-demand, can reconstruct an application to any server
    Managing versions of
    • Models
    • Application files
    • Server instances
    • Disaster recovery configurations
    • Changes to configurations
    • Changes to content
    • Detects and corrects configuration drift

    webpage article Automatic UNIX Documentation with unixdoc by Roman Marxer

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    Set screen Status

      W3C Process

      # Document Status Meaning
      1. Note Anyone can submit one. Here's what I think ...
      2. Requirements Seed for Working Group activity
      3. Working Draft in Development Snapshot of artifacts produced by Working Group
      4. Working Draft in Last Call Industry comments. Are we done yet?
      5. Candidate Recommendation Feature Complete - time to implement to find concerns
      6. Proposed Recommendation Last chance to complain
      7. Recommendation Final version. Nothing can be changed.

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    Set screen Competing Products

      Automated SCM system products:

    • Rational corporation's ClearCase, now at Release 4.2, features MultiSite Enterprise CM software for replicating assets around the globe.

    • Microsoft Visual Source Safe (VSS) is part of the Visual Studio product line. SourceGear, makers of SourceOffSite, allows fast and secure read/write access to a centralized Visual SourceSafe database via any TCP/IP connection. Clients for Solaris, Linux, Windows.

        SourceGear Vault in Champaign, Ill. is a replacement for Microsoft's source code management tool Visual SourceSafe.

    • Teamshare

    • BitMover from BitKeeper

    • Perforce

    • PVCS from Merant

    • Synergy from Telelogic AB, also developers of the DOORS/ERS requirements management system and Tau visual software development environment for software analysis, design, and testing.

    • AccuRev, a client-server package, runs on many Unix versions, Linux, NT, Windows 2000. Uses a parallel development model, has command line and GUI interfaces.

    Google: Computers > Software > Configuration Management > Tools

    The newsgroup on cm tools

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    Set screen ClearCase

      Rational's generic Unified Change Management (UCM) process supports best practices for change management as described in the Rational Unified Process. Project managers can configure UCM policies to meet most project needs.

      share name for storage.

      A Software Configuration Item (SCI) is information that is created as part of the software engineering process, such as Requirements Specifications and User Manuals. NOT considered a potential SCI is a Project Proposal.

      Directories and Files are elements stored in VOBs (Versioned Object Bases) To make a VOB (pronounced as a one-syllable word), invoke the Create VOB wizard or:

        cleartool mkvob

      Note: Examples of commands here use the forward slashes (/) so that they can be used in both Windows and UNIX environments.

      Internal control information about VOBs are stored in a physical storage directory/folder.

      within each VOB, ClearCase automatically creates for itself a lost+found special directory.


      To mount a VOB, invoke from Start ClearCase Administration > Mount VOB or

        cleartool mount

      The element keyword precede version selection rules which selects a version of an element. All elements are stored with a version history and other information.

      Each specific version of elements are accessed by a View. A view is a filter that allows work on only one version in a VOB. It is best practice to create each version with a comment. Each view shows a directory tree of elements. There are two types of views:

      • Snapshot views

      • Dynamic views use the ClearCase Multiversion File System

      The elements in each view is defined by a Config spec (Configuration Specification). The default config spec has the following rules:

        element * CHECKEDOUT

        element * /main/LATEST

      To find elements created between Jan. 1st and Jan 7th:

      A view also establishes a private work area and creates a layer of view-private files on top of the public VOB elements available to everyone who uses the VOB. It then makes the two sets of files appear as if they are part of the same directory structure.

      By default, work on elements begin from the /main line of development with an empty Version 0 file. Each checkin increments the version number.

      A specific version may be labeled as a particular release such as “REL1.0

      To make a new release ...

      Which one of the following statements describes the difference between items that are both baselined and configuration controlled versus items that are NOT baselined, but configuration controlled? Choice 1 Items that are not baselined require only CCB approval for a change. Items that are baselined require both technical team approval and CCB approval. Choice 2 >>> Items that are not baselined require only CM Manager approval for a change. Items that are baselined require CCB approval. Choice 3 Items that are not baselined require only technical team approval for a change. Items that are baselined require CM Manager approval. Choice 4 Items that are not baselined require only program management approval for a change. Items that are baselined require CCB approval. Choice 5 Items that are not baselined require the technical team approval and the program management approval. Likewise, items that are baselined require the same review and approval level. To build an application, use a variant of the UNIX makefile utility:

        cleartool app1

      Build with OMAKE (windows)

      To facilitate parallel development on the same piece of code, a new branch is created.

      ClearCase prevents you from saving a changed file unless you check it out. as long as you are not changing a VOB element, you can treat a VOB element as if it were a normal file or directory. You can read it, print it, compile it, and run it without invoking special ClearCase commands. You can perform regular non-destructive file operations on VOB elements without first interacting with ClearCase. For example, you can use MS-DOS commands or an application installed on your computer to browse through or open VOB files. Invoke the ClearCase Explorer GUI. Load rule


      CM software often provides some form of delta versioning to store multiple versions of a software item. Referring to the statement above, what is the correct definition for forward delta-based versioning? Choice 1 Deltas are kept for all versions of the file except for the latest version and other frequently used versions. Choice 2 Deltas for each version are stored in the original file with special notations to mark and identify the configuration of each version. Choice 3 The first version of a file is stored in its entirety. Incremental deltas are kept for all subsequent versions including the latest version. Choice 4 Delta annotations are stored separately from the file. Versions are built by reading the delta annotations and applying the changes to the file. Choice 5 The latest version of the file is stored in its entirety. Deltas are kept for all previous versions.


      Triggers (.tgr files) define what ClearCase watches

      tool ClearTrigger triggers at the enterprise level.

      Even a locked VOB can have a lshistory performed on it by anyone, even those not in the VOB's group list. The checkin/out comments used to track changes are visible to anyone.

      Pre-operation triggers Post-operation triggers


    Rational's user documentation are in Acrobat files stored in folder

    Program Files > Rational > ClearCase > bin

  • Managing Projects with ClearCase
  • Building Software with ClearCase
  • Developing Software with ClearCase

  • ClearCase Reference Manual from cmd cleartool man

  • ClearCase MultiSite Manual

  • Administering ClearCase

  • Quick Reference Guide

  • Online Help


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    Set screen Release Management

      The XYZ Systems is rolling out their Configuration Management process and the CMO is giving a presentation on Configuration Status Accounting.

      Based on the above statement, which one of the following items is NOT part of Configuration Status Accounting?

        Choice 1 The number of change requests pending for each configuration item and their revision schedule.
        Choice 2 The status of authorized changes for a configuration item.
        Choice 3 The status of changes by a configuration item in the categories of approved, deferred, and rejected.
        Choice 4 A listing of configuration items for the entire system and their status.
        Choice 5 The number of design changes by each configuration item during the design phase of the software life cycle.

      Which one of the following CANNOT be said of SCM Audits and Reviews?

        Choice 1 Project-level Production software releases must be described so that the customers will understand what is being delivered. In some cases, these recipients will also need installation instructions.
        Choice 2 Emergency changes do not need written approval from the appropriate department head but must be communicated to all other department heads. The changes must be reviewed at the next CCB meeting.
        Choice 3 Release Control is the process that correlates the release changes with the output of the release authorization process.
        Choice 4 SCM reviews include the Release Authorization Review and the Release Control Review.
        Choice 5 SCM audits must include a Change Control Audit that produces a log that is used during the Release Control Review.

      "Cityscape with Yellow Windows by Paul Klee. Get this print framed on your wall!
    Get this print framed for your wall!

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    Set screen Replication, Backup, and Recovery

      In order for ClearCase VOBs to be backed up, they must be locked with ClearCase services (lockmgr, ALBD, and ccreds) stopped.

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