Software Configuration Management

Posted on Apr 11 2010 - 5:48pm by Raj
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In the field of SQA the term Configuration Management refers to a process in which QA engineers seek the best possible solution of handling the changes during the software project stages. It’s sole responsibility is to maintain the integrity and traceability of the software development process. This goal is achieved by identifying various functional & physical attributes of software during several stages of development, and it performs systematic control of changes to identified attributes.
The process of configuration management was initially developed by the US department of Defense (DoD) in the 1950’s as a technical management discipline.
But the processes concepts have been widely adopted by several technical management models that include systems engineering, integrated logistics support, CMMI, ISO 9000, ITIL, COBIT and application life cycle management.
If we are to go in depth of the theory we’ll come to know that this concept actually comprehends the need of tracing changes and the ability of verifying that the final delivered piece of software has all the planned enhancements that were initially supposed to be included at the release of the software package. It has four core procedures to go through by, those procedures assures that each software project has been appropriately implemented Configuration Management process. Below are the procedures:

  • Configuration identification
  • Configuration control
  • Configuration status accounting
  • Configuration audits

These terms may sound similarly different from standard for standard but in nature and essentials, they all are same. Let’s discuss these terms in detail respectively:

Configuration identification is a process consisting of identifying attributes that define all the aspect of the configuration items (hardware and/or software).
Configuration Documentations and baselines are used for recording these attributes.
Configuration control is set of processes & approval stages that are required to change attributes and re-baseline an item of configuration.
As the name itself says a lot about the concept; Configuration status accounting is the process of recording and reporting on the configuration baselines that are associated with each configuration item at any stage of the development process.
In order to define configuration audits, we’ll have to divide them into two unique categories; functional configuration audits and the physical configuration audits. They are used either when the software is at the delivery stage or at the stage of effecting the change. The purpose of functional configuration audit is to make sure that the functional and the performance attributes of configuration items are properly achieved, whereas a physical configuration audit assures that a configuration item is installing according to the requirements of its detailed design documentation.

This prestigious configuration management process is broadly used by military organizations to achieve their technical aspects of any complex system, for example, the weapon systems, vehicles, and ofcourse the information systems. This delegate discipline combines the ability and capability aspects that these systems provide to an organize with the issues of the management of change to these systems over time.
Even regardless of the military field, Configuration management process is appreciated and appropriate to a wide range of other fields and industries and also commercial sectors.

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