There is a saying that “Change is inevitable”. This means that nothing is permanent in this world and change should be expected to happen. This is the reason why people have thought of ways on how to control or prevent change the most effective way possible through random testing and combining certain techniques and technologies that may yield favorable results. Same thing happened with software development. Software programs are prone to attack from the outside world. A lot of changes can be made to certain programs with the advent of malicious entities that are designed to change the way software programs operate. And because of this, Software Configuration Management (SCM) comes in.
Software Configuration Management is part of configuration management (CM) that administers a software design project to make sure that evolving software products are still under control. This software management discipline is designed to identify how certain features react to different environments, what aspects of the work project are most likely to change over time, and track defects that may happen and therefore, find means to prevent it from happening or at least control it. It also includes the technical aspects, the organization of the project, all communications and control to the plan during software development.
It is during the 1950s when configuration management (CM) was brought to the world of computing. At first, programmers and developers only use CM for hardware design and development, but then there came a time that there is also a need for CM applied to software development. Though the basic concepts were made clear during the early 1980s, there were some challenges that occurred during that time such as documents, and processes that linked towards the control of the activity. It is only after this era that software configuration management grew as a separate entity from traditional CM. With lot of different tools developed applying directly to software management, SCM has laid its foundation to database software design and development.
Software configuration management can be subdivided into two areas. The first area of SCM is also called component repository management, wherein it concerns itself with the safe storage of entities of a software product created during software development. The second area of SCM deals with the activities performed during the production of these entities. This is also known as engineering support.
Indeed, software configuration management is an integral part of software design and development. Not only that it keeps software products under control, but also, SCM aims to record and report the status of each software component to ensure consistency and completeness of the product. SCM also aims to track defects of the system and reproduce means on how to intercept such situations. Having all of these taken into consideration, SCM will surely help build better software programs for future generations to come.
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- Easily identify and maintain a list of configuration data
- Includes definition of files, fields and data areas
- Package configuration data into versions
- Perform configuration data transfers to development, to test and to production
- Automatically maintain an audit trail
- See which configuration data elements were changed
- See before and after images of the change, when changed and who changed
- Rapid rollback of configuration data on error to a known correct version
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- Automating network configuration backups
- Tracking and monitoring configuration changes
- Detecting config changes in real-time using syslog messages
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- Scheduling reports for monitoring and auditing.