Channels ▼
RSS

Design

Software Configuration Management


Pablo is a SCM consultant and software developer currently working for Codice Software, in Spain. He can be reached at psantosl@codicesoftware.com.


Software configuration management (SCM) is all about organizing, controlling, and managing change in software as it evolves. As a discipline, SCM defines a process for change control. Unfortunately, SCM is often thought of as only necessary for really big software shops undertaking really big development projects. I say "unfortunately" because, in practice, the principles of SCM can--and should--be implemented in software projects of all sizes.

For instance, a couple of years ago I moved from a large-scale, distributed development team making software for digital TVs, to a small group responsible of the maintenance of an ERP system. With not much more than a compiler, I found myself responsible for a 400,000 lines-of-code Delphi 5 project that was the code base for five different products. In a perfect world I could have hired some large group of software engineers, bought management, estimation, version-control, defect and task-tracking, and automated testing tools. Unfortunately I didn't have resources, so I had to be careful in my selection. If there's one thing I've learned in the programming trenches, it is that you can survive with very few tools--a compiler, editor, and strong version-control system. Why version contro? Because you can take advantage of it to not only put your files under control, but also manage the efforts of the whole team.

So I pushed management and ended up getting Rational Clearcase LT, an entry-level SCM tool from IBM.


Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 

Video