Software Configuration Management Tools
Software configuration management (SCM) is a set of processes, policies, and tools that organizes the development process. It simultaneously maintains the current state of the software (called the “baseline”), while enabling developers to work on new versions for features or fixes.
In software engineering, software configuration management process is the task of tracking and controlling changes in the software, part of the larger cross-disciplinary field of configuration management. SCM practices include revision control and the establishment of baselines. If something goes wrong, SCM can determine what was changed and who changed it. If a configuration is working well, SCM can determine how to replicate it across many hosts.
The acronym "SCM" is also expanded as source configuration management process and software change and configuration management. However, "configuration" is generally understood to cover changes typically made by a system administrator.
Software configuration control usually includes the updates and the versions that have been applied to software packages, as well as locations and network addresses of hardware devices. When a system needs a software or hardware upgrade, the user can access the configuration management program and database to see what is currently installed and then make a more informed decision about the upgradation needed. Configuration management tools list have been divided into three categories: tracking, version management, and release tools.
The SCM configuration management traces changes and verifies that the software has all of the planned changes that are supposed to be included in a new release. It includes four procedures that should be defined for each software project to ensure that a reliable software configuration management process is utilized. The four procedures typically found in a reliable system configuration management tools are:
Configuration identification. It is the procedure by which attributes are identified that defines all the properties of a configuration item. A configuration item referred to as an object is a product (hardware and/or software) that supports use by an end user. These attributes are recorded in configuration documents or database tables and baselined. A baseline is an approved configuration object, such as a project plan, that has been authorized for implementation.
Configuration control. It is a set of processes and approval stages required to change a configuration object’s attributes and to rebaseline them.
Configuration status documentation. Configuration status accounting is the ability to record and report on the configuration baselines associated with each configuration object at any point in time.
Configuration audits. Configuration audits are divided into functional and physical configuration audits. An audit occurs at the time of delivery of a project or at the time a change is made. A functional configuration audit is intended to make sure that functional and performance attributes of a configuration object are achieved. A physical configuration audit attempts to ensure that a configuration object is installed based on the requirements of its design specifications.
The advantages of software configuration management system are:
- It reduces redundant work
- It effectively manages simultaneous updates
- It avoids configuration related problems
- It simplifies coordination between team members
- It is helpful in tracking defects
F.A.Q about Software Configuration Management Tools
What are the outcomes of well-implemented configuration management?
- Disaster Recovery
If the worst does happen, automated configuration management tools ensures that our assets are easily recoverable. The same applies to rollbacks. Configuration management makes it so that when we’ve put out bad code, we can go back to the state of our software before the change.
- Uptime and Site Reliability
The term “site reliability” refers to how often your service is up. A frequent cause of downtime is bad deployments, which can be caused by differences in running production servers to test servers. With our configuration managed properly, our test environments can mimic production, so there’s less chance of a nasty surprise.
- Easier Scaling
Provisioning is the act of adding more resources (usually servers) to our running application. Сonfiguration automation tools ensure that we know what a good state of our service is. That way, when we want to increase the number of servers that we run, it’s simply a case of clicking a button or running a script. The goal is really to make provisioning a non-event.