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Mithi25
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Quote Mithi25 Replybullet Topic: Configuration Management
    Posted: 03Jul2009 at 6:02am
onfiguration management (CM) is the detailed recording and updating of information that describes an enterprise's computer systems and networks, including all hardware and software components.

Such information typically includes the versions and updates that have been applied to installed software packages and the locations and network addresses of hardware devices. Special configuration management software is available. When a system needs a hardware or software upgrade, a computer technician can accesses the configuration management program and database to see what is currently installed. The technician can then make a more informed decision about the upgrade needed.

An advantage of a configuration management application is that the entire collection of systems can be reviewed to make sure any changes made to one system do not adversely affect any of the other systems

Configuration management is also used in software development, where it is called Unified Configuration Management (UCM). Using UCM, developers can keep track of the source code, documentation, problems, changes requested, and changes made.

All the activity areas in configuration management share metadata for items placed under configuration management. Metadata is a database concept that means data about the data stored in the database. So metadata in this context describes the configuration items. Metadata for a configuration item may include its name, the name of the person who produced the item, the production date, and references to other related configuration items.


Change control uses metadata—for example, the trace information for a configuration item for which a change is suggested. Change control does not in itself contribute to metadata, because information produced during change control will be present only if a configuration item is affected by a suggested change. A configuration item can exist without change control information, but it can't exist without metadata.


Configuration management interacts with quality assurance, as illustrated by the item approval process that accompanies a configuration item from production to storage.


The item approval, which may be a written quality record or verbal, is a product of quality assurance. Some see it as a product of configuration management, but it's actually the gateway from production to configuration management, provided by quality assurance.

Auditing is included in some definitions of configuration management. An audit ensures that the product—the configuration item released for use—fulfills the requirements and is complete as delivered.


This includes configuration management information, so that everything required is delivered in the expected versions and that the history of each item can be thoroughly accounted for. This activity area is not considered part of configuration management in this book. It's viewed as an activity area under general quality assurance, which partly concerns the products and partly the processes, rather than a configuration management activity area.

This may be a controversial point of view, but the idea of audits is a legacy from the Department of Defense origin of configuration management. Today there is a much broader understanding in the software industry of the importance of quality assurance and, therefore, also of configuration management.

Auditing uses configuration information extensively in the form of status reports, but it also uses quality assurance techniques and methods, such as reviewing and test. In practice, people involved in configuration management also carry out the audit.

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Edited by Mithi25 - 03Jul2009 at 6:04am



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