TABLE OF CONTENTS 1…… General Assessment Questions. 2 1.1 Questions to analyze the development process description.. 2 1.2 Questions to characterize the project application.. 2 1.3 Questions…Read more »
SCM Process and smartBuild SCM Process and smartBuild from Rajesh KumarRead more »
Software engineers usually find coding to be the most satisfying aspect of their job. This is easy to understand because programming is a challenging, creative activity requiring extensive technical skills. It can mean getting to “play” with state-of-the-art tools, and it provides almost instant gratification in the form of immediate feedback. Programming is the development task that most readily comes to mind when the profession of software engineering is mentioned.
That said, seasoned engineers and project managers realize that programmers are part of a larger team. All of the integral tasks, such as quality assurance and verification and validation, are behind-the-scenes activities necessary to turn standalone software into a useful and usable commodity. Software configuration management (SCM) falls into this category—it can’t achieve star status, like the latest “killer app,” but it is essential to project success. The smart software project manager highly values the individuals and tools that provide this service.
This chapter will answer the following questions about software configuration management.
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Identification, control, audit, and status accounting are the four basic requirements for a software configuration management system. These requirements must be satisfied regardless of the amount of automation within the SCM process. All four may be satisfied by an SCM tool, a tool set, or a combination of automated and manual procedures.
- Identification—Each software part is labeled so that it can be identified. Furthermore, there will be different versions of the software parts as they evolve over time, so a version or revision number will be associated with the part. The key is to be able to identify any and all artifacts that compose a released configuration item. Think of this as a bill of materials for all the components in your automobile. When the manufacturer realizes that there has been a problem with parking brakes purchased from a subcontractor, it needs to know all the automobile models using that version of the parking brake. It is the same with software. If we are building a multimedia system that has audio MPEG3 drivers for Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows CE, Linux, and FreeBSD operating systems, how do we find out which releases are impacted when we find an error in the Linux product? You must go back to your SCM system to identify all the common components in all operating system releases that are impacted.
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Software development has traditionally suffered from producing end products with a definite lack of inherent quality. The symptoms of this quality lack are listed here:
- Software development projects are often delivered late and over budget.
- Often the delivered product does not meet customer requirements and is never used.
- Software products simply do not work right.
As we look into the symptoms of our software development malaise, five principal issues related to software development arise.
Lack of Visibility
Software is conceptual in nature. Unlike a bridge, a building, or another physical structure, it is not easy to look at software and assess how close it is to completion. Without strong project management, “software is 90% complete 90% of the time.” Through the adoption of SCM policy and the definition of the configuration management model of the software under development, all CIs, components, and subcomponents are immediately visible for versions, releases, and product families.
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