cm: the next generation


New Developments in Builds and Deployment Management

The very first generation of CM tools dealt with support for build operations. Typically, this was through the inclusion of a facility such as a Make utility, and perhaps some tools to help build Make files. But as we move into the next generation of CM tools, it is also more important to be able to manage the builds at an information level. Build Management moves from the earlier build operation support and tagging functions, to wider traceability and better information accessibility. And beyond the build operations themselves, there are additional benefits as we move into the next generation of Deployment Management.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Your Small Business Can't Afford to Not Invest in SCM

It used to be that SCM was a complex and effort-intensive process that small projects and businesses could not affort to invest in. Tools were expensive, automation was a daunting task, and the imposition of process on the small development team would take away the small business advantage of moving quickly. Today, and certainly in the next generation of CM, quite the opposite is true. How can that be?

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
The Practice of Good Release Management Processes in CM

We build software as part of a system or as its own entire product. The goal is to meet the requirements established by the customer, the market and/or the cost/benefits analysis. Product releases are meant to move us from some starting point to our ultimate product over a period of time: months, years or even decades. Release management starts not with the delivery of software, but with the identification of what we're planning to put into the product. The timing and content of releases helps us to manage releases so that they are not too onerous on the customer and so that we stay in a competitive position with our products. Good release management processes will ensure that you know what is going to go into your product, what actually went into the product, and what changes the customer is going to realize upon upgrading.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
CM Tools and Transparency in IT Governance

When it comes to IT governance, a key issue is transparency of process and data, all the way up the chain.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
What the Next Standard of CM Will Look Like

When will the ultimate software configuration management (CM) standard emerge? Although Joe Farah suspects that it may never happen, he recommends the next standard: one that will be very well defined, highly flexible, and will cater to agile development, automation, CMMI, and more.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
How the Next Generation of CM and ALM Solutions Will Influence the Market

CM architecture has the ability to influence the market even more so than vice versa. The complexity of CM and ALM forces vendors to take the lead in market development. But the market will have its influence, and those solutions with strong architectures will be in the best position to serve that market. Last year at this time, I identified where I thought the CM solution space was heading generally. Looking back two and three years ago, I painted a bit of a picture of what defines 3rd and 4th generation CM/ALM solutions. Over the next couple of years, we should expect to see competitive and market pressures push the industry into the 3rd generation.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
The Connection between Testing and CM

Testing is a complex discipline. There are various approaches, methodologies, strategies. So where is the connection with CM? As with development, requirements specifications, and other aspects of product development, the connection is on the management side. A software configuration management audit is really about demonstrating that you have test case coverage for your requirements and that the test cases have been successfully run against the target build.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Top 10 Best Practices in Configuration Management

Joe Farah identifies the top ten "best" practices in configuration management and goes even further by listing ten more runner-up practices.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Addressing Challenges to Ensure Successful Tool Integrations

Tool integrations have been going on ever since the initial days of JCL (IBM's Job Control Language). JCL actually made things a lot simpler. But as tools have become more complex and diverse, tool integration presents many challenges. How do you integrate user interface and simplify the corresponding training? What about administration? How do you deal with varying scalability capabilities, and varying server requirements? What about multiple site operation? Successful tool integrations must effectively address these issues and must do so by starting from a process-centric view of the world.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Commonsense CM Strategies to Meet Good Quality Requirements

Quality requirements are an elusive goal for any complex product development effort. A strong process and good tools can help advance requirements toward higher quality over time. The product development team plays an important role in establishing quality requirements. In a well-oiled customer/ developer relationship, frequent feedback will go both ways. Unknowns will be explored and change will occur. It's important that CM/ALM tools can clearly track requirements and their changes in a way that helps to capture increasingly improved requirement baselines.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah


CMCrossroads is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.