Configuration management

In information technology and telecommunications, the term configuration management or configuration control has the following meanings:

  1. The management of security features and assurances through control of changes made to hardware, software, firmware, documentation, test, test fixtures and test documentation of an automated information system, throughout the development and operational life of a system. Source Code Management or revision control is part of this.
  2. The control of changes--including the recording thereof--that are made to the hardware, software, firmware, and documentation throughout the system lifecycle.
  3. The control and adaption of the evolution of complex systems. It is the discipline of keeping evolving software products under control, and thus contributes to satisfying quality and delay constraints. Software configuration management (or SCM) can be divided into two areas. The first (and older) area of SCM concerns the storage of the entities produced during the software development project, sometimes referred to as component repository management. The second area concerns the activities performed for the production and/or change of these entities; the term engineering support is often used to refer this second area.
  4. After establishing a configuration, such as that of a telecommunications or computer system, the evaluating and approving changes to the configuration and to the interrelationships among system components.
  5. In distributed-queue dual-bus (DQDB) networks, the function that ensures the resources of all nodes of a DQDB network are configured into a correct dual-bus topology. The functions that are managed include the head of bus, external timing source, and default slot generator functions.

See also Information Technology Infrastructure Library, Capability Maturity Model


Products for software configuration management (SCM)

  • Evolution (, simply better scm and digital asset management.
  • TRUEchange,
  • Aldon LM, complete configuration management solution for multiple-platforms (.scc compliant, eclipse compliant).
  • GNU Arch, a distributed revision control system
  • Code Co-op, affordable Peer-to-peer VCS for distributed development (.scc compliant)
  • CVS, a descendant of RCS (.scc compliant?)
  • Telelogic SYNERGY, a Task-Based CM system (.scc compliant)
  • PVCS, a competitor of SCCS (.scc compliant)
  • Rational ClearCase, a proprietary program (.scc compliant)
  • Perforce (, a powerful and very fast proprietary version control system
  • RCS, a descendant of SCCS, diffs based on most recent version (.scc compliant)
  • Visual SourceSafe (.scc compliant)
  • Subversion the successor of CVS
  • SCCS the original UNIX .scc program, based on diffs
  • AllChange flexible configuration management solution
  • Bitkeeper, a proprietary configuration management solution.
  • AccuRev (, a commercial product based on a streams architecture and atomic transactions
  • Cfengine, administers and configures computers according to high-level language configuration files
  • LCFG, a large scale UNIX configuration system
  • Vesta (, an advanced configuration management system. Free software. Used at Intel ( for microprocessor design.
  • AllFusion Harvest Change Manager, commercial change and configuration management tool from Computer Associates
  • Bazaar-NG (, is an open source distributed version control system still in the early stages of development.

Sites for configuration management

  • CM Crossroads (, an online community for Configuration Management
  • UCMcentral (, Configuration Management Coffee Break Site
  • Steve Easterbrook's CM Resource Guide [1] (
  • Parallel Development Strategies for Software Configuration Management [2] (
  • An article on Open source configuration management tools, including references to many of them, see Comments on OSS/FS Software Configuration Management (SCM) Systems (

See also

External links


Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from the National Information Systems Security Glossary


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