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Care must be taken to keep the focus of the surveillance on the insights that can be gained from the measurements, not on the measurements themselves.

In-process audits of scm

Audits can be carried out during the software engineering process to investigate the current status of specific elements of the configuration or to assess the implementation of the SCM process. In-process auditing of SCM provides a more formal mechanism for monitoring selected aspects of the process and may be coordinated with the SQA function.

Software configuration identification

The software configuration identification activity identifies items to be controlled, establishes identification schemes for the items and their versions, and establishes the tools and techniques to be used in acquiring and managing controlled items. These activities provide the basis for the other SCM activities.

Identifying items to be controlled

A first step in controlling change is to identify the software items to be controlled. This involves understanding the software configuration within the context of the system configuration, selecting software configuration items, developing a strategy for labeling software items and describing their relationships, and identifying the baselines to be used, along with the procedure for a baseline’s acquisition of the items.

Software configuration

A software configuration is the set of functional and physical characteristics of software as set forth in the technical documentation or achieved in a product. It can be viewed as a part of an overall system configuration.

Software configuration item

A software configuration item (SCI) is an aggregation of software designated for configuration management and is treated as a single entity in the SCM process. A variety of items, in addition to the code itself, is typically controlled by SCM. Software items with potential to become SCIs include plans, specifications and design documentation, testing materials, software tools, source and executable code, code libraries, data and data dictionaries, and documentation for installation, maintenance, operations, and software use.

Selecting SCIs is an important process in which a balance must be achieved between providing adequate visibility for project control purposes and providing a manageable number of controlled items.

Software configuration item relationships

The structural relationships among the selected SCIs, and their constituent parts, affect other SCM activities or tasks, such as software building or analyzing the impact of proposed changes. Proper tracking of these relationships is also important for supporting traceability. The design of the identification scheme for SCIs should consider the need to map the identified items to the software structure, as well as the need to support the evolution of the software items and their relationships.

Software version

Software items evolve as a software project proceeds. A version of a software item is a particular identified and specified item. It can be thought of as a state of an evolving item. A revision is a new version of an item that is intended to replace the old version of the item. A variant is a new version of an item that will be added to the configuration without replacing the old version.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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