Software Configuration Management - Importance, Activities

Software Engineering Notes: Q1.Software Configuration Management? - its activities. Q2.Importance of Configuration Management in software engineering? Q3.Three mostly used CASE tools? (Software Engineering all notes)


Q1. What is Software Configuration Management? Describe various configuration management activities?

Ans. Configuration Management: Technique by which the process of software development and maintenance is controlled is called configuration management.

The configuration management is different in development and maintenance phase of life cycle due to different environments. The software maintenance is undertaken in the environment of a live system in use by a probably large user base.

Potential effects upon a live system are much more immediate than those upon a system still under development. Thus configuration management is concerned with the development of procedures and standards for cost effective managing and controlling changes in the evolving software/system.

Configuration Management Activities

The configuration management activities are divided into following four broad categories :
1. The identification of the components and changes.
2. The control of the way by which the change are made.
3. Auditing the changes.
4. Status accounting, recording and documenting all the activities that have taken place.

The following documents are required for these activities :
(a) Project plan.
(b) Software requirement specification document.
(c) Source code listing.
(d) Test plans/Procedures/Test cases.
(e) User manuals.

All components of the system's configuration are recorded along with all relationships and dependencies between them. Any changes, addition, deletion or modification must be recorded and its effect upon the rest of the system's components should be checked. After a change has been made, a new configuration is recorded.

Q2. Explain the importance of Configuration Management in software engineering?

Ans. Importance of Configuration Management in Software Engineering: Configuration management is important in software engineering for the following reasons:

(a) It is an umbrella activity that is applied throughout the software process.

(b) It is a set of tracking and control activities that begin when a software engineering project begins and terminate only when the software is taken out of operation.

(c) It provides a set of activities designed to control change by identifying the work products that are likely to change, establishing relationships among them.

(d) It keeps track of variants or versions and help to fix bugs in them.

(e) It stores versions and revisions efficiently and maintains revision history.

(f) It helps to identify the exact state of different deliverables at any time.

(g) It helps to avoid the problems associated with having replicated objects accessible by multiple engineers.

(h) It ensures that the current design and build state of the system is known and recorded and doesn't rely on the tacit knowledge of the development team.

(i) It enables engineers to formally and safely record all change details.

(j) It ensures that documentation can be produced which truly describes delivered systems.

Q3. Some examples of CASE tools that are used for facilitating the development of a software product. Or List out three mostly used CASE tools?

Ans. Example of CASE Tools: Some popularly used CASE tools that support the phase of software development life cycle are :

1. Software Requirement Tools:

There are a number of tools that have been proposed for analyzing and tracing requirements. Upper CASE tools or CASE diagrams represent the system requirements using object oriented methodologies.

Some examples of software requirements tools are :
(i) Agro/UML
(ii) Oracle's Designer/2000
(iii) MS Access
(iv) Statemate
(v) Excelerator

2. Software Construction Tools:

The tools used for coding and implementing the software i.e. transforming the user requirements into a working product are known as software construction tools. These tools are required even after the software installation for removing defects and maintaining it.

Common software construction tools are :
(i) Program editors.
(ii) Compilers.
(iii) Interpreters.
(iv) Debuggers.
(v) Macros.

3. Software Testing Tools:

These are the tools that support the various activities of testing phase of software development life cycle. They are further classified as:

(i) Test Generators: Test generators are the tools that assist the testers in designing test case and their documentation. Common examples are :
(a) MS Access.
(b) Quick List.

(ii) Test Execution and Evaluation Tools: Test execution and evaluation tools are developed for supporting the execution of test cases and evaluate the result of execution of test cases.
Common examples are :
(a) JavaStar.
(b) AutoTester.
(c) AquaProva.
(d) VisualTesting.
(e) BoundsChecker.

[ Topic= Software Configuration Management ]

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