CA, Microsoft, IBM and CollabNet Lock Horns in the Change & Configuration Management Tools Category
Bangalore, March 11, 2010: Configuration Management is about managing configurations. Simply put, this means identifying the configuration and managing the changes that surround it. Managing changes to the configuration broadly falls under the domain of change control. A good change control process and tool set will help ensure that only the most appropriate changes are being made to a product. A robust process of this kind will also give the team easy access to all configurations and change data, including full traceability information.
Tool support for change and configuration control has evolved quite a bit over the decades. Initially it started as the ability to have an exclusive lock on a file when you checked it out - this was the "state-of-the-art" as the '60s moved into the '70s. The concept of change packages, or updates, introduced progressively through the '70s, '80s and '90s, were instrumental in moving change control along. Of course, we've come a long way since then. Change control must begin far earlier in the cycle than code changes.
A significant portion of IT related news this last decade has been dominated by mergers and acquisitions. Most notable in the areas of configuration and change management are the acquisitions of both Rational and Telelogic by IBM. One of the new players, AccuRev, has grabbed a number of converts. At the same time Subversion has captured significant Open Source interest. CollabNet's enterprise focused offering of Subversion has become widely popular and recently Subversion has been accepted into the Apache Incubator, a first step in becoming a top-level project of the Apache Software Foundation.
When one thinks of Enterprise CM, three things come to mind:
- Tools (and processes) that expand configuration management from the software team to the product team
- Processes (and standards) that help keep configuration management consistent across the enterprise
- Infrastructure (and management) that pushes configuration management technology into the rest of the organization
Enterprise configuration management is not a simple feature, process or edict. It is the establishment of tools, processes and infrastructure so that the management can confidently reap the benefits of change and configuration management as well as application lifestyle management (ALM) across the enterprise.
One of the big problems is that organizations often dictate a tool to be used across the enterprise. A vast majority of the time, the wrong tool is mandated resulting in budget crunches, resource crunches and capability shortfalls.
Establishing an enterprise-wide tool requires understanding the CM/ALM process across the Enterprise, and then selecting tools that can be used to support an overall process and framework. This requires expertise and experience. One project is not the same as another. An Agile project which is delivering a constant stream of releases to stay ahead of the competition is much different than an infrastructure project which is occasionally upgrading repository technology. A development team of 3 or 4 is much different than one of 300 to 400. Yet these variations exist in any large corporation.
Saltmarch Media's annual Great Indian Developer Awards honors software products across 12 categories, based on their productivity, innovation excellence, universal usefulness, simplicity, functionality and most importantly on the ground feedback from India's software developer ecosystem. In the Change and Configuration Management tools Category, the final shortlist consists of CA Software Change Manager, Microsoft's System Centre Configuration Manager, IBM'S Rational Software Architect, Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System 2008 and CollabNet's SubVersion. Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System was the first product to win in this category in 2008 followed by CollabNet's SourceForge Enterprise Edition in the 2009 chapter of the same awards.
If there is a particular development environment that you personally endorse to your colleagues or you evangelize about them at the first opportunity you get, here is your chance to vote for it (voting closes April 10 2010) and see it win this prestigious award. Visit the 2010 Great Indian Developer Awards website and cast your vote. It counts!
A Saltmarch Media Press Release
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