Definition of Configuration Management

Software CM is a discipline for controlling the evolution of software systems. Classic discussions about CM are given in texts such as [6] and [8]. A standard definition taken from IEEE standard 729-1983 [42] highlights the following operational aspects of CM:

  • Identification: an identification scheme reflects the structure of the product, identifies components and their types, making them unique and accessible in some form.
  • Control: controlling the release of a product and changes to it throughout the lifecycle by having controls in place that ensure consistent software via the creation of a baseline product.
  • Status Accounting: recording and reporting the status of components and change requests, and gathering vital statistics about components in the product.
  • Audit and review: validating the completeness of a product and maintaining consistency among the components by ensuring that the product is a welldefined collection of components.

The definition includes terminology such as configuration item, baseline, release and version. When analyzing CM systems—automated tools that provide CM—it becomes evident that these incorporate functionality of varying degrees to support the above definition. Some CM systems provide functionality that goes beyond the above definition though. This is due (among other reasons) to the recognition of different user roles, disparate operating environments such as heterogeneous platforms, and programming-in-the-large support such as enabling teams of software programmers to work on large projects synergistically. To capture this extra functionality, it is necessary to broaden the definition of CM to include:

  • Manufacture: managing the construction and building of the product in an effective and optimal manner.
  • Process management: ensuring the carrying out of the organization’s procedures, policies and lifecycle model.
  • Team work: controlling the work and interactions between multiple users on a product.

In summary, the capabilities provided by existing CM systems encompass identification, control, status accounting, audit and review, manufacture, process management and team work.

Tagged : / / / / / / /

Interview Questions and Answer for Perforce Version Control Tool


Some of the perforce commands which is not commonly used but useful.
p4 annotate – Print file lines along with their revisions.
e.g p4 annotate file.c

How to ignore files/folder in perforce workspace/client?
Assuming you have a client named “CLIENT”, a directory named “foo” (located at your project root), and you wish to ignore all .dll files in that directory tree, you can add the following lines to your workspace view to accomplish this:

-//depot/foo/*.dll //CLIENT/foo/*.dll
-//depot/foo/…/*.dll //CLIENT/foo/…/*.dll

The first line removes them from the directory “foo” and the second line removes them from all sub directories. Now, when you ‘Reconcile Offline Work…’, all the .dll files will be moved into “Excluded Files” folders at the bottom of the folder diff display. They will be out of your way, but can still view and manipulate them if you really need to.

You can also do it another way, which will reduce your “Excluded Files” folder to just one, but you won’t be able to manipulate any of the files it contains because the path will be corrupt (but if you just want them out of your way, it doesn’t matter).

-//depot/foo.../*.dll //CLIENT/foo.../*.dll

How can I exclude a directory from a Perforce command?

Specify a file that contains a list of files to ignore when adding files to the depot and reconciling workspaces.

How to check last 10 submitted, pending, or shelved changelists that include any file under the project directory?
p4 changes -m 5 //depot/project/…

How to check last 10 submitted or pending, or shelved changelists that include any file under the project directory?
p4 changes -m 1 -s submitted | pending | shelved

Interview Questions Related to Perforce Admin

  1. How to take perforce backup
  2. How to restore perforce backup
  3. How to verify health of the perforce repos database
  4. What is the ise of p4 dbverify and p4 verify

What is the use of p4 admin commands.

The p4 admin command allows Perforce superusers to perform administrative tasks even when working from a different machine than the one running the shared Perforce service.
p4 [g-opts] admin checkpoint [ -z | -Z ] [ prefix ]
p4 [g-opts] admin journal [ -z ] [ prefix ]
p4 [g-opts] admin stop
p4 [g-opts] admin restart
p4 [g-opts] admin updatespecdepot [ -a | -s type ]
p4 [g-opts] admin resetpassword -a | -u user
Reference – Click here

How to remove files from perforce permanently?
p4 archive -p with caution. This is the one of only two commands in Perforce that actually removes file data. (The other command that removes file data is p4 obliterate.)

How to set properly in Perforce?
The Perforce service offers three ways of storing metadata: counters/keys, attributes, and properties.

If your application requires only the flat storage of simple key/value pairs, and attempts to implement no security model, use the p4 counters and p4 keys commands.

The p4 property command can be used by administrators to view and update property definitions stored in the Perforce service. The service does not use the property definitions; it provides this capability for other Perforce applications, such as P4V

If your application’s metadata is associated with particular files, use p4 attribute.

If your application’s metadata is not associated with files, and if you have a requirement to restrict its visibility to users, groups, and/or to control the precedence of multiple values using sequence numbers, use p4 property.

p4 property -n name -v value
p4 counter mycounter 123
p4 key mykey 12
p4 attribute -n name [ -v value ] files…

Perforce Integration with other Tools

  1. Gitfushion
  2. Swarm
  3. Replication
Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

How to Select the Right Software version Control Product?


Original link:

Selecting the Right Software Version Control Product Written by Mike Feighner For many years, I worked loyally for the same company where my expertise was restricted to one single software version control tool—the one that was already in place. I was not involved with determining whether the selected tool was appropriate for the company’s needs; my role was to learn it well and use it within the accepted standards, guidelines, and internally approved processes. When I recently found myself back in the job market, I realized that there were many other version control tools in use in the industry. I then began to consult with other engineers in the field and gathered data from them on which version control tools their organizations were using and the selection criteria they used in choosing a version control tool for their organization. This experience opened up a whole new world for me and soon I realized that selecting and implementing the right tools was essential for the success of any software or systems development effort. From this experience, I have drawn up a checklist of version-control-tool criteria to aid an organization in selecting the best tool. Although there are many good descriptions available on the Internet about the many tools currently on the market, I do not recommend one specific tool over the other, because some tools may fit great in one organization, but fail in another. My goal here is to suggest a partial framework for deciding which tool best fits your needs while at the same time adhering to configuration management best practices. First, you will need to define your organization’s goals, which could include any or all of the following: Good documentation should accompany your tool purchase. The tool should be portable to more than one platform. If your organization is spread out over different time zones or even across international borders, your tool should support a multi-site rather than a single-site function. The cost should be affordable. The tool should be easy to use. The tool should easily support branching and merging. The tool should have the ability to lock a file when being edited to prevent two engineers from editing the same file simultaneously. The tool should be able to accurately merge changes between two or more files. The tool should log a history of changes with notes on who made the change and why the change was made. The tool should have the ability to establish immutable baselines. Next, you will need to review your organization’s requirements for software version control and carefully review the various software tools on the market to determine which one best matches your organization’s needs. Some may be better suited for your project than others. Selecting the wrong tool can have devastating effects on your team’s effort. Lack of a good version control tool can be a major cause for delays and problems during your organization’s application development. The project will run over cost and behind schedule and can be prone to risks associated with the manual management and distribution of your project’s dependencies. Unauthorized changes and results will occur, and the customer will not be satisfied. The tool you select should not impede the implementation of configuration management best practices, which serve as a means to add value to the process, improve quality, and increase productivity. The following are some, but not all, of the questions you will need to consider. Documentation Is the tool well documented? Is support documentation available on this tool’s installation and for the tool’s use by both administrators and developers? As a reference manual, the tool’s documentation should adequately describe the tool’s features—each dialog box, tab, field, button, etc. It should answer a user’s questions about completing a specific task in a clear and concise way. Frequently, the user documentation is available in the tool’s help pull-down menu or can be downloaded electronically from the vendor’s website. Portability Is the tool portable? Can it be used on multiple platforms and operating systems? From a business perspective, your software team will be supporting a broad user market occupying various platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, or some flavor of UNIX. Your tool should be compatible on any of these platforms, as each release will simultaneously need a separate version to support each platform of your user base. Multi-site vs. Single Site Is your team located at one location site, or is your team globally distributed across the nation and across different time zones throughout the world? A “single site” constitutes one physical location such as a single building or office. A “multisite” constitutes an organization in more than one office or location in a single time zone, in multiple time zones within one country or in multiple countries. If your organization is spread out over various time zones or even across international borders, your tool should support a multi-site rather than a single-site function. A multi-site project established as a set of several individual independent single-site systems would be prone to added costs and risks associated with the manual management and distribution of the project’s dependencies. Life for a multisite organization would be a lot easier to maintain a single multisite system with access to one shared repository. A single-site organization would be wise to select a single-site system over the additional costs of a multi-site system Cost What are the costs and terms of licensing of the tool? Is it something your organization can afford? Generally, a tool designed for a large organization will have a much larger cost than one designed for a smaller organization. No one should assume paying a higher cost for your tool will solve all of your problems. Even a high cost tool may fall sort of satisfying your organization’s needs. Your decision should consider overall cost and your organization’s needs. Supporting your organization’s needs should never be underfunded. Ease of Use How easy is it to install and deploy the system? Will the tool be dependent on other tools to conduct software builds, or are some of these capabilities already an integral part of the tool? Is this a tool that is easy to use from the first day of installation throughout the entire development lifecycle? Will training and customer support be available? Will the tool require training an in-house administrator dedicated to the administration of the tool? If you are not able to immediately pick up a source code management system and start building your site, odds are it is not entirely user friendly. Ultimately, the key to a successful deployment of a source code management system is reliability and ease-of-use. A tool that is difficult to use will likely conceal the functional benefits that it would otherwise provide. If training is an affordable option for your organization, consider whether it is available through the vendor or through an unbiased third party. For a lower-cost approach in the long term, consider sending a representative from your organization to a vendor training event who will later write up a training program for your own company-based organization. Branching Does the tool accommodate branch creation? The capability to create a branch should allow duplication of an object under revision control. Thus, code modifications can happen securely in parallel along both branches at the same time whether the change involves adding a new requirement or attempting to resolve an issue from an earlier release. The tool you select should support your particular choice of branching strategy, be it by revision or release via a simple copybranch or by creating adelta branch off of the main branch or trunk. Or the tool may go a step further by creating streams that include supporting metadata and workflow automation as an enhancement in managing multiple variants in the code. Branching is one of the most important features to consider in your choice of a good source control management system as it allows you to easily support at the same time the same source code and a parallel subset of the same code being modified securely to support either a new requirement or a bugfix from an earlier release. Merging Does the tool allow merges of changes and assists in resolving conflicts between different edits to the same file? Can a merge be done via a graphical user interface or on a command line? Take into consideration that merging concurrent changes made by different developers can increase the amount of effort to resolve conflicts and achieve a merge safely. The best advice in such cases is to merge little and merge often. File Locking Does the system have a means of preventing concurrent access to the same file? Does it prevent more than one user at a time from writing to the file until the current user either checks in the file or cancels the checkout? History of Changes Does the tool maintain a log of the history of changes? Can the tool display the history of changes graphically, as in a version tree? Does the tool easily identify the current baselined version and list previous baselined versions? A history change log that maintains accurate records facilitates traceability through the code’s lifecycle, from its beginning to its eventual release and beyond. A change history log can trace a change back its origins to who made the change and to the authority who authorized the change. It plays a vital role in baselining the code. This is a basic requirement of any organization wishing to maintain proper controls and compliance. Baselining Baselining, also known as setting a control point for your code, lets you know the exact versions of all source code and other configuration items that were included in a release. Does the tool have a way of baselining the code (be it via labeling, tagging, or snapshots) to a particular version that would allow us to back out and return to the previous baselined version in the event of a problem? Is the baseline immutable? If the tool allows changes to the previously released baseline, it jeopardizes the integrity of the software. A baseline must be locked down to prevent modifications. Any subsequent release should be based on a previously release baseline. Conclusion No one software version control tool can possibly fit every organization’s needs. There is no one size fits all. The right tool should help you safeguard your code and help your process improve productivity and quality. Remember that thorough evaluation and selection of the right tool will require funding, but this vetting must stay within your organization’s budget. Careful selection of the appropriate version control tool will help your firm improve productivity and quality and ensure that you are adhering to industry standards regarding configuration management best practices. About the Author Mike Feighner has more than twenty years’ experience in information technology in the aerospace industry, including more than ten years in configuration management. Mike graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in German and has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Tübingen in Germany and a master’s degree in software engineering from National University.

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Power Point PPT: Version Control With CVS – Complete Guide


Power Point PPT: Version Control With CVS


Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The symptoms of our software development malaise


Software development has traditionally suffered from producing end products with a definite lack of inherent quality. The symptoms of this quality lack are listed here:

  • Software development projects are often delivered late and over budget.
  • Often the delivered product does not meet customer requirements and is never used.
  • Software products simply do not work right.

As we look into the symptoms of our software development malaise, five principal issues related to software development arise.

Lack of Visibility
Software is conceptual in nature. Unlike a bridge, a building, or another physical structure, it is not easy to look at software and assess how close it is to completion. Without strong project management, “software is 90% complete 90% of the time.” Through the adoption of SCM policy and the definition of the configuration management model of the software under development, all CIs, components, and subcomponents are immediately visible for versions, releases, and product families.

Lack of Control
Because software is inherently intangible, it is also more difficult to control. Without an accurate assessment of progress, schedules slip and budgets are overrun. It is hard to assess what has been accomplished and what remains to be done. SCM provides the mechanism for controlling the project through measuring the amount of effort compared to the project management plan and estimating the future effort based on past work.

Lack of Traceability
A lack of linkage between project events contributes to project failures. The main benefit of SCM is providing the traceability among versions, releases, and product families. The value of this traceability is enormous when a problem arises in one release or product family that impacts other client releases and products. Making one change and promoting that through the entire product software base is an incredible cost savings in time, money, and client good will. A lack of linkage between project events contributes to project failures where solving one problem either exacerbates a problem in another area or fails to fix the same problem elsewhere. A traceability thread allows management to examine the chain of events that caused a project to encounter difficulty as an integral process within the auditing capability of SCM. A project becomes a year late one day at a time unless the effort reported on the schedule maps to the actual work being done and traced within the software configuration management system.

Lack of Monitoring
Without traceability and visibility, monitoring of software development projects becomes extremely difficult. Management cannot make informed decisions, and thus schedules slip further and costs continue to exceed budget.
There is no way to monitor a project when the project manager has no tools to look into the actual product development within the project. SCM provides the tools that open up the process to external monitoring. With SCM in place and a policy of traceability and visibility accepted, monitoring of software development projects becomes a simple part of the overall project management task. Management makes informed decisions avoiding schedule slips and budget excesses through the monitoring available with SCM tools and the integral workings of the CCB.

Uncontrolled Change
Software is very malleable; it is idea-stuff, and customers constantly have new ideas for it. People would rarely ask a bridge constructor to make the kinds of changes midproject that software customers tend to request. The impact of such changes can be just as great. All SCM tools, along with the CCB, support a mechanism for appropriate change control.

SCM Interacts with Verification and Validation
SCM is most important, and most often neglected, during V&V activities, which include software testing. It is employed in tracking which module versions are included in a particular system build, as well as which tests have been run. The results of the tests are tied directly to the modules or subcomponents being tested. Many times there are “action items” resulting from the tests. SCM tracks the action item status, so overall system status can be assessed well before final builds and releases are done.
Verification and validation testing are supported through the four basic SCM processes: identification, control, auditing, and status accounting. Let’s look at examples of V&V testing in the context of each of these components.

SCM Identification Benefits to V&V

  • Automatic preparation of release notes
  • List of changed software modules
  • Definition of development baseline
  • Generation of incident reports
  • Definition of operational baseline
  • Control of the configuration item identification
  • Management of CCB meetings
  • Prioritization of test and incident issues
  • Establishment of turnover dates
  • Approval of audit and test reports
  • Approval of incident report resolutions

SCM Auditing Benefits to V&V

  • Comparison of new baseline to previous baseline
  • Assurance that standards have been met
  • Audit trail of the testing process (verification, validation, and acceptance) of the software system
  • Documentation of experience with technical aspects of system engineering or software engineering

SCM Status Accounting Benefits to V&V

  • Logging and tracking of incident reports
  • Publication of CCB minutes

With all of these potential benefits of SCM, project managers must address real-world considerations. Management commitment is the real key to implementing SCM on a specific project in a given organization. By treating the implementation of SCM as a project, the project plan must start at the top to secure commitment to checks and balances. Now is the time to bring out the organization’s list of project disasters to draw on management experience with their previous software project difficulties. If there are no historic disasters in the organization, or if it is inappropriate to discuss them, refer to literature articles that provide accounts of project disasters (refer to the Web resources at the end of this chapter). Finally, after putting a notional return-on-investment financial argument in place, explain the intangible benefits of SCM.
One of the major sources intangible benefits is auditing. Auditing can be a heavy consumer of configuration management resources, and management may question the benefit of this kind of expenditure. Auditing pays for itself through the avoidance of larger, unnecessary expenses. Savings of 100:1 (large projects) or 4–6:1 (small projects) are obtained by finding and fixing problems early in the life cycle. The auditing process in SCM uncovers the areas where a little more effort or control will result in higher-quality software products and lower overall project costs.
There can be audit compromises to reduce costs. As a project manager, plan audits based on both the phases of the life cycle and the frequency of builds, versions, releases, and product families. Auditing each baseline in a project while reducing the depth of each audit maintains some traceability with loss of visibility.
Eliminating one or more audits (installation baseline, for example) maintains visibility but slightly impacts traceability.

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /