Talk:Configuration management

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Product list[edit]

These seem to be all version control systems. Are there any exceptions? If they are all version control tools, we should say so; if not we should separate them out. Actually it should all be moved to List of revision control software and integrated there. m.e. 2 July 2005 09:07 (UTC)

No ! Comfiguration management requires version control int he same way that an Air traffic management system manages aircraft in flight.

Paras 4 and 5 should go thought as these are specific applications of CM.

The theory behind version control is not that dissimilar to configuration management - however, unlike version control, in configuration management the configuration can be constantly changing where as a version is... a version - an example of this might be DNS servers - whose configuration may change repeatedly however the version of the DNS server in use remains the same. Configuration is a collection of child items whose parent is often a version of something. It's an incestuous relationship but they're not the same thing, in my opinion. Where configuration management seems to be adding real value is in version discovery and management of those objects but not their ancestors, which is better served by version control. Another musing is based on dependencies and understanding them as part of a configuration - this is not addressed by version control.

Practical Example[edit]

Consider a fleet of locomotives (or aircraft or school computers). At any time there will be at least one "approved" set of design and safety features that this fleet provides. Now, in the perfect world, all the locos will identical and at this approved stage.

In reality, you'll have aquired your locos over a period of time and they won't have been physically identical then. Or now, despite "upgrades" to bring the old ones up-to-date. Futher, not all of your fleet will be up-to-date, as some of your required modifications can only be done at a major overhaul. And some of the fleet will have "field fixes" for problems that have arisen. Some others are parked because their problems have no "patches" that allow use. Or are still waiting a safety critical fix.

Now, show me how your revision control software can do status reporting for this mess? Ie. which locos meet current requirements (ie. are "fit for use")? How many of them will be upgraded in time to comply with the safety regs changes that come into force next month?

This is why software, hardware and documents have both "version numbers" and "issue numbers" (change labels as needed). One is introspective and tracks development changes. The other faces outwards and is used for configuration management. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thoglette (talkcontribs) 07:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

A broken link[edit]

the link to CMBoK seems to point to an empty page. I found the actual contents at 09:39, 24 June 2006 (UTC) JornH

Also, in the section on Guidelines, this link is broken: ISO 10007 Quality management - Guidelines for configuration management It goes to a 404 like error page in Chineese. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Limited to Software[edit]

This entry (as stated at the start) is limited to IT Configuration Management.

This is not the criticism of the entry, but I would have liked to see more. Shouldn't someone (who knows much more than me, hopefully) add information about general product CM? This is a really big deal in all manufacturing organisations now, and there is a deal of information on it.

ISO does a great deal of CM standardization. I've added the ISO 10007 under the standards list. Given time, I would like to expand on this topic as well. There also is a large selection of documentations and guidelines from DoD, which may help serve as references for general military systems design. I will link those as soon as I can. --Dchem 18:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I think one of the issues that needs to be dealt with is that this article was written for the computing section and really needs to be thought of in the context of Systems and not computing alone. The Discipline of CM reaches far beyond computing and coding and traces its organized roots from the WWII ship yards. I think the discipline would be better served with a page that starts out by dealing with the generic discipline of CM, explains the generic concepts that are part of each and any sub group, and then defines the subgroups in their own sections on the page. Sections that show how the disciplines are different and what they are intended to accomplish and where their focus lies. Each section should be written by and to be tended to by experts in THAT discipline. Each section could then easily reference additional articles of import to that section and related articles on other related topics. This page could be referenced and linked to from an overview paragraph in the computer information Wikipage.

Having spent 28 years in various disciplines of CM, the last 8 in the software side, I have seen many definitions of CM. I would like to propose this as the basis for the generic definition:

"Configuration management: A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of Configuration Items [CI’s]; audit the CI’s to verify conformance to specifications, manage interface control documents and other contract requirements control changes to CI’s and their related documentation; and record and report information needed to manage CI’s effectively, including the status of proposed changes and the implementation status of approved changes. " ~~ MrEd Dec 26, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

CM as an enterprise wide initiative[edit]

I liked the material posted herein, but I too would like to see information on CM as it pertains to general business. While we have SCM and facilities/engineering CM programs in place, how about CM on an enterprise wide scale that looks at things like staffing, business systems, and delivery of non-computer soft goods and services? Does that experience set exist?

What you are talking about with respect to Business practices is a subset of Quality Systems or quality assurance. Society of Automotive Engineers has AS9000 which serves as a baseline for Business Management System which focuses on Quality Systems for aerospace application, and hense configuration management.--Dchem 18:51, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Sites for Configuration Management section[edit]

I don't see why this is needed in the entry. If we already have an "external links" section at the end, isn't the "sites" section just roughly a short directory list of websites that have to do with CM... which is kinda sorta not really wanted for Wikipedia entries? I'm going to delete the section. Please, if you feel as though the section is a valuable asset to the entry, leave a comment - let's have an open discussion here.--Christian B 16:01, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I'm not going to delete it - this whole entry, at least to me, seems to be in need of a rewrite. Right now it's so heavily slanted towards just listing companies / sites that have to do with CM - that isn't needed in a Wikipedia entry. Any thoughts?--Christian B 16:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd concur that the links section needs an overhaul. The plethora of links scares me, and being a person who is not familiar with the subject I cannot check whether all/any/some of them should be there or not. --Ouro (blah blah) 20:25, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I tried to add the Configuration Management Resource Guide to the list of external links, but Wikipedia kept taking it down. I feel it is a relevant link for the site since it provides people interested in CM with pages upon pages of CM white papers, tool vendors, articles, links, lists all of the CM and related standards, and more. Check it out here: and add it to the site if you think it is beneficial. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Keebrook (talkcontribs) 19:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
If your page menu includes entries like "Fees" and "Testimonials" you are likely to see Wiki editors pulling it off the page pretty regularly. You may not think it's linkspam, but if the site exists to sell services it doesn't belong here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Merge from "Hardware configuration management"[edit]

I've proposed that Hardware configuration management be merged into this article. I don't think we need to have separate pages for hardware and software until the main article on the general discipline of configuration management gets too big. (As it is, most of the information on the other page is duplicative anyway.) ComputerGeezer (talk) 19:33, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Merge completed. The added text could still use some work wikifying and cleaning up, but at least it's now integrated into the topic. ComputerGeezer (talk) 16:36, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I think the merger hasn't been fully resolved as yet. The HCM has been changed to a redirect, but left undone seems what the generic CM is vice specifics, whether this contains material that was at Hardware configuration management, and what to do with separate Software configuration management ... Markbassett (talk) 13:55, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Text in Systems engineering article trimmed[edit]

I trimmed the introduction of Configuration management in the Systems engineering article and removed the following text:

CM is divided into five major functional areas (although older documents and standards such as MIL-STD-973 only formally speak of four): Configuration Identification (including selection of Configuration Items (CIs), their nomenclatures, and the identification of baselines), Configuration Control (including change management of the baselines and CIs, the approvals needed for change and distribution of changes to affected parties), Configuration Status Accounting (providing situational awareness of the status of controlled baselines and changes and their traceability to items that are in production or fielded), Configuration Audit (formal review of the objective functional and physical proof from testing and documentation) and the area found in more recent standards such as ANSI/EIA-649, Configuration Planning (implementation planning for the conduct of CM). In other industries such as the commercial High Tech industry or Information Technology industry CM is a growing discipline (much like Systems Engineering), although still strongly associated with Change Management rather than as the broad core business process described above.

Maybe some of this should be integrated in this article -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 11:04, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree the Hardware CM and SW CM should be combined to System CM. It is the CIs which can be either SW or HW that are formally controlled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Configuration control vs Version Control // configurable HW vs configurable SW[edit]

Food for thought:

Configuration Control is to control what, where and how items fit in a configurable system. A configurable system is a system made by items in such form that it can deliver different functionality or can fulfill specific requirements depending on what, where and how items (from a collection of items) are assembled.

No to confuse with Version Control where several similar items are controlled.


Configuration 1 = Part 1 Version 1 + Part 2 Version 1

Configuration 1 = Part 1 Version 1 + Part 2 Version 2

Configuration 2 = Part 1 Version 1 + Part 3 Version 1

Version 1 and Version 2 of Part 2, both deliver the same FFF (fit, form and function) and so they compose the same Configuration.

I don't agree - it is an illusion while things work properly. However, if later you discover a problem, you want to know what has changed - and if you are told the configuration is still the same you will not notice that part 2 has been replaced. If two components deliver the same FFF it means they have the same interface, and that the two components can be swapped at will without affecting the rest of the system/assembly. But the two components ARE different, and when a failure happens the first thing you want to know is what has changed. Luciano. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Part 3 and Part2 deliver different FFF and so they compose a different configuration.

Now, for Software Systems, this Configuration Control concept is not yet in the mainstream as it's not yet the norm to construct configurable software systems. But this time is coming quickly specially with Systems made under a services-oriented architecture. In that architecture, configurable Software Systems will be assembled instead developed and a real build-time or even a run-time configuration control system will be necessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MarcioAB2 (talkcontribs) 21:48, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Which mainstream?  :-) I agree that, like much of Systems Engineering pretty much ignored by a large chunk of the software industry. (One could also note that Code Complete is 15 years old and still ignored - and that's a Microsoft Press book). But most experienced suppliers of compex systems have long since embraced CM. If you don't you will trip up.
I'd go further and add that, as build manager, I don't give a flying #### whether you changed your HW or your SW. I want to know how the behaviour has changed. And whether it include any of those I paid for!
Thoglette (talk) 07:27, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Configuration Items - contradictions in the article[edit]

The initial text states that configuration items have an "end user purpose", but later in the article it mentions that configuration management includes development environments and tools. Those development items (which can have critical impacts if not controlled) are also configuration items, but they don't have what one would consider an "end user purpose" from the perspective of the development team. This contradiction should be resolved. Sppispi (talk) 21:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Agree. The line mentioning this is in the Software section, "Configuration identification is the process of identifying the attributes that define every aspect of a configuration item. A configuration item is a product (hardware and/or software) that has an end-user purpose." I agree that's not a good general descriptive, and that it does not match well to the (also so-so) Configuration item article, but I think it's just a specific Software Configuration Management viewpoint presented as if it were the (only) definition or that perhaps the wording "is" meaning definition was not the source intent. For example, the source might have been a guidance that 'every end-user product should be a CI', a confusion of the operational desires with a terminology definition. In that sense, I think a CI is an item under configuration management, and and Configuration identification is defining the attributes to guide whether or not to enter something into the CM system. In actual operation, anything in the CM system used is defacto a CI, whether or not it should have been one. But then again, the same section talks about baselining the attributes as if they're values instead of data fields chosen. Generally hampered by there not being a cite shown that I could check at.
I think wording at the 'end-user' line should change, but it may be bigger than that and not clear to me what / where.
Cheers, Markbassett (talk) 13:35, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Configuration Management Tools[edit]

A box has appeared on the Aba page saying that it is an orphan. Would it be appropriate to link from this CM page in some way to the Aba page? Dwlegg (talk) 13:02, 19 August 2009 (UTC) ::Dwlegg

Recreated diagram as an SVG...[edit]

I recreated the diagram in SVG. Can someone talk to me offline about how to upload it? Ghostisma (talk) 20:19, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

The section on hardware configuration management seems lifted wholesale from this book; alternatively, the book seems to have copied the wikipedia page word-for-word. Not sure which way things went, but I'm going to blank the section for now until I can rewrite it. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 20:37, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

The material significantly pre-dates the publication of that book; I don't think there's much question of which way the copyvio went. A re-write with actual sources would rock, though... :) Kuru (talk) 00:51, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Ugh, that means I can't use it (well, I could per RS, but intellectually I'm not inclined to). This is very far from my area of expertise, but if you can dump some sources on me, I can probably hammer it into something reasonable. I need to brush up on the area and I don't even know what search terms to use. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:21, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


It may seem trivial, but what is a "configuration"? It's not yet defined in this article. I guess it is a characteristic of a system (whether that is a car or a bolt). What is included in this characterization, and what is not? For example, if a car has a flat tire, does this change its configuration? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert2s (talkcontribs) 19:14, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Nitpick on diagram name[edit]

The diagram filename has configuration misspelled in it: It's missing the letter "g". AlanR (talk) 12:46, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Configuration Manager - the background items[edit]

I'm noting that there is a larger set of activities than reflected here. The CM must deliver the activities shown from standards (identification, control, accounting, evaluation) but to do so will require more to setup, execute, and tend the CM. For example, the CM Manager redirects here, and they provide more than the CM end results, they also provide or oversee the following

  • CI audits and reviews
  • CM activity monitoring and process improvement
  • Development of CI releases
  • Establishment of CM and product or master libraries
  • Evaluation of CM changes
  • Generation of reports
  • Identification of CI baselines
  • Identification of CM training requirements
  • Identification of CM products or systems
  • Incorporation of changes into baselines
  • Collection and analysis of metrics
  • Selection of CM data management and reporting systems

Markbassett (talk) 15:56, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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U.S. Code of Federal Regulations[edit]

This article could be improved, in the "History" section, by the addition of references to the United States Code of Federal Regulations (US CFR), as well as the U.S. DoD directives and instructions (issuances?) on "Configuration Management" and its implementation guidance.

Former 32 CFR 195, Configuration Management; (Federal Register 32 FR 13020, September 14, 1968 refers); Former 32 CFR 195a, Configuration Management Implementation Guidance; (44 FR 31178).

Former DoD Directive 5010.19, Configuration Management, July 17, 1968; Former DoD Instruction 5010.21, Configuration Management Implementation Guidance, Aug 6, 1968.

By comparison, DoD-Std-480 was originally dated October 30, 1968. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 7 December 2016 (UTC)