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@cleuton-sampaioCleuton Sampaio

Founder: “”. Full-stack dev/ AI Egineer/ Skilled Author/ M.Sc.
Rio de Janeir

Configuration administration

Configuration administration (CM) is a software program engineering course of for establishing and sustaining consistency of a product’s efficiency, purposeful, and bodily attributes with its necessities, design, and operational data all through its life.

What many are unaware of is that software program model administration additionally falls beneath configuration administration.

Software program configuration administration is a fancy and troublesome challenge to implement, particularly in massive groups, the place programmers don’t doc something and the complete course of is completed “advert hoc”.

advert hoc

adjective/ˌæd ˈhɑk/ , /ˌæd ˈhoʊk/ (from Latin) organized or occurring when crucial and never deliberate in advancean advert hoc assembly to take care of the problemThe conferences might be held on an advert hoc foundation. (Oxford).

Goals (or Why Ought to I Care?)

Okay, think about the state of affairs through which it’s essential to generate a brand new deliverable model of the software program. How is that this carried out in an “advert hoc” method? There might even be a supply code repository, however there may be usually a programmer who has the most recent examined and authorised model on his workstation. They then builds the bundle and ship it to the manufacturing surroundings.

Now, think about that two or extra programmers have labored on this similar model of the software program, which might be deployed right now. What ought to be carried out? First, it’s good to ensure that the work of everybody concerned is mirrored within the supply code that might be compiled to generate the executable bundle. How is it doable to make certain of this? And which developer has essentially the most full model? And have all of the adjustments been examined individually and collectively?

The usage of a software program configuration administration device doesn’t assure that the configuration administration course of is being carried out.

Probably the most widespread makes use of of SCM instruments (Software program Configuration Administration instruments, like: Git, for instance) is backup! Sure, the supply code is “saved” within the SCM repository and, if one thing occurs to the developer’s workstation, at the very least the code is saved.

Configuration administration includes greater than meets the attention.

The primary goal of an SCM course of is to keep up the traceability of the supply code, based on the administration of adjustments made to the software program. In the long run, it supplies a single supply of dependable variations of the software program.

By means of SCM it’s doable to have a number of variations of the software program, being labored on by totally different individuals and, nonetheless, have the ability to construct an executable with the adjustments we wish.


I don’t wish to connect myself to a selected SCM device, as a result of the ideas defined listed below are legitimate for all. However I gives you some examples about Git, which is open supply and broadly used at the moment.

Each SCM device has the flexibility to duplicate objects, permitting totally different variations of them to coexist. A particular set of objects, with a given model of code, can exist as a “department“.

Branching, in model management and software program configuration administration, is the duplication of an object beneath model management (similar to a supply code file or a listing tree). Every object can thereafter be modified individually and in parallel in order that the objects develop into totally different. On this context the objects are referred to as branches. The customers of the model management system can department any department. (Wikipedia)

We are able to work on a department of the supply code after which push it into the central repository. Objects on one department are by no means combined with the identical objects on different branches.

A department comprises a selected model of the objects, permitting us to work on them independently of different variations of the identical objects


Though there are issues with the phrases “grasp” and “slave”, we use the time period “grasp” right here just for its context in SCM.

Each department has a father or mother, from which it was copied. However there’s a particular department that has no father or mother, and is called MASTER (or Trunk in different instruments).

Branches are often known as bushes, streams or codelines. The originating department is typically referred to as the father or mother department, the upstream department (or just upstream, particularly if the branches are maintained by totally different organizations or people), or the backing stream. Little one branches are branches which have a father or mother; a department with out a father or mother is known as the trunk or the mainline. (Wikipedia)

Growth / Secure Branches

There’s some confusion between what can be a improvement department and what can be a secure department. Not everybody understands the identical manner and it’s crucial to ascertain this coverage upfront.

  • Growth is the department the place the brand new model of the software program is being constructed and maintained, and will develop into the key model quickly.
  • Secure is the primary and secure model of the software program, which might solely be bug-fixed. Enhancements are at all times launched within the improvement department.

Some individuals want the MASTER department for use for improvement, at all times containing the most recent model (leading edge) that will nonetheless be being examined. Different individuals want MASTER to be the secure department, containing software program that’s the present and mature model of the appliance.

Many builders push the mechanically constructed code to MASTER, a course of referred to as nightly construct. On this case, MASTER is the event department. There have to be a selected department for every secure model.

If it’s good to make a bugfix, which department will you do it on? If the reply is MASTER, will you must replicate this repair in branches from earlier variations?

As you may see, this determination to make use of MASTER as a improvement has penalties…

Now, if you happen to use MASTER as Secure, then a model is just included into it when it passes the checks. You realize that MASTER is at all times the present model. Whether it is essential to make a bugfix, you are able to do it in MASTER and replicate it within the improvement branches if crucial.

When you’ve got a small crew and a easy improvement course of, then the choice of utilizing MASTER as Growth is suitable.

Nonetheless, you probably have a big crew and plenty of model developments in parallel, the very best different can be to go away MASTER as Secure and create branches for every model in improvement.

Within the case of Git we at all times have a distant repository and a location. If you’ll work on a mission, you’ll normally do a “

git clone

“, and you may be mechanically positioned on the MASTER department.

As an instance you wish to create a brand new BRANCH, like “testing”, you then would kind: “

git department testing

“, creating a brand new model copied from the MASTER department, after which kind: “

git checkout testing

” to work on that new model.

After committing your adjustments, it will be essential to push the department to the distant repository with the command: “

git push origin testing


These examples will be seen within the Git documentation.


A tag is just not a department. It’s a particular model of the objects. The distinction is that you simply can’t commit adjustments to Tags, however you may retrieve objects from a specific Tag.

Tags are used to mark software program variations, for instance, after a bugfix.

In Git we will create tags with the Git Tag command: ‘

git tag -a v1.4 -m "my model 1.4"

‘. Now this model of the objects has been marked as “v1.4” and we will push it to the distant repository with: “

git push origin v1.4


Conflicts and merge

When there may be a couple of particular person engaged on one model of the software program, it’s doable for simultaneous adjustments to the identical model of an object.

It’s good follow earlier than beginning your work to verify for conflicting adjustments (which modify one thing you’ve modified). The “git fetch” command verifies this, and the “git pull” command successfully catches new variations and modifications.

If there’s a battle, handbook intervention is required to resolve what to do: Hold the native model or substitute it with the brand new model. Word that this happens with every distinction present in a number of objects.

One other instance from the Git handbook:

$ git merge iss53
Auto-merging index.html
CONFLICT (content material): Merge battle in index.html
Automated merge failed; repair conflicts and then commit the end result.

The Git Merge command tries to merge a distant model with the native department, marking the conflicting recordsdata, for instance:

<<<<<<< HEAD:index.html
<div id="footer">contact : e</div>
<div id="footer">
 please contact us at
>>>>>>> iss53:index.html

The whole lot above the “====” signal is your native model, and what’s under is the distant model. It’s your duty to resolve the battle and run Git Add on every affected file to unravel the issue.

Ideally, there ought to be no simultaneous adjustments in the identical object, which denotes poor mission administration. However it could occur in case of bugfixes or optimizations made with out consulting teammates.

If they’re occurring ceaselessly it’s higher to start out managing every particular person job, enhancing the influence evaluation and passing the duty to just one particular person for adjustments in objects. And NEVER EVER make adjustments with out discussing with the crew.

Steady Integration

One other benefit of an SCM course of is Steady Integration, a course of that serves to combine the parts of a software program, compiling it and operating checks with every change made within the distant repository.

There are a number of instruments for this, similar to: Jenkins and Gitlab. This course of is good as a result of the software program is compiled in a “clear room” surroundings, not on a developer’s workstation.

Cleuton Sampaio, M.Sc.


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