Configuration item

Configuration item

Configuration items or CIs form the basis of configuration management solutions. Typically a CI is a collection of objects related to the specific functionality of a larger system. Examples of these objects may be requirements, code, documentation, models, plans and other files. Configuration Management systems oversee the life of the CIs through a combination of process and tools. The objective of these systems is to avoid the introduction of errors related to lack of testing or incompatibilities with other CIs.

Role in configuration management

From the perspective of the implementor of a change, the configuration item is the "what" of the change. Altering a specific baseline version of a configuration item creates a new version of the same configuration item, itself a baseline. In examining the effect of a change, we first ask:

  1. What configuration items are affected? and
  2. How have the configuration items been affected?

A release (itself a versioned entity) may consist of several configuration items. The set of changes to each configuration item will appear in the release notes, and the notes may contain specific headings for each configuration item.

As well as participating in the implementation of a change and in the management of a change, the listing and definition of each configuration item may act as a common vocabulary across all groups connected to the product. It should be defined at a level such that an individual involved with product marketing and an individual at the coal face of implementation can agree to a common definition when they use the name of the configuration item. Selection and identification of configuration items for a particular project can be seen as the first step in developing an overall architecture from the top down.

Configuration items, their versions and their changes form the basis of any configuration audit.

BY : Saurabh Ojha


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