Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Software Configuration Management

The dynamic nature of most business activities causes software or system changes. Changes require well-formulated and well-documented procedures to prevent the manipulation of programs for unauthorized purposes.

The primary objective of configuration management (or change control) is to get the right change installed at the right time. Change control concerns should be identified so that proper control mechanisms can be established to deal with the concerns. Some key points regarding changes include:

Each release of software, documentation, databases, etc. should have a unique version number. Changes should be incorporated through new versions of the program. There should be a process for moving versions in and out of production on prescribed dates.

Procedures should exist for maintaining the production and source libraries. They should address when to add to the library and when prior versions should be deleted. Care should be taken to regularly review libraries for obsolete programs, as large libraries can negatively impact operations performance.

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