CM Generations and a Vision for the Future

It was 1978 when I first introduced change packages (a.k.a. updates) as the central feature of an in-house CM system. It's still in use today supporting a 40 million LOC project. It was 1982 when I introduced the concept of streams to rationalize branching along the product roadmap. Little did I know that a quarter century later, these concepts would just be starting to move to the forefront.

The past 15 to 20 years of CM technology and process advances have produced what I would call the second generation of CM.  Many strides have been made by various parties toward the third generation. Over the remainder of the decade, we'll see some CM vendors bring forth their third generation solutions. Indeed, one or two already have. The fourth generation lies beyond that.

The CM industry is always in need of some vision, set forth by the innovators, the practitioners and the user-community. As with most technology advances, CM will only reach the bar we set for it. How do you recognize next generation tools, that is, apart from the marketing hype? What will the CM landscape look like over the next 2 generations?


About the author

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah

Joe Farah is the President and CEO of Neuma Technology and is a regular contributor to the CM Journal. Prior to co-founding Neuma in 1990 and directing the development of CM+, Joe was Director of Software Architecture and Technology at Mitel, and in the 1970s a Development Manager at Nortel (Bell-Northern Research) where he developed the Program Library System (PLS) still heavily in use by Nortel's largest projects. A software developer since the late 1960s, Joe holds a B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. You can contact Joe at

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