The Future of Agile Configuration Management: 2006 and Beyond


all types of artifacts across the entire application lifecycle.

Aspect-Oriented CM - if requirements (use-cases), design (models), and coding artifacts all end-up in the same repository, or at least in the same integrated CM system, there will be a desire to apply basic common policies across the board with some activity/artifact-specific tailoring.

    • "Aspects" are crosscutting concerns of a system (e.g. examples may be logging and security). And since CM is a cross-cutting, integral part of a project's architecture, communication, and organization, SCM policies and practices could be automated with aspect-oriented technologies.
    • AOP concepts and technologies [24] allow a single set of concerns/policies to be applied across all parts of the lifecycle with activity/artifact-specific tailoring ("advice") to be customer-configured and applied at the points of policy instantiation ("pointcuts"). This would facilitate policy-based and rule-based CM practices and business/workflow process enactment [25][26][27]


This has just been a brief taste of some of the issues. Hopefully it has provided food for thought, and as mentioned at the start, let us know what you would like to see covered in future columns.

References and Additional Resources


[2] Introduction to Container Based Software Configuration Management ; by Hans Thelosen, March 2002

[3] Flexible Component-based SCM ; by Tom Brett; BSC CMSG 2004; (

[4] SCM Patterns: Building on 'Task-Level Commit' ; by Austin Hastings; CM Crossroads Journal, June 2004

[5] Codeline Merging and Locking: Continuous Update and Two-Phased Commits ; by Brad Appleton,CM Crossroads Journal, November 2003

[6] A State-of-the-Art Survey on Software Merging ; Tom Mens

[7] The Shlemiel way of software? Interview with Joel Spolsky for Salon Magazine

[8] Continuous Coordination: A New Paradigm for Collaborative Software Engineering Tools ; by Andre van der Hoek; available from the "Palantir" project

[9] Building Collaboration into IDEs [be sure to check out the RESOURCES section of this one] (

[10] Breaking The Code: Moving Between Private & Public Work In Collaborative Software Development ; by David Redmiles; ICSGW 2003

[11] Tactical Approaches for Alleviating Distance in Global Software Development ; by Erran Carmel and Ritu Agarwal; IEEE Software, March/April 2001

[12] Unifying Artifacts & Activities visually for distributed software development teams ; Jon Froehlich; ICSE 2004

[13] A Weakly Constrained Approach To Software Change Coordination; by Ciaran O'Reilly; ICSE 2004

[14] The Agile Difference for SCM ; CM Crossroads Journal Oct 2004

[15] "Stellation" subproject of Eclipse

[16] Chianti: A tool for change impact analysis of Java Programs ; by Xiaoxia Ren OOPSLA 2004

[17] The Past, Present, and Future of Configuration Management ; Susan A. Dart

[18] Release Management ? Making it Lean and Agile ; by Robert Cowham, CM Crossroads Journal, November 2003

[19] Continuous Staging: Scaling Continuous Integration to Multiple Component Teams ; by Brad Appleton; CM Crossroads Journal, August 2004

[20] Streamed Lines: Branching Patterns for Parallel Software Development ; by Brad Appleton; 1998 Pattern Languages of Program Design; (

[21] Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools ; Jack Greenfield; John Wiley & Sons, 2004. See related articles:

[23] Aspect-Oriented Software Development with Use Cases ; Ivar Jacobson, Pan-Wei Ng; Addison-Wesley, 2005 (see

[24] Aspect-Oriented Software Development ; Robert Filman; Addison-Wesley, 2005
[25] Dissecting CM Policies , Andre van der Hoek,

[26] A Testbed for Configuration Management Policy Programming , Andre van der Hoek,

[27] A Generic, Reusable Repository for Configuration Management Policy Programming , Andre van der Hoek,

About the author

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk

Steve Berczuk is a Principal Engineer and Scrum Master at Fitbit. The author of Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration, he is a recognized expert in software configuration management and agile software development. Steve is passionate about helping teams work effectively to produce quality software. He has an M.S. in operations research from Stanford University and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and is a certified, practicing ScrumMaster. Contact Steve at or visit and follow his blog at

About the author

Brad Appleton's picture Brad Appleton

Brad Appleton is a software CM/ALM solution architect and lean/agile development champion at a large telecommunications company. Currently he helps projects and teams adopt and apply lean/agile development and CM/ALM practices and tools. He is coauthor of the book Software Configuration Management Patterns, a columnist for the CMCrossroads and AgileConnection communities at,  and a former section editor for The C++ Report. You can read Brad's blog at

About the author

Robert Cowham's picture Robert Cowham

Robert Cowham has long been interested in software configuration management while retaining the attitude of a generalist with experience and skills in many aspects of software development. A regular presenter at conferences, he authored the Agile SCM column within the CM Journal together with Brad Appleton and Steve Berczuk. His day job is as Services Director for Square Mile Systems whose main focus is on skills and techniques for infrastructure configuration management and DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) - applying configuration management principles to hardware documentation and implementation as well as mapping ITIL services to the underlying layers.

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