Principles of Agile Version Control: From Object-oriented Design to Project-oriented Branching


The Change Transaction Principle (CHTP)

The CHTP is suggestive of patterns like task-level atomic commits. And last but not least, we have the ISP translating into the ever important, and almost too fundamental to mention, principle of incremental development, even for tasks.


The Incremental/Evolutionary Development Principle:

Develop changes in fine-grained increments that are client-valued. In order to be client-valued, the increments need only to add some portion of requested functionality that can be successfully built and tested. The presumption here is that the increments may be within a task. This principle doesn’t make that very clear, though, nor does it make it clear if change-increments should be separately integrated or not. For this reason, we feel that while the above is certainly important, it's not quite specific enough to claim it is a version-control principle, much less a TBD-specific one.


Principles of Baseline Management

Principles of Baseline Management

The Baseline Integrity Principle (BLIP)

A baseline's historical integrity must be preserved - it must always accurately correspond to what its content was at the time was baselined.



The Promotion Leveling Principle (PLP)

Define fine-grained promotion-levels that are consumer/role-specific.



The Integration/Promotion Principle (IPP)

The scope of promotion is the unit of integration & baselining




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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