Posted by: ahmedashfaque | September 14, 2015

major flaw in configuration management practices


Many configuration management proponents support the practice that a distributed configuration management system should be used for project team members who are traveling or just do not want to synchronize their local software build with the central build frequently. This is a major flaw in configuration management.

Continuous integration is the best practice for maintaining a healthy software build. The most important aspect of continuous build is that local builds should always be in synch with the central build. The reason is that integration of source code files is done one file at a time in this practice. This is the best practice. Otherwise there will always be integration issues in the central build.

Suppose a developer has been developing source code files and have been making his/her local build but not submitting these files on the central build for a while. In the meanwhile other developers have been submitting their source code files on the central build. Now when this developer submits his/her source code files in a batch at the central build then these files will try to integrate with the files residing on the central build. There are bound to be integration issues here. Resolving these integration issues will also be a problem because it will be difficult to find out which files created integration issues out of all the files in the batch which were submitted.

Thus synchronizing one file at a time is the best practice. Continuous integration works exactly on this principle.

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