Software Engineering-Status Reporting


Configuration status reporting (sometimes called status accounting) is an SCM task that
answers the following questions:
(1) What happened? 
(2) Who did it?
(3) When did it happen?
(4) What else will be affected?

Each time an SCI is assigned new or updated identification, a CSR entry is made. Each time a change is approved by the CCA (i.e., an ECO is issued), a CSR entry is made. Each time a configuration audit is conducted, the results are reported as part of the CSR task. Output from CSR may be placed in an on-line database , so that software developers or maintainers can access change information by keyword category. In addition, a CSR report is generated on a regular basis and is intended to keep management and practitioners appraised of important changes.

Configuration status reporting plays a vital role in the success of a large software development project. When many people are involved, it is likely that "the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing" syndrome will occur. Two developers may attempt to modify the same SCI with different and conflicting intents. A software engineering team may spend months of effort building software to an obsolete hardware specification. The person who would recognize serious side effects for a proposed change is not aware that the change is being made. CSR helps to eliminate these problems by improving communication among all people involved.
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