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Software Configuration Management Strategies and Rational ClearCase(R): A Practical Introduction (Addison-Wesley Object Technology) First Edition Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201604788
ISBN-10: 0201604787
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is an incredible book! It should be required reading for every software engineer
and manager in the world. There are so many gems of great advice throughout the book
that I think this is going to be a classic. This is not only a great CM book, but the chapter
on project management makes this a great book on software engineering."

--Bill Hasling

"This book communicates much of the experience, wisdom, and insight that was
acquired along the way to discovering what best practices are
and how to implement/deploy them."

--Brad Appleton

Software Configuration Management (SCM) is an essential software engineering discipline used to manage change in today's complex, fast-paced software development environment. SCM is used during all lifecycle phases and provides a structure for identifying and controlling changes to documentation, requirements, models, code, and Web artifacts such as HTML and XML files. By enabling concurrent change to shared artifacts, SCM enhances the collaboration of project teams, allowing them to produce high-quality products faster.

Software Configuration Management Strategies and Rational ClearCase® is a comprehensive, practical guide, featuring the most popular commercial SCM tool on the market, Rational Software's ClearCase®. The author explains the fundamentals first, and then shows how ClearCase supports the SCM best practices through the Unified Change Management (UCM) model. It demonstrates specifically how ClearCase can be used to facilitate and control change in your software development projects. This book goes beyond the basics and presents more advanced topics that deal with a variety of real-world development scenarios such as managing multiple projects and managing project teams located at different sites.


  • Introduces basic concepts and the evolution of SCM tools
  • Illustrates ClearCase objects, including the repository, workspaces, and component management
  • Provides an overview of the Unified Change Management model
  • Illustrates how to create the ClearCase repositories and establish a UCM environment
  • Explains how to coordinate parallel work both within a project and between multiple projects
  • Explores the issues and approaches to managing geographically distributed development projects
  • Compares SCM and Change Request Management
  • Provides an essential overview of Rational's ClearQuest ClearCase technology, ClearCase MultiSite, and ClearQuest technologies

Comprehensive, practical, and clearly written, Software Configuration Management Strategies and Rational ClearCase® provides software developers, managers, and technical leaders with the information needed to take full advantage of SCM and ClearCase in the development of software projects.


About the Author

Brian A. White has a decade of hands-on experience with Software Configuration Management tools and methods. During his career, he has deployed SCM solutions in the industrial controls and telecommunications industries, many of them to meet ISO 9000 and SEI CMM objectives. He is currently working on configuration and change management and product strategy for Rational Software.


Product Details

  • Series: Addison-Wesley Object Technology
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; First Edition edition (August 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201604787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201604788
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,309,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Tozier on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
NOTE: This book is about a vendor product. Had to say that because too many people have complained that the author spent a lot of time on Rational's tools and approach. Of course - that happens to be fairly obvious from the word "ClearCase" in the title.
Good information for planning a ClearCase implementation. One worthwhile use of this book is to prepare your development and release team for ClearCase. This will make sure that everyone is familiar with ClearCase functions and how it is supposed to be used in the software engineering environment. I like the way the book also discusses SCM in general.
If you are planning on implementing ClearCase this book is an inexpensive way to prepare your team. If you're shopping for an SCM tool this book will give you an unbiased report on Rational's product. If you want to learn about SCM find another book because this isn't it. Oh, learn to read too.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book specifically for information on ClearCase capabilities and features to support some project-related work. I expected a cross between a white paper and sales literature. What I got was a clear description of ClearCase and a relatively unbiased description of its features, how to effectively use it and how to employ it independently of a Rational-centric development shop. The bonus, though, is the first 49 pages that give a well-written overview of SCM in general. I also liked the chapter on the Unified Change Management Model, which seems to incorporate some best SCM practices and is full of ideas from which to borrow...
Chapter 4 is where the ClearCase-specific information starts and the author does an excellent job describing how the tool works, introducing Rational-specific terminology and concepts, and showing how the tool can be effectively deployed. This was the information I was seeking when I bought the book and I feel like I got everything I wanted and more. The clearly written text was augmented by equally clear illustrations, which allowed me to quickly absorb the material I needed.
This is obviously not an SCM book one would buy unless they needed to know about the ClearCase product. It is, however, an excellent overview and survey of ClearCase for anyone who needs to get quickly up-to-speed on the basics of the tool or is evaluating SCM tools and ClearCase is on their short list.
Overall this is a well-written book that is surprisingly unbiased. The author did an excellent job with the entire book and earns 5 stars for sticking to the topic and taking care to make things clear (pun intended).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan Rickhoff on October 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's terrific. Buy it; read it; press it on passers by :-) .
Brian White does a great job of changing the fundamental concepts we use while we're designing a process for development of a software product. He converts us from thinking in terms of ClearCase constructs, mechanisms, and operations, to, instead, concentrating on the the real-world aspects of the process. For example, from thinking too much in terms of:
* Branches and branching. * Labels. * Merging.
to focusing on:
* Participants' roles. * Individuals' activities and the set of changes made by each activity. * The desire for isolation vs. the need for integration. * Software subsystems and components. * Baselined configurations of components, upon which an activity's changes are made. * "Delivering" activities' changes so that they may be promoted to a broader scope of visibility. * "Rebasing" to incorporate the changes of a set of recently delivered activities.
As I read this book, I realized that I had previously let the implementation mechanisms distort my understanding and modeling of the process.
Brian clearly presents and discusses the possible ranges and combinations of team sizes, interdependence of activities, and process policies, which helps the reader see that one process/implementation does not fit all cases. (BTW, it also demonstrates that UCM doesn't pigeon hole you into one particular process; it's remarkably flexible).
After leafing through a few pages of Brian's book, a couple of my managers shunned it, saying that it "only presents UCM". On the contrary, Brian does a great job of using UCM (an available model) to present general principles, which come through largely unencumbered by the implementation details (i.e.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Hallman on May 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am happy with this book as a sincere attempt to break-down some of the SCM process with good examples. It lays a pretty clear roadmap for designing product lifecycle automation and tracking systems. Which, by the way, is easily summarized for use as justification for implementing SCM standards and conventions.
I respectfully assert to Mr. White that a sequel is needed to discuss implementation. There are many variations in organization, project, geography, team, and personal dynamics which UCM and the tool itself do not directly address. Templates for these additional SCM models need to be detailed in terms of how people work.
All-in-all, a very good book.
PS: Anyone thinking this is a roadmap to a non-product-specific or looking for implementation details for an SCM solution has overlooked the title.
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