Versioning everything?

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Also posted on: The Norfolk Punt

Interesting analysis of ubiquitous versioning here from Dr Dobbs – highlighted in a tweet from Uniface. I like the last bit; versioning everything is a journey and an intention rather than always an achievable situation today, but: “It enables a sense of security that you can, at any moment, go back in time and recreate older versions of products and that everyone is working from a single source of tools. In my view, these benefits alone outweigh the hassles that the extra discipline entails”.

This is talking about SCM (Software Configuration Management) but there’s an analogy with Configuration Management generally. Everything is potentially a CI (Configuration Item) but, in practice, there’s nothing to gain from the overheads of managing CIs that no one uses or cares about, just because you can collect them (the antipattern is: “buy automated discovery tools; cheaply and easily drown in data you don’t fully understand”). However, I find it difficult to claim that something is secure or managed if changes and configurations affecting it aren’t managed – and that’s part of company governance.

The Perforce mantra “version everything” (if that means Configuration Management) is an admirable goal – as long as you encourage and track people actually using the versioning – and inculcate a real vision for what this enables….