Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can you explain the concept of baseline in software development?

A baseline is a software configuration management concept that helps us to control change without seriously impeding justifiable change.

A specification or product that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for further development, and that can be changed only through formal change control procedures.

One way to describe a baseline is through analogy: Consider the doors to the kitchen in a large restaurant. One door is marked OUT and the other is marked IN. The doors have stops that allow them to be opened only in the appropriate
direction. If a waiter picks up an order in the kitchen, places it on a tray and then realizes he has selected the wrong dish, he may change to the correct dish quickly and informally before he leaves the kitchen. If, however, he leaves the kitchen, gives the customer the dish and then is informed of his error, he must follow a set procedure: (1) look at the check to determine if an error has
occurred, (2) apologize profusely, (3) return to the kitchen through the IN door, (4) explain the problem, and so forth.

A baseline is analogous to the kitchen doors in the restaurant.
Before a software configuration item becomes a baseline, change may be made quickly and informally. However, once a baseline is established, we figuratively pass through a swinging oneway door. Changes can be made, but a specific, formal procedure must be applied to evaluate and verify each change.


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    Agile Software Development

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