#9 Ver Control/Config Mgt

Darla Nettles

From Russel Peak via e-mail:

Per discussions in yesterday's PDES Inc. offsite
presentation on modules, this email is to request that
the modules team plan how version control & config
mgt. (VC/CM) on the modules themselves will be

One approach would be to use the capabilities present
in STEP itself for VC/CM of physical systems. There is
a strong analogy here.

VC/CM considerations include supporting the following:
work-in-progress (WIP) module development (and usage
thereof by WIP APs ...) - tools, identifiers, and formal
processes for this
simultaneous existence of multiple versions within the
modules repository (and CD-ROM versions thereof) -
both WIP and formal ISO releases
conventions to include VC/CM identifiers within the
relevant files/models:
inside the Express for modules and their usage contexts
also related html and documentation
inside instance models: p21 files, p28, sdai, etc. (e.g.
be able to tell explicitly which version of AP203 a p21
file is for)
my understanding is the STEP architecture supports
some of this now, but user and vendor understanding
and usage of these conventions needs work (and more
conventions likely need to be defined for some aspects)
vendor tool support for the above (e.g., in a multi-
schema repository environment, some vendors support
only one version of a given schema at a time...)
online access to authoritative repositories of the above
(including module usage in APs, as well as WIP
schema versions) - I think the new sc4 website and the
source forge modules site are good progress towards
EFWIG (http://eislab.gatech.edu/efwig/) has been
dealing with such issues from an end user & tool
developer perspective. Jim U. and Steve W. in particular
have good thoughts on such needs and solution
directions (including leveraging LDAP capabilities, web
services, online access and usage, ...)

I believe enhanced VC/CM support for WIP
modules/APs would help streamline STEP development
processes and pilot projects like those in PDES Inc. --
today we spend a fair amount of time manually
managing such issues.

Many of these aspects are probably relevant to long
term data retention as well.