Configuration management (CM) is a process central to the software engineering life cycle. CM has been established as an ISO/IEC standard life cycle process in ISO/IEC 12207:2008, Information technology -- Software life cycle processes and ISO/IEC 15288: 2008, Information technology -- System life cycle processes.
ISO/IEC 12207:2008 and ISO/IEC 15288:2008 describe a comprehensive set of processes, activities and tasks to be performed when acquiring or developing software. However, these documents do not address the capabilities that a CM tool user can expect from a tool in order to support the CM process and other software engineering life cycle activities. There is a gap between CM process descriptions and corresponding CM process automation services which affects both tool users and tool suppliers.
ISO/IEC TR 18018:2010 provides guidance in the evaluation and selection for CM tools during acquisition. CM tool evaluation by prospective users can be complex, time consuming, and expensive. ISO/IEC TR 18018:2010 helps to characterize what a CM tool can and cannot do in the CM process.
ISO/IEC TR 18018:2010 provides guidance for tool manufacturers in implementing a minimum set of capabilities. The capabilities defined in ISO/IEC TR 18018:2010 are linked to ISO/IEC 12207:2008 and ISO/IEC 15288:2008, and will provide tool manufacturers with guidance on the characteristics their tools should support to meet these International Standards.