AllChange Technical Information Point (TIP)

Welcome to the AllChange Technical Information Point.

The AllChange TIP is a reference guide that aims to explain the technical jargon used on our web site.

It also provides some useful information about change and configuration management terms in general and links to other useful areas of our site.

If there is a term that is not listed here, that you would like explained, please contact us.

Please click on the letter to display terms



ACADM AllChange Administration Program, provides low-level access to the AllChange databases for use by the Administrator.

ACC AllChange Command Line, provides a command line interface to AllChange.

ACCEL AllChange Command Evaluation Language, is used to configure the system to your requirements. Access is controlled according to user definable rules and actions may be tailored, providing an open interface to other tools and allowing commands to trigger others.

ACCONFIG AllChange Configuration Editor, allows the AllChange Administrator to configure most aspects of AllChange.

ACE AllChange Environment, provides a menu-driven interface to AllChange.

API An API (application program interface) is the specific method prescribed by a computer operating system or by another application program by which a programmer writing an application program can make requests of the operating system or another application.

Approval Mechanisms AllChange software has approval mechanisms that allow work to be progressed through the life cycle. At each stage, users can be automatically notified via email to inform them whether work has been approved, rejected, set to re-work etc.

Arbitrary Fields Arbitrary fields are data fields which may be customised to site specific requirements. There are 40 arbitrary fields for each of CRs, Parts, Versions and Baselines.

Asset Management The process of tracking and recording information about assets, e.g PCs, in an organisation. An inventory containing detailed information such as expenditure, location, software licence details etc is stored and monitored to provide an up-to-date record.

Attachment CRs and baselines may have attachments associated with them. An attachment is an external file which is to accompany the CR/ baseline. This might be a diagram, screenshot, document or whatever.

Audit Trail A record or history, detailing for example, what was done, when, why and by whom.

Automated Escalation Escallation is the process of accelerating or re-prioritising an action. Automated escalation allows for this to be performed automatically, for example, if a Change Request has not been authorised within 7 days, then its priority is escalated to High.

Automated Routing This is the process of automatically allocating tasks to individuals. For example, on submission for review of a Change Request it is automatically assigned to the reviewers.

Automated Change Logging Change requests are automatically recorded and allocated a number when they are first raised. Any status changes that occur throughout the life cycle can also be automatically logged.
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Baseline A baseline is a snapshot of the current state of a product or subsystem at a point in time. Baselines may be used for reporting/ querying, checking in/out, releasing against, etc. Note that the term baseline may be mapped to another term (e.g. release).

Branch Versions may lie on branches. Branches allow alternate versions of the same component to be developed in parallel. Note that the term branch may be mapped to another term.

BT Build threads (BTs) may be maintained for each object required to construct a system. BTs contain information as to exactly what objects are composed of in terms of the versions of configuration items used and the translation rules used to create the objects. AllChange build uses these BTs to ensure only those objects not available are rebuilt.

Build Whereby component configuration items are used to build a configuration.
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Category Categories can be used to classify groups of configuration items, change documents or problems etc. See also Class

Change Advisory Board (CAB) A panel that can review and comment on all proposed changes. All viewpoints should be represented. Comments and decisions should be logged. Also known as Change Authority, Change Control Board, Change Review Board.

Change Document A document used to manage the process of change. Other terms that might be used include: Change Request, request for change, change control form, change order, change record.

Change Management The making of changes in a planned and managed or systematic fashion, in a wide variety of potentially different environments.

Change Request A CR (Change Request) is a change management record used for recording fault reports, change requests, problem reports etc. Details are recorded and progress of the change is monitored at all stages. Can also be known as a Request for change, change control form, change order, change record.

Change Tracking The process of recording a change throughout its lifecycle.

Check In CheckIn is the process of handing a configuration item to a configuration management system for storage and control.

Check Out CheckOut is the process of extracting a version of a configuration item from a configuration management system into the working environment.

Class Classes are used to classify parts, change requests and baselines and to determine their life-cycle. They are identified by a site-supplied name. This can be used to classify the item, e.g. source code, documentation or hardware for a part, bug fix or upgrade request for a change request, test or release for a baseline. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. CIType).

Classification See Class

Client Installation Installation of software on a user’s machine.

Command Actions AllChange commands have user defined actions which are executed when AllChange performs its internal processing. These are defined in the command definitions database.

Component Component-type configuration items are at the bottom of the part hierarchy and have no children, but they may have versions. Component type is analogous to a file in an operating system filing system. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. Item).

Concurrent Development Allows a version of a part to be edited by two different users at the same time. See also branch.

Configuration Audit This is the process of auditing a specific configuration in terms of its constituent configuration items and the changes that are included in it. A Baseline provides the information required for such an Audit.

Configuration Control The process of controlling configurations of items/objects of interest. This includes the evaluation, co-ordination, approval or rejection of changes.

Configuration Identification The process of identifying the configuration items which are of interest and the relationships between them.

Configuration Item Configuration Items are items which are to be controlled. These can be anything, for example hardware, software, web content, documents, even buildings or staff. Each configuration item (CI) declared to AllChange is known as a part. See also, Parts.

Configuration Management (CM) A discipline for identifying and documenting physical and functional characteristics of configuration items. The recording of any changes to configuration items and the relationships between configuration items.

Configuration Management Database The place where configuration management information is stored. In AllChange this is a CTree Plus database.

Configuration Management Tool (CM Tool) A software system for the complete management of configuration items, for example AllChange.

Configuration Structure The relationships between configuration items.

CR A CR (Change Request) is a change management record used for recording fault reports, change requests, problem reports etc. Note that the term CR may be mapped to another term such as ACMD (AllChange Management Document), RFC (Request for Change).

CWP The current working part (cf. current directory in an operating system)
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Default Version Whenever a component type part is accessed without a version specifier there is a corresponding default version. There is a standard defaulting mechanism which generally accesses the most recent version. This may be modified for each workspace by use of registrations.

Differencing (Diffs) The differencing facilities in AllChange allow different versions of a part or two files to be compared and the differences to be displayed. Differences between Baselines can also be compared.

Document Management The management of documents in terms of storage, change etc. Documents are configuration items.
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Entry Condition The entry condition for a command is tested before internal operations may be performed; if it fails the command will not proceed. This may be used for access permissions (e.g. a user must have a particular role), or other conditions (e.g. a part must have a particular status for the command to be allowed).

Event Monitor AllChange has a facility for monitoring events affecting objects which are of interest. Whenever an action occurs for a monitored object, the holder of the monitor is informed that the action has occurred.
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File Merge See Merging.

Folding Views The folding view allows a list to be displayed as a tree. It is supported by various browsers and viewers.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Integrated support for FTP in AllChange allows the control of files on a remote machine — typically running UNIX or VMS — to be done from AllChange running under Windows. It is also used for deploying Web development files managed under AllChange. FTP permits the copying of files between different machines across TCP/IP. It is typically used where no direct access is possible.
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Graphical Lifecycle Generator AllChange uses a Graphical Cycle Editor, allowing life-cycles to be created simply by drawing the statuses and linking them with progressions.
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Impact Analysis Process of fully assessing the consequences of a proposed change.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a framework of best practices designed to help organisations implement high quality IT services. It also covers the wider picture, focusing on the facilities needed to support IT. Commonly regarded as the world standard for IT Service Management best practices, organisations can draw from ITIL, taking aspects that they consider appropriate to their needs and then building upon them.

Issue State The issue state of a part indicates whether it has been checked out. A part which has been checked out is referred to as having been issued.
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Life-cycle A life-cycle (or simply cycle) is a series of statuses through which a part, CR or baseline passes. It can be used to control access to items and implement approval procedures etc. and also for the implementation of automated work flow.

Life-cycle Management Life-cycles may be defined which are used by configuration items, CRs and baselines to implement development and change control procedures. A life-cycle is defined as a series of statuses through which a configuration item, CR or baseline passes and may be used to control access to items, implement approval procedures, log progress etc.

Location The location field of a part (in combination with the location of its ancestors) determines the actual operating system location corresponding to the part.
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MAPI MAPI is an acronym for Messaging Application Programming Interface. It is a standardized set of C functions placed into a code library known as a Dynamic Link Library (DLL). The functions were originally designed by Microsoft, but they have received support of many third party vendors.

MCSCCI The Microsoft Common Source Code Control Interface.

Merging Merging is the process of amalgamating independent sets of changes to the same file which have been performed in parallel. AllChange provides a tool to help in this process for text files (e.g. source code).

Meta-baseline A meta-baseline is a baseline containing references to other baselines (whereas a normal baseline contains references to parts/ versions). Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature.

Milestone Point at which a major project objective is reached.

Monitor A monitor is a registration to be notified when a particular event occurs on a particular item.
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OOB Out-of-the-Box The standard format in which the software is supplied.
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Parallel Development Allows users to work on the same configuration items at the same time in a controlled fashion. AllChange makes use of branches to support parallel development.

Part Parts are all the configuration items known to AllChange. Parts may be of type component or subsystem (or uses a special case). The Parts database may be thought of as an archive or library. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. CI (Configuration Item).

Pool Pools are used for sharing objects amongst different users. The objects held in pools are operating system files and the pools themselves are simply operating system directories. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature.

Pre-requisites In IntaChange, these define required actions that must be performed before an action can occur. For example, the Implementation Plans must be completed before the IntaChange Change Management Document (ICMD) may be submitted to the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

Problem Management Covers various areas including: Call Tracking, targeted towards problems reported by customers often over telephone lines, from different locations.The call is assigned and status is monitored and reported. It also covers Problem Tracking, work (task) management (who, what, when, due date, status), statistics and metrics gathering and reporting, historical records and integration with configuration management and testing.

Processes Processes are defined as a sequence of states with conditions enforcing the process, and actions automating the process.

Process Management AllChange supports the integration of the different processes that are involved in change: the process for changing a configuration item, the process for controlling what changes are made and the process for releasing a set of changes. This ensures the greatest level of automation and transparency of the processes leading to efficient and effective execution of the processes defined.

Project A project in AllChange or IntaChange is a set of configuration files and user data.

Project Directory The directory containing the AllChange configuration files and project data.
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Register Definition File The file in a workspace which defines the registrations for that workspace.

Registrations Registrations are used to define the default version for parts in a particular workspace. They also define the pools that are to be used by the workspace for build purpose.

Release A release is a package of configuration items which are supplied to third parties. A release may just be for test purposes or for customers.

Release Management The process of managing the release of a product or system, to ensure that the correct versions of the correct configuration items with the desired changes, are released and that this may be audited. AllChange uses baselines and life-cycles for baselines to implement release management.

RFC Request for Change.

Role Individual users may be assigned various roles for the products managed by the system. Permission to perform different commands can be made to depend on the role assigned to individual users.

Sandpit Sandpit is a term analogous to a workspace.

SCCI The Source Code Control Interface for Microsoft.

SCR Software Change Request.

Section A section is a part of an AllChange Report which determines the data that is to be shown in that part of the report.

Software Configuration Item (SCI) Software items which are to be controlled. Each software configuration item declared to AllChange is known as a part.

SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.

Status A status is a stage in a life-cycle through which configuration items (parts), change requests or baselines may pass. They may be used to control access to items and implement approval procedures etc. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. State).

Status Log This is an audit trail of the progression of an object through its life-cycle. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. Audit Trail).

Subsystem Subsystem-type parts may have children. Subsystem type is analogous to a directory in an operating system filing system. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. Folder).

System Directory The directory in which AllChange has been installed.
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Terminology Mapping Substitution of a user’s/site’s choice of term for one of the standard AllChange terms. For example, substitute RFC instead of AllChange CR.

Traceability The ability to trace an object from creation through any changes made to the object throughout the life of the object.
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User Defined Fields (UDFs) In IntaChange, UDFs are arbitrary site specific data fields, defined to hold whatever information is required.

Uses Parts may be of type, uses. A uses-type part indicates that this part uses another part (the part used is given in the location for the part).

UTC Universal Time coordinated.
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VC File The complete version history i.e. the actual contents of every version of a component is physically stored in an external VC (Version Control) file. AllChange retrieves old versions from these files and stores new versions into them when the user checks in/ out components.

Version A part of type component (only) may have versions associated with it. These represent the revisions that the part has been through during its lifetime. The actual contents of the versions controlled by AllChange are physically stored in external VC files. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. Revision).

Version Control The management of all the versions (revisions) of a part during its lifetime.

Visual File Differencing Compares the differences between two files.

Voting In IntaChange, allows users to participate in decisions which control the movement of requests for change through their life cycle. The option to vote on a progression is indicated by a vote icon which appears on screen.
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Web based Software that is accessible by a web browser only. The software can be installed on a central server and remote users can log into it from a PC with a web browser and internet or intranet connection.

Web Interface Enables a software program to be viewed over the web. Web browser software needs to be installed, e.g Internet Explorer.

Workfile Files in a workspace are referred to as workfiles, as opposed to version history (VC) files which do not reside in workspaces.

Workflow Structure of tasks, what order they are done in, by whom. How tasks are structured, their order relative to other tasks, information flow, and tracking of information.

Workspace Workspaces are used to hold local copies of configuration items (parts), for examination, editing and building purposes. The objects held in a workspace are operating system files and the workspaces themselves are simply operating system directories. Note that this term may be mapped to another nomenclature (e.g. Sandpit)

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