Configuration Management


In the context of software development and deployment, Configuration Management refers to the process of systematically managing, organizing, and controlling changes to the configuration of a software system throughout its lifecycle.

The term “Configuration Management” can be a bit ambiguous, from a developer’s perspective.

Configuration management involves various aspects, including:

  1. Version control: Managing and tracking changes to the source code, configuration files, and other artifacts related to the software system.

  2. Dependency management: Identifying, tracking, and managing the dependencies required by the software system, ensuring compatibility and consistency.

  3. Build and release management: Automating the process of building, packaging, and deploying the software system across different environments (e.g., development, testing, staging, production).

  4. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Defining and managing the infrastructure required to run the software system using machine-readable configuration files or scripts.

  5. Configuration tracking: Keeping track of the configuration settings, parameters, and environment-specific values across different deployment environments.


Downloading source code or binaries, installing dependencies, editing configuration files, and starting services are part of the deployment process, but they fall under the broader umbrella of configuration management.

Configuration management aims to streamline and automate these deployment steps, making the process more repeatable, scalable, and less prone to human error. It involves using tools and practices to define and manage the desired state of the software system and its associated infrastructure.

Tools like Ansible, Puppet, Chef, and Terraform are commonly used for configuration management and infrastructure as code. They allow you to define the desired state of your software system and its dependencies in code, which can be version-controlled, tested, and automated.

So, while the specific deployment steps may seem straightforward, configuration management encompasses a wider set of practices and tools to manage the entire lifecycle of a software system, from development to deployment and ongoing maintenance.

As a developer, understanding configuration management principles and practices can help you streamline your deployment process, ensure consistency across different environments, and collaborate more effectively with operations teams.