13 Best Software Configuration Management Tools

13 Best Software Configuration Management Tools

If you are getting started with software engineering, you need to know how to configure the software. There are many different software configuration management tools in the market and choosing the best one is not an easy task. This topic will assist you to select one of the Best Software Configuration Management Tools. This blog gives you the configuration management tools list and discusses the features of different configuration management tools and helps you decide which one is right for your project.

What are Software Configuration Management Tools?

Software Configuration Management Tools in software engineering help you to manage your software configuration. A software configuration is a set of files that represent the source code and documentation of a software program. A configuration management tool is used for managing these files: it keeps track of the versions of each file, identifies which files have been changed and who made those changes, and can record the history of each file. It can also identify conflicts between two pieces of code (or two pieces of documentation) that attempt to modify the same file in different ways, or even conflicts between two sets of conflicting documentation.

Software Configuration Management Tools in software engineering can be categorized into three groups: version control, build management, and packaging. Version control deals with system configurations, build management deals with production processes, and packaging deals with the distribution of software.

  1. Version Control: This is the most utilize configuration management tools. It is used to maintain different versions of software, like the Linear Tape-Open (LTO), Label Distribution Protocol (LDP), etc.
  2. Build Management: This is another widely used SCM tool that includes required packages and makes sure that they are compatible with each other before any further steps are taken by the developers in their project. These include Apache Ant, Apache Maven, Hudson, MSBuild, etc. Build automation tools can be easily integrated with other SCM systems making it easy for developers to use them for their daily operations.
  3. Packaging: A package is a file or set of files that contains all required information about its components or contents like description, version number, checksums, etc., which have been compressed into a single file or archive

Click Here to Read: Software Configuration Management in Software Engineering

Best Software Configuration Management Tools 

Puppet 

Puppet is a configuration management software written in Ruby and Erlang. It operates on multiple Unix-like systems also on Windows and contains its declarative language to define system configuration. The most important feature of Puppet is that it allows defining the state of your server through Puppet’s own language (DSL) which is then compiled into a catalog that can be applied against the server.

Features

  • Automatically set up a new PC with basic configuration settings such as IP address and time zone.
  • Automatically install specified software packages, such as Firefox or Adobe Reader.
  • Automatically configure basic security settings.
  • Create multiple configuration profiles for different departments and locations.
  • Create a new profile based on an existing one (for example, if you have a standard corporate profile that includes all company applications).

Chef  

CHEF Configuration Tool is a web UI that allows users to configure Chef servers, clients, and roles. The tool provides a graphical interface for users unfamiliar with the command-line tools. CHEF manages software packages and their relationships on one or more Linux hosts, allowing the creation of configuration packages that are portable across a heterogeneous computing environment.

Features

  • Full support for Perl, Ruby, and Python. Any tools that work on your laptop will work in your job script. (Yes, we have vi!)
  • Ability to run any program that runs in a normal terminal session. No need to stick to the pre-installed tools; if you want to run Matlab or Emacs, go ahead!
  • Scripts and programs are “shelf items”. They can be developed outside the cluster, then transferred in and executed using exactly the same interface as any other shelf item.
  • Easy transfer of files between your laptop and the cluster; use scp to send files up and cwd/scp to get them down. (The usual caveats about NFS security apply.)
  • A shared filesystem for your whole project; you can put code, data files, configuration files, everything in it! We even give you a little space quota of your own.

Ansible

Ansible is a configuration management and application deployment tool. It can apply the same instructions to multiple servers simultaneously or make those changes across a network of machines. It utilizes SSH to connect with remote hosts and run commands there. It provides no mechanisms for updating hosts or managing files on them; it just executes configured commands.

Features

  • Installing and maintaining software packages on your servers
  • Creating and updating user accounts, groups, services, and other system settings
  • Deploying web applications to servers in a cluster
  • Running system commands across a range of machines

CFEngine 

CFEngine is a powerful, automated system for managing the configuration of machines across large networks. It is designed to enable zero-touch installation on new machines and includes a host of interesting features, including health monitoring and a very “tolerant” model for handling changes, known as convergent automation. CFEngine uses a language called “Promotion Language” or “PL” for short, which allows you to express policy statements about the desired state of a system.

Features

  • It has several features that make it popular in front of other configuration tools:
  • A declarative policy syntax that makes it easier to understand and audit;
  • An extensible system for storing policies in version control;
  • A robust audit system that can check the effects of your policy over time.
  • The CFEngine Community Edition is available under an open source license (GPL).

JUJU 

JUJU is an SCM Tool- By using it we can automate software configuration.JUJU has been tested with over 200 application types, including databases, web servers, load balancers, operating systems (including Linux and Windows) as well as middleware such as databases (MySQL, Oracle), Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal), Web Servers (Apache Tomcat, Apache.

Features

  • The JUJU config files are human readable, so you don’t have to worry about learning some complex scripting language or strange markup language.
  • The JUJU config files can be edited in your favorite text editor or IDE if you prefer not to use the command line.
  • The JUJU config files can be run as scripts on their own without being opened in an editor or IDE at all.
  • The JUJU config files are portable between different systems because they’re just plain text files in UTF-8 encoding.

Bamboo Server Configuration Management Tool

Bamboo Server is an open-source, web-based, configuration management software that allows you to document and maintain the state of your servers by managing software versions and update plans. It provides a central interface to control the deployment of software updates and patches across all servers in your network and allows for greater control over the server environment. It can easily be installed on multiple OS Windows, Linux, and any other medium that supports Java.

Features

  • To provide systems management for organizations such as Defense contractors, Agencies, Universities and Commercial companies.
  •  To provide a flexible framework for applications that can be customized to match unique business processes.
  • To provide configurable options that include automated or manual installation of applications on a system.
  • To provide flexibility with respect to how changes are made to the system.

Rudder 

The rudder is an open-source software configuration management tool designed for IT teams that have to adapt quickly to changing business requirements. The modular framework helps you plan, deploy, and manage your applications continuously while always ensuring that what is running is exactly what you want, and nothing else. 

Features

  • Managing droplets:You can create, update, edit and delete droplets right from the tool. This is useful for large teams or companies that want to use rudder or launch a private cloud.
  • Managing groups: you can add/remove servers and assign them to groups of your choice (staging, production, QA, dev…). This is useful for large enterprizes with number of servers.
  • Managing data: you can import external variables from puppetDB (external facts), from text files (inventory) or directly from your infrastructure.

Saltstack

The SALTSTACK configuration tool, or simply “SALT,” helps IT teams easily orchestrate and automate the complete data center to deliver applications at speed. Ideal for managing multiple cloud environments, SaltStack enables you to control your entire infrastructure from a single interface. Full automation, rapid provisioning, and unparalleled scalability make SaltStack an invaluable tool for DevOps professionals to maintain business agility and stay ahead of the competition.

Features

  • Easy setup: Salt requires no agents, just a network connection and any supported version of Python.
  • Lightweight: Salt has light dependencies, so it’ll run on pretty much any operating system.
  • Fast: Salt uses ZeroMQ to achieve near real-time speed in communication between master and minion.
  • Multiple transport types: Salt can communicate over RabbitMQ, HTTP, Redis or TCP/IP with no extra modules or packages required.
  • Powerful: Salt can automatically adapt to different environments without requiring manual adjustments to configuration files.Unlike other configuration management systems

TeamCity

TeamCity is a Continuous Integration server that helps you to get your software into the right state, from any version control system. Configuration Tool for TeamCity enables you to manage file changes in remote TeamCity setup. It also allows non-TeamCity users to view configuration information on their local machine, and apply deltas from a central repository. When updates are sent from TeamCity to a remote system, the Configuration Tool for TeamCity will perform the update only when the configuration on the local machine is changed.

Features

  • Built-in auto-update functionality. This allows the tool to be automatically updated when a new version of the TeamCity Configuration Tool is available without requiring the users to download and install the update manually. 
  • Support for encrypted configuration files.
  • Support for defining environment variables (both system and user).
  • Support for defining local properties file that can be used to override properties defined in the global properties file (or even in any other local properties file).
  • Support for defining multiple executable versions of a given application (such as multiple Java versions or multiple server versions) and then configuring which of those executables should be used to execute specific jobs.

Server Configuration Monitor 

Server Configuration Monitor is a free software configuration management tool designed for Windows administrators who want to monitor and track changes on multiple remote servers simultaneously.

Feature

  • Server monitoring and alerting
  • Service monitoring and alerting
  • Task scheduling
  • Backup control panel
  • Remote installation of the software on monitored servers
  • History charting
  • Detailed hardware information on remote computers
  • Alerts by email, SMS or other notification methods

Octopus Deploy 

Octopus Deploy is a powerful deployment tool with both GUI and command-line interfaces. It uses a desired state configuration model and supports both Windows and *nix platforms, with integrations for all major source code repositories, including GitHub, BitBucket, and Visual Studio Team Services.

Feature

  • Package & deploy applications and databases as software releases
  • Configure & manage Windows and Linux machines and environments
  • Automate your web deployments with continuous integration or build server
  • Publish packages to multiple NuGet repositories, including private ones
  • Deploy databases using T-SQL scripts across multiple servers

ConfigHub 

ConfigHub is a tool for managing configuration files on multiple machines. It runs on any system that has Python 3. x installed. It provides a command-line interface to view and edit configs and initiate synchronization tasks. It also uses WebSockets for real-time communication between the client and server, so you don’t have to refresh your browser every time you change a config file.

Feature

  • Multiple configuration files for different purposes
  • Host aliases for easy identification of remote clients
  •  Run scripts before or after any operation on the host machine
  • Automatically run commands when files are added or removed
  • Automatic notification by way of IRC messages and Campfire notifications.

Microsoft Software Configuration Management Tools

Microsoft offers a set of Microsoft software configuration management tools that help organizations manage software configurations and deployments. These tools are available as a collection of technologies, including Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager is a software development kit (SDK) used to manage the configuration of systems over time. It provides a group of products to assist in the software development process, including software development life cycle management, application deployment, and change control.

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