Vincenzo Ambriola, Lars Bendix, Paolo Ciancarini:
The evolution of configuration management and version control, pdf
in the Software Engineering Journal, Volume 5, Number 6, November 1990.
(also in "Software Engineering: A European Perspective", Richard H. Thayer, Andrew D. McGettrick (eds), IEEE Computer Press, Los Alamitos, USA, pages 389-401, June 1993).

The activities of configuration management and version control are common to a number of engineering tasks. These activities are particularly important for software engineers, since during most of a system lifecycle they have to deal with a growing number of versions of a single component, and to rebuild the complete system in different ways using different components. These tasks are repetitive and trivial, and they require a lot of manual work and accuracy. In this paper, we show how the problem of automating these activities has been solved in a number of software development environments. We describe the evolution of systems for configuration management and version control from simple stand-alone tools, such as Make and SCCS (based on an underlying file system), towards more integrated systems based on a project database.

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