Creating and using baselines

A baseline identifies one version of every element in one or more components. You use baselines to identify the set of versions of files that represent a project at a particular milestone. For example, you may create a baseline called beta1 to identify an early snapshot of project source files.

Baselines provide two main benefits:
  • The ability to reproduce an earlier release of a software project
  • The ability to tie together the complete set of files related to a project, such as source files, a product requirements document, a documentation plan, functional and design specifications, and test plans

UCM automates the creation process and provides additional support for performing operations on baselines. In base VersionVault, you can create the equivalent of a baseline by creating a version label and applying that label to a set of versions.

In UCM, baseline support appears throughout the user interface because UCM requires that you use baselines. When developers join a project, they must first populate their work areas with the contents of the recommended baseline of their parent stream. This method ensures that all team members start with the same set of shared files. In addition, UCM lets you set a property on the baseline to indicate the quality level of the versions that the baseline represents. Examples of quality levels include "project builds without errors," "passes initial testing," and "passes regression testing." By changing the quality-level property of a baseline to reflect a higher degree of stability, you can, in effect, promote the baseline.