10 Best Software Configuration Management Tools in DevOps (SCM Tools)

10 Best Software Configuration Management Tools in DevOps (SCM Tools)-feature image
March 21, 2023 Reviewed By : Kamal Zutshi .11 Min read

Configuration management in software engineering requires software development processes that are efficient, organised and flexible. Configuration management tools in DevOps are thus useful in streamlining software development processes by relying on testing and customer feedback for making a product more valuable. DevOps support thus ensures automated workflows, which are dynamic, fast and scalable.

What is Software Configuration Management?

Software configuration management meaning is not that complex. It helps track and control changes within a software and prevents any chances of software issues or faults. All changes unauthorised in nature within applications and servers can be detected through configuration management tools. Establishing baselines and revision control are core practices comprising configuration management system. It also helps in documenting functional capabilities and tracking interdependencies.

Why is Software Configuration Management Tool Important?

Software configuration management tools help manage version control, synchronisation and concurrency of such processes.

  • Reduced risk of cyberthreats and outages with ongoing tracking of system changes.
  • Cost-effectiveness by preventing the duplication of technology assets and provides all details of configuration elements.
  • Instant response to improper configuration, so that those can be rectified on time.
  • It helps define and enforce the procedures required for asset identification, auditing and monitoring.
  • Faster problem resolution with software configuration management tool leads to the reduced software engineering costs.
  • Greater visibility to the design changes that results in better change management.
  • Documented software configurations for quicker restoration of services during outage.

Understanding Software Configuration Management Process

Software configuration management processes help establish and complete multitude tasks involved in development of a software product. The various stages to the management process are:

  • Identification

The first step is to identify items, which aid in managing software configuration. These products form the core of any software platform and require absolute perfection before moving on to the further stage.

  • Change control

Change control assists in the management of various updates that occur within the items required for development of software solutions. After all, the very core of a software solution is constantly updating with new features and enhancements.

  • Version control

Version control facilitates the management of different versions of a software. Versions are constantly being created based on system requirements, characteristics controls and key functioning areas.

  • Configuration auditing

Configuration auditing increases the useful value of any software as new enhancements keep getting attached to the application in question. Configuration in a software product is constantly evolving and such changes need to be tracked to maintain the quality of the software. 

Configuration Management Tools Programming Languages
Jenkins Software Configuration Management Python, Ruby, Java, Android and C/C++
Ansible SCM in Software Engineering Ruby, Python, Bash, etc.
CFEngine SCM ToolWritten in C and supports all popular architectures and platforms
Puppet SCM Configuration Tool C++, Ruby and Clojure
CHEF Configuration Management Tool Ruby, Erlang, etc.
JUJU Configuration Management System GO
Bamboo Server Configuration Management Tool JAVA
Octopus Deploy Python, PowerShell, Bash, C#, F#
Rudder SCM Tool C, Scala, etc.
SaltStack Configuration Management Tool Python

List of Best Software Configuration Management Tools in Software Engineering

Configuration management tools are the core component of any software development process. With such tools keeping a track of all updates regarding versions, configurations and features. Choose any one of the following software configuration management tools for your business or individual requirements. 

  • Jenkins Software Configuration Management

open source configuration management tool

Jenkins open source configuration management tool builds and tests deployment of software development stages for IT projects from beginning till the end. The continuous integration and delivery feature is used for maintaining workflow processes that is mandatory for completion of projects.

Jenkins configuration SCM tool provides the extensions and plugins used for software configuration management in software engineering.

Key features of Jenkins:

  • Java based program
  • Extensible automation server
  • On the fly error checks
  • Update centre
  • Continuous delivery tool chain
  • Plugin architecture
  • Multiple platform support

Jenkins Pros and Cons

  • Provides combined solutions for managing question answer section
  • Used for automated and manual builds
  • Fast process control and automatic notifications
  • A large development community
  • Quick integration with other technologies.
  • Configuration process difficult to manage.

Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS X and Unix.

Price: It is currently unavailable for a free trial. More details about price can be accessed by contacting the software’s official website. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Languages: Python, Ruby, Java, Android and C/C++

Suggested Read: Best Continuous Integration Tools (CI Tools) for DevOps (Updated List)

  • Ansible SCM in Software Engineering

Software configuration management

Ansible open source configuration management tool is deployed primarily for software configuration management. It is also used for scaling automation, speeding up productivity and managing complex deployments.

Used for managing configurations of codes/products, the application controls and provides insights for scaling automation. 

Key features of Ansible:

  • Role based access with visual dashboard
  • Pre composed modules
  • Codification of infrastructure processes
  • Team collaboration
  • Managing governance and policy enforcement

Ansible Pros and Cons

  • Cross platform support
  • Predictable machine state
  • YAML format is easy to read
  • Quick configuration for computing clusters
  • Missing official Windows support

Supported OS: Linux, Unix-like, MacOS, Windows

Price: The enterprise automation platform is available for free trial. Please connect with the official software website for individual price plans.

License Type: Open source

Programming Languages: Ruby, Python, Bash, etc.

  • CFEngine

SCM tool

CFEngine open source configuration management tool automates complex IT infrastructure projects with fast solutions that take very short time in execution of such projects.

Because of its large-scale project handling capacity, this SCM tool offers several compliance checks. It is one of the best configuration solutions for conducting multiple compliance checks in vast production environments.

Key features of CFEngine:

  • Comprehensive documentation
  • Configuration management
  • Real time modifications
  • Patch management
  • IT compliance
  • Powerful declarative language
  • Extended file change management

CFEngine Pros and Cons

  • Highly secure and scalable
  • Consumes less space in a computing device
  • Distributed operations
  • Script section for setting selection criteria
  • Support through active mailing list
  • Installation process a bit complicated

Supported OS: Windows and UNIX

Price: CFEngine enterprise edition is available on annual basis whereas the community version can be downloaded for free up to 25 nodes. Cost details of enterprise edition to be accessed by contacting the software’s website.

License Type: Open source

Programming Languages: It’s written in C and supports all popular architectures and platforms.

  • Puppet SCM Configuration Tool

SCM tool

Puppet software configuration management system is used for mitigating security risks with the help of cloud native infrastructure and applications.

The application helps manage infrastructure delivery through fast and reliable solutions that also help increase employee satisfaction and productivity. With workflow automation, Puppet SCM tool ensures smooth deployment of cloud-native applications.  

Key features of Puppet:

  • Agent based automation in single platform
  • Multi cloud infrastructure
  • Intent and verification tracing
  • Pre-defined workflows
  • Fast infrastructure orchestration
  • Custom implementation offerings
  • Automatic drift remediation

Puppet Pros and Cons

  • Managing certificates for new devices
  • Log section for detecting errors
  • Clean interface for navigating through the system
  • Automated deployments and organised looks
  • Doesn’t easily integrate with the existing system

Supported OS: Linux, Mac OS, Unix and Windows

Price: You can use the trial version of enterprise edition Puppet configuration management tool.

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: C++, Ruby and Clojure

  • CHEF Configuration Management Tool

Configuration management in software engineering

CHEF is one of the configuration management tools in DevOps processes used for automating application delivery, configuring infrastructure and auditing compliances. You can use the analytics tool for cross team collaborations with the help of actionable insights and auditable history section. 

Key features of CHEF:

  • Testing compliance standards
  • Client server architecture
  • Automating IT services
  • Application deployment
  • Dynamic nodes
  • Pull configuration

CHEF Pros and Cons

  • Provision/deprovision infrastructure to keep up with peak demands.
  • Development environment that mimics production.
  • Maintaining accurate builds is difficult sometimes.

Supported OS: UNIX, Linux, Mac OS, IBM AIX, Windows and AT&T

Price: There are three packages available based on the number of modes- Launch, Standard and Premium. More details are available on the official website.  

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: Ruby, Erlang, etc.

  • JUJU Configuration Management System

Software configuration management in software engineering

Automate big software operations with the help of JUJU configuration management tool. The function of configuration management in software engineering makes possible the running of big data applications in multiple places without changing any deployment methods. You can streamline operational codes as well through the JUJU SCM’s configuration management capabilities. 

Key features of JUJU:

  • Software provisioning capabilities
  • Ingress controller and DNS
  • Multi node deployment
  • Instant scaling and integration
  • Multiple PaaS
  • High security through TLS between nodes 
  • Kubernetes cluster deployment
  • Integration with ATS system

JUJU Pros and Cons

  • Open platform, which is also change centric
  • Small footprint
  • Data streaming through interactive SQL based analysis
  • Open source orchestration for cloud infrastructure
  • Support for advanced networking missing

Supported OS: Mac OS, Ubuntu and CentOS

Price: With JUJU, you can create your own solution. The price support is available on request at JUJU’s official website. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: GO

  • Bamboo Server Configuration Management Tool

Configuration management tools in DevOps

Bamboo Server integrates, deploys and delivers automated builds for software delivery as well as code deployment.

Use this software configuration management system for assigning agents to build and creating multi-stage build plans.

You can further run parallel automated test to track the impact of changes on the software. Bamboo software configuration tool also assists in smooth deployment.

Key features of Bamboo:

  • CI pipeline boosting
  • Flow control through per environment permissions
  • Parallel automated tests for Agile development
  • Integration with AWS CodeDeploy, Jira, Fisheye and Bitbucket.

Bamboo Pros and Cons

  • Fast and easy bug catching
  • A useful tool for continuous delivery and integration
  • Seamless integration with Bitbucket and Jira
  • Simple user interface
  • One of the finest tools for building integration
  • Documentation may be improved for better referencing

Supported OS: Cross platform support based on Java.

Price: For small teams, the application is available at a price of around ₹720 whereas for growing teams, it costs around ₹60,432. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: Java

  • Octopus Deploy

Configuration management tools meaning

Octopus Deploy turbocharges build systems and controls servers by compiling codes and running tests. Octopus Deploy is used also for configuration management in software engineering by automating deployments and operations for keeping the software running. It helps manage releases and automate complex application deployments.

Key features of Octopus Deploy:

  • Repeatable release promotion workflows
  • Canary and rolling deployments
  • Backup testing and restoration
  • Certificate renewal
  • Disaster recovery

Octopus Deploy Pros and Cons

  • New versions of different interfaces can be easily deployed
  • Easy to install
  • Set up process for deploying pipelines is simple
  • Custom script for managing distribution targets
  • Software distribution for multiple platforms
  • Overloading might be an issue sometimes

Supported OS: Windows

Price: Octopus Deploy is free for teams as small as those involving only ten target deployments. Beyond it, the specialised configuration management tool in DevOps charges around ₹679 for one target on monthly basis. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: Python, PowerShell, Bash, C#, F#

  • Rudder SCM Tool

software configuration management system

Rudder open source configuration management system helps manage compliance and configurations of a system. This SCM tool combines continuous audit and configuration management. You can also use graphical configuration for managing nodes.

Key features of Rudder:

  • Web interface for managing nodes
  • Hosting inventory section
  • Custom policy editor
  • FULL REST API for communicating with Rudder server
  • Generating each host policy
  • Automated inventory for software and hardware

Rudder Pros and Cons

  • Dynamic update of machines based on inventory
  • Node group creation for distribution
  • Intuitive interface for checking quality of compliances
  • Organise configuration items
  • Easy to install and full documentation support
  • Missing visual editor

Supported OS: Ubuntu, Debian, Linux, CentOS, Slackware, IBM AIX

Price: You can use Rudder enterprise plugins on trial basis for a period of thirty days. Annual subscription provides detailed features for web management, auditing, integration and support. Details regarding charges for annual subscription are available on software’s website. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: C, Scala, etc.

  • SaltStack Configuration Management Tool

configuration management tool

SaltStack open source configuration management tool deploys infrastructure as code mechanism for automating configuration, managing networks, orchestrating SecOps and remediating vulnerabilities within different stages of software development. The project management process in software engineering application depends on Push model for executing commands through SSH protocol.

Key features of SaltStack:

  • Single line commands
  • Parallel execution model
  • Templating engines
  • Minions per master
  • YAML for fault tolerance

SaltStack Pros and Cons

  • Stable input/output configurations.
  • Introspection function to provide an overview of all that is happening inside the software
  • Once installed, the software is easy to use
  • Installation process might be a challenge as it is bit complicated

Supported OS: Windows and Linux

Price: The enterprise version of this open source software configuration management tool costs around ₹11,396 per year per machine. 

License Type: Open source

Programming Language: Python


Use the version control and textual friendly software configuration tools for managing change control processes involved in development of software product.

Written by Somya Gupta

Somya is one of the most experienced technical writers in the team who seems to be comfortable with all types of business technologies. She is a sensitive writer who ensures that businesses are able to find the right technologies through her writings. She would leave no stones unturned... Read more

Still Have a Question in Mind?

Get answered by real users or software experts

Talk To Tech Expert