Release management ensures that the correct artifacts are shipped to the customers wanting or needing them. It does so by identifying, organizing, and controlling these artifacts; assigning them descriptive labels, and integrating these labels into the appropriate back-office systems through SKUs and/or part numbers .
Release management is strongly related to configuration management, which is the process of identifying, organizing, and controlling the various components and related artifacts during system creation. Release management is more effective when it is based on well-known configuration management practices. This chapter discusses important topics in release management, including identification, SKUs, serial numbers, and tarchitectural implications.