Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


WebSCM: Configuration Management for Web Engineering Lifecycle

Many types of Web contents and associated editors were created to support Web application development. With Molhado SCM infrastructure, we have built a SCM-centered Web engineering environment, WebSCM. The environment distinguishes itself from existing ones by its ability to manage the evolution of a Web-based application including its Web contents and important structures such as navigational structure, internal structure, and logical structure.

  • Navigational structure of a Web system refers to the structure of Web documents with respect to hyperlinks among them. Since a HTML hyperlink can be defined at any node within a component and isrepresented as a "href" versioned slot, the evolution of navigational structure among Web pages is captured. Also, since Molhado is product versioning, the traversal among Web documents is always among Web pages in the current version. It avoids the case that a hyperlink point to an inpropriate version of a destination document.

Figure 1. Navigational structure in a Web project

  • Internal structure of Web contents are fine-grainedly versioned as atomic components. All Web documents including pages and source code are versioned at a fine granularity in accordance with our fine-grained version control algorithm.

Figure 2. The history of an XML element in an XML Web page.

  • The logical and physically-independent structure among Web documents allows access to Web content without having to know the actual physical address of the files. This ability is very important for large-scale Web applications whose documents may be globally distributed, across many servers.

Figure 3. Versioning for logical structure of a Web-based project

In Figure 3, Web pages (``CEAS'', ``Computer Science'',...) are organized in accordance with our college's organization and independent of any physical files or directories. "CEAS Home Page" and "Code" are composite objects used to group pages.

Users can edit Web pages via SC editors. They can also manipulate this logical organization of Web pages and the evolution of this structure is recorded with our WebSCM.

Structural differencing tools and fine-grained version control services from Molhado are integrated into WebSCM environment.