Understanding Baselines

Baselines identify the significant states within the revision history of a configuration item. They capture the changes that were approved and implemented for a particular version of an item. By comparing the active item with its previous baselines, you can view the modifications that occurred between CI versions.

Service Manager uses separate items in the CMS workflow to track active CIs and baselines. The state of the item in CMS workflow determines whether the item is an active CI, an active baseline, or an inactive baseline. Links exist between baselines and active CIs, which allows Service Manager to track the baselines associated with each active CI.

The complete process for creating a new active CI and baseline using a non-emergency RFC is as follows:
  1. RFCs are required for a change to a CI. When you submit an RFC against an active CI, a new CI is also submitted. The new CI is placed in the Pending Change state, where it remains until the change is completed. The new CI is linked to the active or original CI, and it is pre-populated with information from the existing CI. You can find a link to an active CI from the new CI on the Details tab. You will see that the version number was automatically incremented on the new CI.
  2. The original CI moves to the Baseline Pending state, informing you that a new CI is in the process of being implemented.
  3. After the RFC is closed, the new CI moves to the Verification Required state, where the change is verified by the Configuration Analyst to ensure that it matches what was expected.
  4. After being verified, the new CI becomes the active CI. The original CI transitions from the Pending Change state to the Active Baselines state, marking it as a baseline. Active baselines appear on the Baselines tab.
  5. A baseline can replace the active CI by selecting to Restore it. This creates an RFC and a duplicate of the baseline item. After the RFC is completed, the duplicate item will become the new active CI.
In summary, an item in the CMS workflow can have the following possible designations as it moves through the workflow:

Note that all opened RFCs must be closed before the CI will transition to the next state. That is, if you have multiple RFCs open for one CI, all of them must be closed before the CI becomes the new active CI.

Note: Baselines are not created for a CI related to an emergency RFC until the RFC is closed.