In Rational ClearCase, a promotion level indicates the quality or degree of completeness of a baseline. Once a baseline has been tested, for instance, it can be moved from the BUILT to TESTED promotion level.

Promotion Level (or group) refers to a modules status in the software development lifecycle, most often as defined as part of an overall software configuration management (SCM) strategy.  A very simple software development lifecycle:

Production
       |
       Testing 
            |
            Development

The lifecycle is often implemented within a SCM tool, such as StarTeam, PVCS, ClearCase, or MKS.  It is often (and should be always), part of a larger SCM plan, including workflow, release management, issue management, and other considerations.  SCM is often implemented in an effort to achieve a Capability Maturity Model ranking/certification.

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