Software Requests and Versions

Guiding principles regarding requests for software version upgrades

Software requests are only considered when they come directly from a faculty or staff member associated with the College of Engineering.

CAE will not install new software once a windows image is set and deployed for the semester.   This generally happens a few weeks before the semester begins. So if you wish to have new software included please contact CAE well before the semester begins, preferably a month or more.

When you make a request for course software to be installed on CAE computers, there are a number of steps that CAE staff need to take to make that request happen.  Here is a general list and rough timeline:

  1. CAE will decide the upgrade plan and timing for each piece of needed software.  Upgrades generally will not be done once the semester is underway, even if a new version becomes available.  

  2. If there is any need for license purchase, upgrade, or modification, this is done next.  This can take from 3 days to more than 2 weeks, depending on the needs and the specific vendor. New software must be approved by DoIT Licensing, even if it is open source or “free”. If the new purchase requires a contract, approval and signature can add 2 to 3 weeks.  If the purchase requires a requisition, this adds at least 3 weeks.

  3. Any license purchases or changes are completed, the license is updated on the server (if needed).  This can take 1-3 days.

  4. After all license issues are resolved and the license is working correctly on the server, CAE begins work on deployment to lab workstations.  You can expect a minimum of 2 weeks, depending on the time of year and the complexity of the application and install process.

  5. Once all this is completed, all instructors who requested the software will be contacted and asked to test the software. There's no formal testing process from CAE.  At this time, the software may be deployed to a single lab. We ask that you make sure that the software performs correctly for student assignments. Once this is done, the software will be made available in all of the CAE instructional labs.

CAE processes course software requests on a semester-by-semester basis. Many software companies don't accommodate our academic calendar, and release upgrades on their own schedule. CAE's priority is to maintain stability and usability of software on our lab workstations. To accomplish this, we use the following guidelines in software upgrade requests:

Other things to consider for lab installed software:

“Free” is not free.

Free and open source software must still be reviewed by the campus licensing team. Most software comes with terms of use, which may include conditions for litigation, and other things that may violate state laws and University regulations. In addition, many free licenses are OK for individual installation, but may not include network distribution.

"Can I sign for software that the department purchases"

From UW Legal Affairs:

When requesting new software, please provide the following information:

  1. What course number(s) is the software to be used in?

  2. Spring semester, Fall, or both?

  3. Approximate number of students enrolled in all classes?

  4. Is this required for class, or optional?

  5. Can it be installed on laptops/student install version

  6. Is there an educational license available

  7. Are there any special hardware requirements?

See Also: