Software Support Procedure

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This policy considers three levels of software which may exist on computers attached to the MCLA network.

Level I: Central software

Products in this class are loaded onto central network servers or all individual micros and are available to all members of the community. Such software will include (but not be limited to):

  • PC and server operating systems
  • Communications software
  • E-mail/groupware software
  • Word Processing product
  • Spreadsheet product

Other products may be added by the Steering Committee on recommendation of the appropriate College committee or TLTR task force. The criteria will be that the software products be of use to a large section of the College.

These products will be:

  • Financed centrally
  • Reviewed for upgrades or replacement annually, with all users kept at the same software level
  • Purchased via site licenses or other volume arrangements by Computer Support Services

Supported by Computer Support Services to:

  • Load the products and establish any set-up files
  • Answer questions (through academic computing) about problems; contacting vendor help if necessary
  • Provide (through academic computing) documentation and training as needed

Level II: Course / Office software

These products may be loaded centrally on servers, or, should this be a problem, installed on hard drives in lab or office machines. (For example, some products might put unusual stress on the network if they involve frequent disk access. In such cases they can either be on separate servers or on lab hard drives). Such software would include (among others):

  • Database products
  • Statistical packages
  • Computer languages
  • Desktop Publishing packages
  • Hypertext and authoring systems
  • CASE tools for system development
  • High level graphics packages
  • Individual course applications

Products can be added to this list on recommendation by a department, after review by the Steering Committee to establish that the product is not adequately covered by an existing package and that it will function in the College's environment. These products will be:

  • Financed by a department (or several departments)
  • Reviewed for upgrade and replacement by the "owner" departments
  • Purchased by the department with purchasing help from Computer Support Services. Proper licensing will be filed with Computer Support Services

Supported by Computer Support Services to:

  • Install the product on servers or hard drives with appropriate set-up files
  • Provide minimal advice on the operation of the product. The appropriate faculty members or office managers will provide operating advice and needed training and documentation

Level III: Individual Software

Software requested by and used by only one or two people will be purchased by and fully supported by those individuals or their departments. Computer Services (or academic computing) may be asked for general advice, in particular to ensure that the product will work on the designated hardware, but would not be expected to research the software's capabilities / requirements. Proper licensing is the responsibility of the requestor.

This level software will exist only on individual hard drives, not on network servers managed by Computer Support Serices unless special hardware is purchased for that purpose.

People encountering problems in using this software cannot expect support through Computer Support Services other than general advice. If a particular software product is found to cause a problem with the network, the individual will be asked to remove it (or only use it when disconnected from the net).