Software Installation Requests for SVSU's Computer labs & Podiums

April 14 is the Deadline for requesting software and funding for inclusion in the Fall budget/lab Images.

June 30th is the deadline for all software, documentation, installation, configuration, and testing instructions for Departmental purchases to be delivered to the Microlabs Office in SCB-126.

Table of contents:
• How is a lab "Image" Created?
• How are Software Licensing and Purchasing Handled?
• What are the Limits on Installing New Software?
• Textbook Cds and Student software
• How Do I Request Software?
• Checklist and useful Links

The nature of the campus computer labs is determined by what students and faculty need, so we in turn need your help in determining what software will be acquired. This page is designed to give you some basic information about how software is selected and how you can request software to be made available in the labs.

While some lab software is added between semesters, the majority of campus software upgrades for the next school year occur during the summer and begin with requests made during the first quarter of the Winter semester to coincide with textbook deliberations. Although it is often difficult to plan ahead, the lengthy process that is involved in configuring the nearly 1800 computers in the labs in a complex network environment makes early notice vital. This is why it is extremely important that you assess your software needs now .

The software that is currently installed in the labs is detailed at

How is a lab "Image" Created?

During the current semester, an image for the next semester is built for each type of computer and each lab on campus. Building the image for a lab includes installing network software on the campus network servers, testing those network installations, installing the software that must be loaded locally on the lab machine hard drives, running set-up programs for the software that is delivered via the network, configuring individual software packages with various templates, options, etc., installing drivers for printers or other peripheral devices, identifying and resolving conflicts between different programs, and trouble-shooting various problems with individual pieces of software. An absolutely critical part of this process is the testing of the image. As the image is built, it is tested by ITS staff. We are asking faculty and staff to continue the testing process under "real world" conditions in the assigned lab prior to the first day of classes. If problems are identified and fixed, the image must be retested and redeployed.

ITS will not put software in the labs that has not been adequately tested , as every new piece of software carries with it the potential to interfere with existing programs and could destabilize the labs. Therefore, the installation of new software is strictly limited to the period between semesters. Adherence to deadlines is critical to the reliable functioning of the labs.

How are Software Licensing and Purchasing Handled?

ITS will consider the funding and purchase of software which is required for classes by more than one department for use in the labs and podiums for the next fiscal year. In some circumstances, cost-sharing with the requesting departments will be required. However, budget restrictions severely limit the ability of ITS to purchase all software requested. ITS will not purchase software that is required by individual departments or programs, however desirable that software might be for the mission of the department, even if other faculty may find the software useful or desirable.

Software that is used for specific classes must be purchased by the Department using it. All software applications submitted to ITS for deployment on campus must be properly licensed by ITS or your department prior to implementation. When you make a new software request that is not funded by ITS, it becomes a Departmental purchase and you must provide the licensing documentation and media prior to installation. The department requesting the software installation is responsible for assuring an adequate number of licenses based on the number of students who will be using it or at least on the total number of stations per lab in which it will be loaded. Please be certain to investigate licensing before requesting software to be installed in the campus labs. Software utilization statistical information (labstats) are now available to assist in determining which licensure is appropriate, contact Hank Pletscher for details.

Software licenses come in a variety of types.

Workstation licenses require the purchase of an individual license for every computer on which the software is made available. (Adobe, Macromedia)

Site licenses require a set fee to be paid, either a flat rate unrelated to the number of computers, or on a scale based on the number of computers attached to the network. (Microsoft Office)

Lab packs containing licenses for five, ten, or more computers.

Concurrent use licenses require the purchase of a sufficient number of licenses based on estimates of how many users are actually using the software at any one time, and generally are accompanied by "license manager" software.

You do not need to purchase licenses for software that is already in the labs unless you are requesting wider access to a limited-use program. This would be the case, for example, with software that is currently used on a limited basis by a particular department which may have purchased 25 licenses for one Teaching lab and find they now want access to it in an Open lab. 

What are the Limits on Installing New Software?

Although we make every attempt to accommodate faculty software requests, occasionally certain pieces of software will simply not work within the campus network environment, will not work correctly, conflict with existing software, or constitute a threat to network security due to their design.

Any software that is submitted for installation must be supported by the vendor under the current operating system. Users are encouraged to upgrade their existing curricular programs whenever possible. ITS reserves the right to remove, after notification, software that is no longer supported under an operating system when the operating system used in the computer labs is upgraded. ITS can provide only very limited support for departmental curricular programs. What this means to you is that while we will make every effort to install the software requested and get it running, we cannot provide technical support for individual users, or provide guidance on how to use these programs as ITS staff cannot be familiar with the details of the many programs that users request be installed. Users are responsible for obtaining technical support from the vendors of their software.

IMPORTANT: Users must deliver to ITS any special details regarding configuration of the software, and a "script" for testing the software once it is installed. If these are not provided, the software will be installed using the default settings and ITS testing will be very basic and limited to determining that the program's main page will open and close.

Textbook CDs & Student software

Software that is licensed to students (often included with textbooks or sold at a nominal fee) that does not require the workstation to be rebooted may be used at the owner's discretion. Some CDs require the computer to be rebooted after they are installed and thus must be included in the lab image because changes made to the lab computers are wiped out when the machines are rebooted, due to the special security hardware and software installed on them. You are encouraged to go into the labs and test the CDs for yourself to see how they behave. However, if you have any doubts about a CD you are planning to use, you may get a copy to ITS before the Departmental purchase deadline and we will be happy to determine whether or not the CD will work correctly on the lab machines.

IMPORTANT: Many publishers refuse to allow student software to be permanently installed on the network or lab stations because it is not owned by or licensed to the University. Be sure to contact the publisher to determine the nature of their licensing agreements before requesting that a CD be installed on the campus computer labs.

How Do I Request Software?

Computer Labs and Podiums:

The Software Survey is designed to confirm your need for currently installed software by indicating which of your courses will use each application. Currently installed software in the labs is detailed at

If no one indicates a course need for an application it will become a candidate for future removal from all labs.

The Software Survey is also designed to have the faculty indicate NEW software packages to be installed on the campus network and/or lab machines that are not currently available (department chairs need to be the voice for adjuncts). We need to know what course sections it will be used for and possible locations for it to be installed.

Software that should be requested by the deadline includes the following:
-General purpose software
-Curricular-specific software that may be used alone or in conjunction with textbooks.
-Add-ins for existing software such as MS Word or Excel
-Special templates, fonts, etc., you use with existing software
-Plug-in applications for web browsers.
-Any other deviation from the existing lab specification

The survey will be closed on April 14.


Non site-licensed software that is lab related for use by faculty or staff in their offices other must be purchased by those departments. Quantity discounts may apply when combined with other requests. Questions and requests regarding purchasing of office software should be directed to the Support Center at 964-4225, Software that is received after this deadline, and which must be pre-loaded on the lab image, will not be installed until the following semester.

Deadline for requesting software and funding for inclusion in the fall budget/Lab Image is April 14.

Deadline for Departmental purchases - must be delivered to SCB-126 by June 30th.

If you have any questions about the process for software installation requests, please contact Hank Pletscher 964-7133,

Checklist and useful Links

1. Determine locations and quantity needed (and approximate cost if new request)

2. Complete Software Verification and /or New Software Request Forms.

3. If approved and funded no further action is necessary until the testing phase.

4. If not funded you will be notified and you must independently purchase the software and sufficient licenses, then deliver software/documentation to ITS by the announced deadline.

5. Be prepared to test your software prior to first class usage.

Always personally verify that the software you need is actually installed per your request, tested, and that you have reserved access in a Teaching lab if necessary.

Current Lab Software

Microlabs Home Page

ITS Support Center