Software Selection

Choosing the right tools for the job can certainly make life a lot easier, but this can be especially difficult when it comes to software, with so many options available. Within our team we’ve had plenty of experience in this area, and have been involved in many selection and procurement decisions.

We can assist researchers in evaluating and selecting technologies, whether that’s open source software, proprietary solutions, or cloud-based services.

We’ve experience applying existing software sustainability and maturity models to ensure that solutions are healthy and viable, which we can use to aid the selection process. We can also help you identify the advantages and risks offered by the various options for hosting, support and deployment.

In cases where there are no existing solutions fit your needs, we can help assess the case for extending or customising existing solutions that are a “near fit” and conducting evaluations. We also work with IT Services to develop new services for researchers where there is sufficient demand.

We’ve also worked with research projects that set out to develop their own software, and advised them on alternative approaches. For example with the OMELETTE framework 7 project, we advised the project to stop developing a new mashup prototyping platform, and instead engage with the Apache Rave community which already had much of the required functionality already in place. This resulted in more impact, and having results to publish much earlier in the project.

Note that while we have a lot of expertise in free and open source software (and researchers do tend to use a lot of it) we are not open source advocates. We use our experience to ensure that all options,, open, closed and cloud-based, are considered appropriately.

We can offer talks on topics including:

We can also work with you on the selection and evaluation process itself.

We are always happy to receive informal enquiries, please contact us at researchsupport@it.ox.ac.uk if you’d like to know more.

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