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Software Installations and Removals

Software Installations and Removals

The most common task for Group Administrators is installing software. Before an application can be installed, the Group Administrator must submit a software installation request. This is an E-mail message sent to ECR6 Management with the Subject of "Software installation request" (and the prefix described, above). The body of the message should cite each application to be installed, along with a short description of why the software is needed. If a Web page can be included that describes the software, that should also be included. Requests for installation of site licensed software (referenced at can merely link to the software on OSU's Web site. We also need to know the system(s) on which you want to install the software, by name and/or IP address.

ECR6 Management will review the software installation request and render a decision for each package. (You are encouraged to combine requests to install multiple applications in a single message whenever possible.) If (and only if) an application is approved for installation, then the Group Administrator may proceed. Note that application software includes software needed to support an attached peripheral (such as a "driver" for a piece of hardware).

For any software which requires purchase, the eRequest must specify the computer(s) and location(s) (building and room number), either as a part of the business purpose or the "Additional info" field. A computer's identity can be specified by either network computer name (preferred, e.g. mse-p050, cbe-m003, etc.) or OSU inventory tag number, if one is affixed. If ECR6 Management is preparing the eRequest (which is the preferred procedure for items which are not pre-approved [see below]), then this information needs to be communicated to them with the request for approval.  If you are updating/upgrading a software application for which you obtained IT approval for installation/purchase in the past, and the scope of the update/upgrade is not changing (e.g. the license covers the same level of access for the same number of computers), then you do not need IT approval.

IT approval is largely driven by concerns over system security and potential technical issues. The legal concerns over software installation, aside from ensuring where software can be installed, and who can use it, are beyond the scope of this review, and are generally governed by OSU's Cloud Computing Guidelines. Whomever is requesting software to be installed is responsible for ensuring compliance.

We should also know about software you intend to remove, to make sure deletion will not adversely affect the operation (and in particular, the security) of the system. (This does not include user-generated data/documents, only application software. You are free to remove user-generated data at any time, as necessary, with consideration for OSU's data retention policies.) For software removal, you do not need to cite a description or associated Web link (since, presumably, we'd already have some idea about the software, having approved its installation). All we need to know is the name of the software (e.g. as displayed in the "Add or Remove Programs" control panel under Windows XP) and a brief reason why you want to remove it. So long as the software isn't considered critical to minimizing security exposure, approval should ensue in short order. As with software installation requests, you are encouraged to cite all the software you want to remove in one message. Of course, the Subject header of such a message should be modified from the typical installation request, to something along the lines of "Software removal request" (again, with the special "GRP-ADMIN:" prefix).

Pre-Approved Software List

The following applications have already been approved for installation in the past. For items listed, you DO NOT need pre-approval, nor does the order (if applicable) need to be initiated by ECR6 Management. In fact, you are encouraged to initiate orders for the listed software (where necessary) yourself, via OSU's eRequest ordering system. Note that the eRequest for any software purchase (pre-approved, or not) must cite the system(s) on which the software is intended to be installed, and its/their location(s) (i.e. building and room number).

  • 7-Zip
  • Adobe software: Acrobat (free from the OCIO) and products offered for sale to departments from WiredOut. NOTE: Each computer requires its own license for Adobe software. Also make sure you are using a supported version, per OSU's Client Computer Security Standard (CCSS). For example, as of 26-JUN-2013, you must not run Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader earlier than version 10; if you are running an older version, you must upgrade.
  • BuckeyeBox
  • CasaXPS
  • ChemOffice
  • Discovery Studio Visualizer
  • Echem Analyst
  • EndNote, available on main campus from WiredOut
  • EXAFS Analysis Software
  • Mozilla FireFox
  • Kaleidagraph
  • LabView: site-licensed by the College of Engineering; contact Michael Hoffman(.2) (2-2358) for details
  • Materials Studio
  • Matlab
  • OLI Systems software
  • ParaView
  • PuTTY for Windows (replacement for the SSH Secure Shell software that the OCIO used to distribute; the old product has known security issues and its use must be discontinued)
  • SigmaPlot for Windows
  • Starnet Communication's X-Win32
  • ViewerLite: discontinued...use Discovery Studio Visualizer (see above)
  • VMD
  • XMD
  • ZView/ZPlot

There is also a general case pre-approval for any software purchased with university funds for installation on a personally-owned computer, assuming the Terms of Service (ToS) and/or Terms of Use (ToU) for the software license permit this.