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Architecture Review Board - Guidelines for Campus Software and Service Purchases


The ARB suggests reviewing and considering the following questions to help you and your team better understand and prepare for the information technology impact of an initiative during the early stages of a project. If you're ready to move forward or get feedback from our group, please submit our Project Review Form. Providing that form will serve as the next step and allow the ARB to work with you, provide further guidance, and consultation.

1. Provide a short description of the project or initiative and planned deliverables and outcomes.

2. Is new software or system to be purchased or developed? Or use of existing software expanded or changed?

3. Approximately how many people will use the system of software? Include all types of users. For example, an application for managing student interactions with your department may have 5,000 student end users plus eight departmental administrative users.

4. Who will be the types of users (include all that apply)?

  • Enrolled Students
  • Employees (Faculty or Staff)
  • Named External Constituents or Alumni
  • Other

5. How will users authenticate (log in)? For user authentication, we strongly prefer Federated (Shibboleth) or Active Directory. Does/can the application/vendor support Shibboleth or SAML authentication? Active Directory? If not, what are the supported authentication options?

6. Do user accounts and/or roles or permissions need to be managed in the application? E.g. Does someone have to create and manage accounts and permissions? (Or, for e.g. can permissions come from an Active Directory group?)

7. Where will the application or system be hosted?

  • Need to host at CU on CU virtual machine infrastructure
  • Hosted by vendor
  • Hosted by 3rd party on behalf of vendor (who?)
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) (e.g. ServiceNow or Salesforce)

8. What existing CU data will need to be provided to the application or system? (e.g. enrolled student bio/demo data; or all employee and enrolled student names and email addresses).

9. What are options for providing the needed data to the application or system (the vendor should be able to answer this)? (e.g. Web APIs using JSON or AML, or upload and import spreadsheet or csv file).

10. What new data will be created and managed by the application?

11. What is the underlying data base or data storage mechanism? (e.g. MS-SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Amazon S3)

12. Are there any related, dependent, complimentary, or similar applications or systems on campus or elsewhere in the CU System?

13. Is the application or system being used by other, peer universities?