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iCIT Computing Environment Support Policy

March, 2012

One of the core services of iCIT is to provide an effective computer user environment in support of the learning, instructional, administrative and communication functions of the UW-Whitewater campus. The purpose of this policy is to establish guiding principles for maintaining and supporting this environment. iCIT strives to reach an appropriate balance between technology advancement, reliability of the computing environment, and cost containment.

Technology advancement: As any institution of higher learning, UW-Whitewater is faced with the rapid adoption rate of technological change among its constituents, particularly in student and home computing. In addition, some members of UW-Whitewater community are interested in exploring new functionality offered with upgrades and new releases, and prefer to explore on their office or lab equipment.

Reliability: When introducing upgrades to the computing environment, iCIT is bound by its responsibility to the campus to assure minimal disruption to mission critical applications which support instruction, administrative functions and communication.

Cost containment: iCIT seeks to maximize its support of the computing environment for campus-wide constituencies while minimizing the cost of providing this environment. Therefore, iCIT limits support to commonly used operating systems and web browsers, as well to versions of the operating systems and browsers that are in widest use.

Guiding Principles for Support of Operating Systems and Web Browsers

iCIT uses the following principles to determine which operating systems and web browser versions are provided and supported for the campus community:

Process for Evaluating New Operating Systems

iCIT will migrate campus workstations to new Operating Systems (OS) versions after first following a process of certification and internal testing of compatibility with the University’s enterprise and departmental applications, as well as hardware requirements and campus readiness. Delivery of new operating system versions will proceed through the setup of new equipment and the re-imaging of existing computers as appropriate. OS updates and service packs will be delivered through a separate process.

  1. iCIT monitors vendor version readiness and release statements (information)
  2. When a new version is released, iCIT informs the campus community and provides information regarding the evaluation and migration process.
  3. iCIT works with mission critical systems providers to certify compatibility with the new version.
  4. iCIT tests the compatibility of mission critical systems and applications. Frequently, iCIT engages volunteers from the campus community to assist with the testing of specific functions.
  5. iCIT works with tech partners across the campus to assess compatibility of other campus-wide systems. Information obtained through this process is included in the version release notes.
  6. iCIT evaluates the hardware requirements of the new operating system and determines campus readiness based on current inventory and replacement cycle.
  7. After compatibility and readiness is confirmed, iCIT will develop a rollout plan and deliver the new version to the campus community, through the setup of new equipment or on request by departments or individual users.

iCIT currently supports the following workstation operating systems and versions: OS Support

Process for Evaluating New Browser Versions

Primary Default Browser: The primary “default” browser is the browser provided by the Operating System manufacturer. iCIT begins the evaluation and testing process of a new browser when it is officially released.

  1. iCIT monitors major browser vendor version readiness and release statements (information).
  2. When a new browser version is released, iCIT informs the campus community and provides adoption guidelines.
  3. iCIT works with mission critical systems providers to certify compatibility with the new browser version.
  4. iCIT tests the compatibility of mission critical systems and applications. Frequently, iCIT engages volunteers from the campus community to assist with the testing of specific systems and software functions.
  5. iCIT works with tech partners across the campus to assess compatibility of other widely used systems. Information obtained through this process is included in the version release notes.
  6. After compatibility of these systems is confirmed, iCIT will release the use of the browser version to the campus community. Installation and support of the new browser version begins after completion of all testing.
  7. Lab and classroom browsers are updated during Summer and/or Winterim sessions (or other breaks in the academic calendar). Office computers are updated after browser compatibility is verified..

Secondary Browser:Secondary browser status is determined by market share and is defined as the browser with the second greatest market share for at least 12 months. Secondary browsers will not be tested for compatibility and functionality with any campus or other systems. No customization will be offered. New releases of the secondary browser will be implemented only during Summer and/or Winterim sessions (or other breaks in the academic calendar). Secondary browsers are updated to the latest major release that has extended support offered by the vendor.

iCIT currently supports the following web browsers and versions: Browsers