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Software Download Portal/Repository: Stage 1

Project ID: 
Current stage: 

Description: Requirements gathering for the implementation of a new Software Download Management Platform that would enable the distribution of research software and applications more effectively than the existing Informatics Software Download Database (ISDD).

Deliverables: A report examining the current state of ISDD, and a list of the perceived short-comings (real or imaginary) of ISDD (and whether they could be fixed). A description of the functionality required by a new Software Download Management Platform.


Customer: Edinburgh Research & Innovation, and all Informatics Research Staff (especially David Richardson, Dave Robertson, Bob Fisher)

Case statement: The UK Research Council’s focus on impact is changing the way we think about our research output. Impact features heavily in the upcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) and we need to ensure we are capturing as much supporting evidence as possible.

The Informatics Software Download Database (ISDD) has been in existence for many years and is currently home to a number of legacy projects, but is perceived as being rather long in the tooth.

There is a confirmed expectation from the Scottish Government that the University takes active steps to simplify the process for companies to take advantage of freely available intellectual property, in parallel with commercial licensing activities. The proposed portal for open source technology will allow the School to lead the way in this initiative, working with Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI) and the collaborative University Technology project.


Status: Final Report available on the DICE wiki.

Timescales: estimated half a week.




Proposal: We need to know what users actually want, and whether the existing ISDD could be reasonably modified to provide that functionality - and if not, what would be required of a new Software Download Management Platform.



  • Establish current and prospective user base.
  • Investigate IS data share, and assess possible use/relevance.
  • Examine the current state of ISDD, and list any perceived short-comings (real or imaginary) reported by the user base.
  • Investigate whether any deficiencies (if found) could be be corrected, and viability/feasibility of same.
  • Assess additional requirements not provided by ISDD
  • Enumerate functional requirements of a new Software Download Management Platform (to include existing and requested functionality).
  • Solicit user feedback and refine requirements list.
  • Prepare final requirements list.




Proposed date Achieved date Name Description