Tagging and Recording Software

Purpose

This document describes Research Foundation (RF) policy and procedures for managing commercial software and software upgrades. Programs (software) developed during the progress of sponsored research are assets managed by the Research Foundation through its Technology Transfer Office. This subject is addressed in the Technology Transfer Manual.

Background

Until fairly recent times, software was improved so rapidly that very little had a service life of over two years. It was justifiable, therefore, to consider software as expendable property and to consider tagging, database recording, and inventory procedures related to software as unnecessary.

Top grade applications now seem fairly stable and do serve (especially with upgrades) past the two-year service life term. Obsolescence is avoided by upgrades. Software costs (especially with upgrades considered) do also extend into the range of A-110 limits. This is especially true when software packages are purchased for multiple users and networks. Therefore, it becomes important at this time to develop procedures for managing this property as nonexpendable property.

Commercial Software Purchase and Use

Purchase and use of commercial software obtained with funds from Research Foundation accounts must conform with U.S. copyright laws. All acquisitions and use of software must adhere to the software licensing agreement requirements of the purchased packages. Locations should request assistance from the Office of Legal Affairs when software licensing agreements require legal interpretation.

PCS Recording of Software

The following table describes the procedure for recording software on the PCS.

If the software is...

Then...

a stand-alone application, has a useful service life (with potential upgrades) of greater than two years, and the cost is greater than the A-110 or sponsor limit,

assign an asset number and record it on the PCS. In the location fields, record the location of the program disks rather than the computer hardware where the software is being used.

a stand-alone application, but it costs less than the A-110 or sponsor limit or has a useful service life of less than two years,

purchase the software as expendable supplies and do not record the asset on the PCS.

an operating system (e.g., DOS, OS/2, LAN) or environment (e.g., Windows) rather than an application program,

treat it as an enhancement of the hardware. Regardless of the dollar amount or the service life, describe it in the PCS Additional Description fields for the hardware that it supports. Add its cost to the Cost of Reproduction field for the hardware. Also enter the location of utilization and location of the program disks in the Additional Description fields.

PCS Recording of Upgrades

The following table describes the procedure for recording software upgrades on the PCS.

If the upgrade...

Then...

is for software that is expendable (that is, an item that has a useful service life of less than two years or a cost below the A-110 or sponsor limit),

there is no requirement for recording the asset on the PCS.

extends the useful service life of the original software beyond the two-year life or increases the total cost of the software above the A-110 or sponsor limit,

generate an asset number and record the asset with the combined costs.

is for a stand-alone application that has already been recorded as an asset on the PCS,

add the cost of the upgrade to the Cost of Reproduction field for the original software and describe the upgrade in the Additional Description fields.

is for an operating system or operating environment that is considered an enhancement of the hardware and has been recorded as such,

add the upgrade cost to the Cost of Reproduction field for the hardware and document the upgrade in the Additional Description fields for the hardware.

Tagging Software

Asset decals do not need to be attached directly to software disks. They may be attached to the boxes or containers in which the disks are packaged. Alternatively, software may be kept in a drawer or container tagged with appropriate decals for the various software packages. A record should be kept by project directors of their software and of all hardware on which the software is being used.

Responsibilities

The RF operations manager is responsible for ensuring that

 

 

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