5.1.1.1.5 - The repository shall have software technologies appropriate to the services it provides to its designated communities.

Explanation

In order to provide a level of service that meets the repository's contracted obligations, SP designs and implements software technologies based on a clear and comprehensive understanding of the needs and expectations of its Designated Community. The repository's Designated Community supports decision-making by providing an overview of the repository's user communities.

SP staff work closely with members of the Designated Community to design applications and test usability. Representatives from the Designated Community sit on SP's advisory committees, giving them a direct channel to the repository's directors and programmers. In addition, SP receives ongoing feedback about application behaviour and interface design from its Designated Community. For example, see the Feedback Forum in SP's journals collection interface. Feedback from the Designated Community provides valuable information about accessibility, usability, understandability, and holdings. Generally, the close relationship between SP and its Designated Community means that SP staff are aware of new needs and expectations at an early stage.

Software developers at SP and the University of Toronto Libraries' Information Technology Services department receive information about system behaviour and usage from automated monitoring programs. These programs warn administrators about events and loads that exceed predetermined levels. Please see 5.1.1.1.6 for more information.

SP uses a combination of custom-built, open-source, and commercial software to run its critical processes. The repository has an inventory of software to help staff carry out long-term technology planning.

Responsibility

Digital Preservation Policy Librarian

Software Developer

Potential Risks

In order to comply with this point, SP must maintain a thorough understanding of the needs of its Designated Community. If SP has imperfect or inadequate information about the repository's Designated Community, then there is a risk of using inappropriate software. The practices described above (see Explanation) are designed to minimize this risk, but sudden, unexpected changes in user behaviour are possible.

Future Plans

SP has a procedures, commitments, and financial resources for regular software replacement or upgrade. See 5.1.1.1.8 for details.

Relevant Documents

  1. Designated Community Definition
  2. Hardware and Software Inventory (available on request)