Software, Software, Software!

The UW-Madison Campus has created a Campus Software Library available through that will contain a number of research-type software titles available at no cost. Saying that they are ‘free’ is a bit of a stretch since their total cost to campus is about a cool million dollars per year. However, deals for site licenses instead of one-off licenses allow for increased usage of the software at roughly the same cost.

At present, there is a soft rollout of several software titles for which standalone licenses have been negotiated. Exactly which titles are presented as available depends on whether one logs into as faculty/staff (including graduate research assistants) or student. License terms differ as to whether a particular title can be installed on student-owned or a faculty/staff-owned devices. Even for faculty and staff, distinctions may be made as to whether the license is for UW-owned devices or personally-owned devices, depending on the title.

  • Adobe products, for example, are licensed for installation on any UW-owned device, but not for personal devices; however, if you want to use Creative Cloud on your personally-owned computer, you can get it for only $19.95/year through the Tech Store.
  • JMP and SAS are licensed for installation on any UW-owned device and any faculty/staff personally-owned device.
  • LabView and PyMOL are licensed for installation on any UW-owned device and any faculty/staff/student personally-owned device.

A standalone version of MatLab will soon be available for faculty/staff use. This will replace the need for the concurrent version of MatLab that CALS IT current runs for CALS use through CALS IT Software . CALS IT will continue to run the concurrent MatLab licenses for CALS researchers until all have had an opportunity to transition to the standalone version. CALS IT will do the same for SigmaPlot, which will likely appear as a campus concurrent license rather than a CALS concurrent license at present.

And as bonus information for those who have read to this point, the purchase of a Campus Electronic Lab Notebook is now past the bid and demo stage and decisions should be made and announced soon. We will keep you informed.

–Phillip Barak, PhD
Professor, Dept of Soil Science
IT Director, CALS
Univ of Wisconsin-Madison