Here is some information to consider when selecting a Software purchase for the District and/or a Campus

  • Introduction

    If you are reading this ahead of a software purchase, thank you!
    Information Services (we) are here to help you be successful. Help us help you by choosing software that is both "functional", and "manageable".
    Software that provides the "best" user experience does absolutely NO GOOD, if it will not run in our environment, or the amount of effort or expense to use/manage the program robs significantly from other programs and software. Please be mindful that all the "bells" and "whistles" and "leaps through hoops of fire" a program purports to be able to perform can be rendered useless if doesn't work consistently.
    The security of our network infrastructure,  servers, and end-user devices is a HIGH PRIORITY for our department. So, please be aware that we do not support many computing devices along these lines.
    At a minimum, please request the technical specifications, minimum requirements, whitelist, and for client references and their technical contact.
    We also must mention here that the only real data we can manipulate comes from the Frontline ERP & SIS (TEAMS). Testing data will likely have to be imported manually and ANY data that is "manually" imported will not be something we will likely support.


    As far as guidelines for software, the number one rule is to keep Information Services involved in the process. We are happy to provide data as best we can, but we need to be apprised of schedules and plans. 
    Here are some things to look for during the software selection process that will make things much easier:
    1. Make sure you get their company privacy policies in writing and have them provide what (if any) information they share with other companies. 
      Make sure you find out what they do with the data after we no longer use their system.
      Make sure that they agree that Beaumont ISD "owns" the data. Anything we track is private and secure. We do our best to protect our patron data, and our vendors need to also.
      Please, do not just buy software WITHOUT questioning how the data is to be used by the vendor. 

    2. Look for solutions that can be "hosted". Web-based programs are much easier to be managed since the bulk of the management is handled by the provider. We can house systems "in-house", but it becomes a major liability, so we prefer to take that on only when it is absolutely required.

    3. Avoid any software that requires a "client" or "agent" or any software that has to be loaded onto a computer. Software installation is usually possible, but it can cause many headaches that can be avoided. Anything other than a small "one-off" application that requires less than a dozen or so machines to run the software, and even these installations, we frown on.

    4. Make sure that the software provider allows for "automated" data importing. We have dozens of batch processes that send data on a nightly basis and once configured they run very smoothly at least 90+% of the time.

    5. A great feature to look for is Google Authentication for logging into the software. A lot of programs now allow access based on Google accounts, and since we sync Google to our network, this is a HUGE benefit for managing accounts. We can do Active Directory authentication, but it is less reliable and harder to manage.
      If they don't do either of these, then password management becomes a chore.

    6. We don't support 3rd party programs past the synchronization of data, as a rule. Make sure whoever you go with has a good customer service response.


    One more thing we need to mention is that if you require data to "flow" back from whichever program you choose (like update a record in TEAMS), this ups the complexity considerably. It's not impossible, but it makes things much tougher and we need a very clear plan to do it.
    At a minimum, please request the technical specifications, minimum requirements, whitelist, and for client references and their technical contact.
    Finally, as soon as you decide on whatever program you wish to use, have them send their required data specs to you as soon as possible, and then share those with IS asap so we can plan to implement.
Last Modified on August 4, 2020