Vireo ETD System Deployment Experiences
Nürnberg, Peter J.
Leggett, John J.
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The Vireo electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) submittal and management system has been in use at several universities throughout the United States. Vireo was developed over the last several years at the Texas Digital Library (TDL), a consortium of public and private institutions throughout the state of Texas. The TDL has recently undertaken a Vireo productization effort. The result of this effort is both an updated software system and accompanying support in the form of documentation, training and support infrastructures. In this paper, we describe this effort. We first review the methodologies we used to undertake the effort itself. This review includes a discussion of the development and testing methodologies we employed for the Vireo system software, including those practices we found especially useful or problematic. We then describe the deployment of the software and support. Specifically, we describe the strategies we used to accommodate the roll-out of software to nearly 20 institutions nearly simultaneously, as well as how we managed the risks inherent in such a deployment. We also describe the development of training and support materials that allow us to scale these activities to our user community. Finally, we reflect on the unique challenges that the productization of an ETD system engenders relative to generic productization efforts. We conclude with recommendations for other organizations faced with development, deployment, maintenance and support of ETD systems.