Software Loan Portal

Software provision in a campus setting with thousands of students is a tricky business. There are many barriers, physical and otherwise, that need to be overcome:

Physical access and availability
Currently, software provision is mostly done through physical copies of the installation CD, either through the technical support center or individual lecturers. This will lead to obvious problems, such as the inability for multiple students to access the same CD simultaneously, which means that the school would need to procure multiple copies of installer CDs, as well as the not-so-obvious problem of the physical requirement of waiting for the programs to install.

Hardware specification
Students also face the problem of the hardware specifications for the software to run optimally. Not all students bring high-spec machines to school, with some opting to bring netbooks or tablets instead.

Hassle of installation (and uninstallation)
As we all know, software installation is an annoyance. Some of the heavier software not only takes up tons of space in the hard drive, but also takes forever to install. Another annoyance, of course, is uninstalling the software when we no longer need it. After all, we're going to need that space back eventually.

Licensing problem
The additional dilemma faced by the school in providing software is how many licenses to buy, and how to distribute them. No matter how many the school buys, it is still a finite number that will run out eventually if the software is accessible to everyone.

Software Loan Portal tackles all these problems while also introducing mobility.

Whenever a student needs to use a software, he only needs to access our web interface from his desktop. Upon log in, he'll see an array of software that is readily available to use with a single click. The software runs instantly as if it was installed in the student's machine - while it's running on the server, utilizing the powerful processing power of the cloud.

Login page

Applications available - our first working prototype

The student then will be able to save his work on the cloud, available for use the next time he logs in.

This project takes learning experience to another level. Students are no longer confined within laboratories to finish their coursework. Leaving the software running on the cloud, students can still access it from thin clients, like tablets and smart-phones, on the go - just where they left it running.

There will come a day when [even engineering] students are no longer required to bring notebooks or laptops to campus; when being productive can be done anywhere, anytime, from any device.

Pretty cool, eh?