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Guidelines for Developing and Implementing Administrative Applications at UC San Diego

These guidelines should be carefully considered if you develop computer applications that are used for administrative purposes.


The University of California has defined standards for developing and maintaining computer applications used for administrative purposes. These standards are presented in the IS-10 (pdf) document. UC San Diego follows these standards in absence of specific local policy. Any department or vendor hired by the campus that develops, installs, or maintains administrative applications must consider these standards. Deciding when they apply depends on the nature of the application, not on who is developing it.

While the material presented here is in compliance with the standards, it is a summary of standard practices that you should consider during the project. You should, however, rely on the actual IS-10 standards when questions arise, and use your best judgment in the application of these standards.


This information is intended for all university offices and departments that wish to develop administrative applications in support of their functional needs.

Benefits of using these guidelines:

Developing and installing administrative applications can be complex, expensive, and may expose the University to serious liabilities, especially if the failure of the system could result in the failure of your organization to perform essential functions. These guidelines will help you:

  • Initiate a development project with a sound project plan
  • Meet minimum development and audit standards
  • Provide a solid foundation with appropriate documentation
  • Minimize potential future problems with changes and enhancements

Read the Standards for Developing and Maintaining Computer Applications to determine how and when the IS-10 standards apply.


Documentation is a critical component of any development activity. You will realize benefits even in small low-risk projects if you maintain minimum documentation supporting the significant decisions in the lifecycle process. In large or high-risk projects, having a record of your specific progress, key decisions, test results, security considerations, etc. will assist significantly in the review, testing, and sign-off of the various phases of the project. Please ensure the creation of appropriate documentation throughout each phase.

Systems Development Methodologies

For those who are unfamiliar with development lifecycles, the following presents guidelines and checklists, in compliance with the UC IS-10 standards, for your consideration in the development process. This material was adapted with permission from D. Lauriano, Information and Educational Technology Office, UC Davis.

  1. Planning
  2. Analysis
  3. Prototyping
  4. Design
  5. Development
  6. Training
  7. Implementation
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