Version 40 (modified by Garth Braithwaite, 5 years ago) (diff)


Adopting the IBIS-PH Software

What is IBIS-PH? IBIS-PH is a set of open source software web applications that provide real time querying of SAS datasets, the centralized management of indicator profiles, as well as other content such as health topics and publications. The system is mostly data driven with all of the pages being dynamically created. Please see the What Is IBIS-PH page for more information that describes the technical aspects of IBIS-PH, the intended adopter audience, and some basic comparisons.

Who is using IBIS-PH and where can I get real information about it? The IBIS-PH Community of Practice (this site) is open to, and welcomes anyone who is interested in the dissemination of health related data. Please contact any of the adopting members so that you can be added to the list or if you'd simply like more information. Please see the list of adopters on the main IBIS-PH CoP Welcome page.

Software Development and Support

  • Software support and development contracts are NOT required to adopt and use the free, open source IBIS-PH software. An adopter is free to deploy and use the software as they see fit. Support contracts are often procured by an adopter so that an adopter does not have to incur the expense of employing specialized IT support to help with deployment, data organization, user interface modifications, and any customization.
  • IBIS-PH uses simple web-based technology. However, IBIS-PH is an enterprise application that will involve collaborating with your I.T. support and networking staff. The web applications are best managed by someone with web development (HTML, XSLT, CSS), database and information technology system skills. The content is best managed by someone with knowledge of public health data analysis and business rules surrounding use of release of public health data.
  • Adopter financial support is critical to the ongoing maintenance and development of the IBIS-PH software. Virtually all IBIS-PH adopter agencies purchase software support and contribute to the ongoing improvement of the software. It is recommended that each adopter commits to a minimum annual contribution of $30,000, which provides 270 hours of support and development. For new adopters, the amount will be devoted primarily to installation and customization support, with more of the dollars going toward software maintenance and development over time. If an adopter has a need for development of a particular feature, or requires additional I.T. support, additional dollars will be required. Any features developed for IBIS-PH will be integrated into the code base and shared with all community members.
  • Software development and support contracts are available through Software Technology Group (STG), a private company in Salt Lake City, UT. The IBIS-PH community has built an excellent rapport with STG technical staff persons who work with IBIS-PH. STG has many years of experience with IBIS-PH and has demonstrated their passion for the project and enthusiasm for providing solutions in the best interests of the IBIS-PH community. Further, monthly conference calls with IBIS-PH development and support persons, Garth Braithwaite, Paul Leo, and Zhiwei Liu, are held to ensure transparency and communication with the IBIS-PH community.

WHAT DOES IT COST: IBIS-PH CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE WHEN CONSIDERING BOTH HARD AND SOFT COSTS. The hard costs are for software licenses which can range from free (if open source OS, open source web app server, open source database, and no realtime SAS queries) to thousands per year (Microsoft OS, commercial web app server(s), commercial database server, SAS server for realtime dataset queries). Collecting and displaying data on the web is considered to be an "enterprise" type application(s) and involves much more than simply plugging a PC into a network and installing some software. The cost of the IBIS-PH software is dependent on a number of factors like:

  • IT charge backs?
  • Do you need real time query capability? If so you will need to purchase SAS. SAS costs are determined by the power of the server which is determined by the amount of data and the number of users performing concurrent queries (so desired responsiveness).
  • How many datasets are you wanting maintain?
  • How often do those datasets need updating?
  • Do you have other content like PDF publications that need to be on the site?
  • Do you have secure datasets that require special approval processes?
  • Do you have special webpage layouts or designs that are mandated by your organization that will require additional website development or modification?
  • How much bureaucracy does your agency have concerning IT, web sites, and data?

BOTTOM LINE: IBIS-PH is free and does not go away if you miss paying your subscription fee. However, the bottom line cost is that it is expensive with much of that cost being the "soft" data costs - gathering, cleaning, approving etc. Note that adopters have options for these soft data costs as well as the web site content costs which range from 100% outsourcing via contracting with consulting agency like STG to doing all the work internally which involves hiring, managing, training, and retaining internal staff. It needs to be pointed out that these "softer" costs are there for any system that an agency adopts. Enterprise applications are never cheap or free but some like IBIS-PH have lesser hard software costs when compared to other systems.