Development services and support

While most of the University’s new system deployments are Software-as-a-Service (Saas), IST also provides a number of custom development services, including application specific development (e.g. Quest, Learn), integration of systems, data warehousing and analytics, and development of systems from scratch. 

IST will engage the appropriate business owner (e.g. Registrar’s Office for Quest), as needed, and review existing functionality in systems before starting custom development. We’ll also help navigate any approvals needed (see below), as part of our overall Information Systems implementation and support capabilities.

Types of development

General development

  • Microsoft .NET - .NET is a free, open source, development platform.  We use this programming platform to do both major software development (e.g. Portal, Housing HOME system), and minor systems.   We have developers with expertise in IST’s Departmental and Campus Applications (DCA) group.  This is our preferred, general, environment in cases where there isn’t already an existing application specific environment. 
  • We also have skills and experience across numerous platforms and languages (e.g. Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP (LAMP)) typically to support systems which dictate a specific environment, or for other internal activities. 

Specialized development

  • Quest – Quest is the University’s student information system, using Oracle Campus Solutions, and significant local customization using PeopleTools. Work is prioritized by the Student Information Systems Steering Committee
  • Data, Integrations, Analytics – We have a team that provides analytics, reporting and data warehousing, using Microsoft’s Business Intelligence suite. The team also provides integrations between systems, and Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) to systems and data. 
  • Web resources – Web resources include UWaterloo Scholar and the University’s Web Content Management System (WCMS), which hosts the web space, and uses the open source Drupal framework. Note, there is a WCMS feature development freeze in effect due to major upgrade work. 
  • Learn - Learn is the University’s Learning Management System, using D2L. We develop integrations to other systems as needed. 
  • Portal - Portal is the University’s student digital assistant, written in .NET. The portal can provide full featured applications for students, or integration with existing systems to provide easy access to commonly used features. 
  • Other – IST supports all of the University’s major information systems, and most other applications. While many systems do not support customized development, per se, most systems have options and configurability that permit additional functionality to be exposed, or have API’s that permit extensions to be developed, or can have their data warehoused for advanced reporting and analytics. 


  • All new systems, whether commercial or locally developed, that store or process personal information, or other sensitive information, require an Information Risk Assessment (IRA). 
  • All systems that require access to University’s Administrative Information (e.g. student records) require data steward approval. 
  • All systems must meet requirements for accessibility. 

How to request this service:

Please contact us with your requirements: 

  • IST’s Director Enterprise Resource Planning, Daryl Dore, or
  • IST’s Director Departmental Campus Applications, Greg Smith 


Costs may vary; please contact us for more details.