UKOLN AHDS Planning An End User Service


For some projects, it will be clear from the start that the intention is to transition the project into an end-user service, either hosted by the project itself, or by another host such as a national data centre.

Other projects may have the potential for development into a production service, but without this being a declared aim of the project.

In both cases, it is sensible to think carefully about how the system might fit into a service environment at the planning and design stage, to avoid costly re-engineering and retro-fitting of features later on.

Software Environment

The software regime that may seem most appropriate for an experimental development environment may not be the best choice when running a large-scale end-user service. Issues to think about include:


A key factor in the success of any project is careful preparation and planning. If you intend your project to develop into an end-user production service, it is worth spending time and effort in the early stages of the project testing your ideas and designs. It is easier to rewrite a specification document than to re-engineer a software product.

Depending on the nature of the project, some of the following may be worth considering:

Authentication and Authorisation

Controlling access to your service may not be an issue when it is in an experimental or development phase, but will become an important consideration if it is released into service.

Some issues to review include:

Legal Issues

When your project reaches the stage of being turned into an production service with large numbers of users, consideration will need to be given to issues which are less important during the development phase.

It is helpful to be aware of these at an early stage in the planning and design of the project to avoid difficult problems later. Some things you should think about include:

Planning for Maintenance

It is to be expected that a Web-based user service will require maintenance, revision and updating during its lifetime. There may be requests for new features, or for modifications to the way existing facilities work.

Bear in mind that the people doing this work may not be the original project team that created the service. It is important that the end-products are designed and structured in such a way as to allow parts of the system to be modified and updated by others who are less familiar with the system without unexpected consequences.

Therefore, when starting to develop a new system:


  1. Athens access management services,
  2. Internet 2,
  3. TechDis,
  4. Accessibility Testing, QA Focus briefing paper no. 2, UKOLN
  5. JISC Legal Information Service,