University Technology Services
Dodge Hall
118 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4401


Mobile Applications, Services and Development

Developing Apps and Mobile Web Sites
University-owned apps are apps developed by university faculty, staff and other employees and contractors, with an intended distribution by Oakland University.  The approved university app is the MySAIL app.

The app marketplace is changing rapidly, and generally we would recommend developing a web site using Responsive Web Design techniques, as the resulting product has broader use and is easier to maintain.  Mobile web sites are often easier to develop and distribute. Mobile web sites should be developed with Communications and Marketing.

All development for web and for mobile applications must adhere to all university IT policies and guidelines.

App (applications intended for mobile devices) and mobile development require adherence to Oakland University style and identity guidelines, licensing requirements, and distribution requirements. Faculty, staff, student employees, students, volunteers, and contractors need to work closely with UTS when developing apps for use in the university environment.  Most app development, therefore, is a personal activity not connected with the university environment.

Partnering with University Technology Services

If you are considering developing a mobile app for Oakland University audiences or for distribution by Oakland University, please contact the University Technology Services at  However, University Technology Services does not offer support services for app development.

UTS will work with you to establish connections with Communications and Marketing to incorporate style guidelines and naming conventions.  Use of OU logos and trademarks in apps or on websites outside the university must be properly licensed and have prior approval from Communications and Marketing.  We recommend meeting with your Communications and Marketing representative early in the process to identify appropriate themes, style guides, and institutional branding.  

UTS must be contacted if the app or mobile web site is designed to use data from university enterprise systems, particularly Banner, MySAIL or SAIL.  If the app is designed to include any type of financial transaction, please contact UTS. UTS will coordinate compliance review in alignment with Payment Card Industry standards, and will involve the Controller or designee in the review.  UTS will also work with you to review prior art to make sure your app is consistent with other university apps. We will advise you on publishing the app within the university environment.  UTS will review your app and its purpose, and will work with the Office of Legal Affairs to develop a license for distribution appropriate to your app.  Contracts for any development, including apps and web sites, must be approved by the Office of Legal Affairs prior to agreement.  UTS will assist by providing guidance on development and accessibility standards. To develop or distribute apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (iOS), check with UTS for current development and distribution guidelines and platforms.

Special Notes for Faculty
If the app will be used directly or indirectly for research purposes, please contact the Office of Research Administration to determine if IRB approval is necessary.  If the app is intended to interact with teaching and learning resources, such as Moodle, please contact the E-Learning and Instructional Support department.  If there is a medical records or health care component to the application, review with UTS is required prior to any development.  

Licensing and Distribution
There are licensing and distribution requirements that must be observed. Anyone who develops apps independently of the university must follow the licensing and distribution requirements found on the site specific to your mobile device. Also, developers must adhere to license requirements for any third-party APIs or modules that are imbedded in the app.  Mobile apps that are developed by contracting with an external development firm requires that the local department assume responsibility for all aspects of design compliance, style compliance, naming compliance, development, documentation, distribution, testing, and on-going support. To distribute official University apps on the iTunes App Store, there is one Oakland University license that is administered centrally by University Technology Services. Please review Apple information on the Software site.  If a distribution plan involves a separate agreement, the agreement must be submitted for approval following the software process found here (Software).


In particular, careful review and planning should include compliance with Web and IT Accessibility Guidelines 

When creating apps for Oakland University, please apply usability guidelines.  The following resources may be useful:

When the developer is ready for UTS to review, please arrange to send source code by contacting Theresa Rowe at  Preferred development environments XCode or Android SDK.  Any other development environment may result in significant project delays in distributing the solution.


Oakland University's mobile app puts important information at your fingertip.  Access your class schedule, grades, and even register for classes in this mobile version of MySAIL, OU's portal.  Keep up with campus life with the events calendar, OU News feed, interactive map, weather, and more.

August 2017