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Software Distribution

Welcome to Software Distribution's new online ordering system. Please use the link in the text below or the link in the menu on the right to browse the new catalogue.

Software Distribution co-ordinates the collective software requirements of the University, its Colleges and related institutions, by taking advantage of opportunities for reducing costs through special educational discounts, bulk purchases and site licences. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive range of software at favourable rates, provide the support and infrastructure necessary to administer such deals and to distribute the software.

The Software Distribution on-line ordering system provides a searchable catalogue and gives details, including prices and requirements of all products available from Software Distribution. It also allows users to order and download media from their own accounts.

You must be logged in using your Raven credentials to see all contents of the Software Distribution pages.

See also the other categories of software (free, site-licensed etc.) listed on the left.

Our Location

University Information Services Software Distribution is located in the Information Services, Roger Needham Building, 7 JJ Thomson Ave., Cambridge, CB3 0RB

How to apply for and collect software

  1. Use the Software Distribution online ordering system at URL to make an application for software.
  2. Access the online ordering system and add either Personal or Institutional items to your shopping basket. Complete ordering process attach Departmental/College Purchase Order. If unable to use the online ordering system a paper application form can be obtained in person at reception.
  3. You will get a confirmation email when your order is received. If your order needs approval it will be sent to your chosen approver.
  4. On receipt of your completed application we endeavour to fill the order within 3 working days or, if the software is ordered direct from the supplier, to give an estimate of the delivery date.
  5. When your order is ready, we will send you an email confirmation and  a link to your order where software applications will be available via secure download.
  6. Contact UIS Software Distribution by telephone (ext. 34695) or e-mail with any queries.

Please note the following

  • Proof of identity i.e. the University Card will be required if orders are collected in person.
  • All University Institutions are expected to pay by Departmental/College purchase order.
  • Payment must be made at time of ordering.

Personal purchases can be paid for by:

Please note we cannot accept card details by e-mail or fax.

Purpose and Scope of Software Distribution

Information Services Software Distribution distributes software for which academic pricing and support arrangements make it a condition that they be administered by the University. Most site licences require the Software Distribution to maintain a register of those in possession of each item and to ensure that those responsible for the software sign a form committing them to the terms of the agreement, the University Software Policy and to the Combined Higher Education Software Team (EduServ CHEST) Code of Conduct. It is not permissible for users to copy or re-distribute the software even in the case of an unlimited licence. (See Use of Software and University Software Policy).

Central funding is available for purchasing some teaching software on behalf of the University through the Software Site Licencing Co-ordination Scheme. Where software is not approved for SSCS funding, the Central Authorities have decided that Software Distribution should operate on a cost recovery basis and therefore the cost of each deal must be recovered from those to whom copies are distributed. Licences and media for a product are made available at a price that reflects the estimated demand for, and total cost of, each deal.

Although EduServ CHEST can supply site licences for many products, we can only sign up for the deals where it is possible to recover the cost of the site licence. Many of these deals are for three or five years and once we have signed up we are committed to annual payments over this period.

Although we aim to price items much lower than commercial software vendors, we cannot always match commercial delivery times. It is not always practical to hold stock of software for which the demand is infrequent, therefore some items are ordered on demand and are subject to the delay of external suppliers.


Documentation is no longer available through Software Distribution, but may be obtained separately directly from the supplier.

Sales to Institutions

Institutions wishing to purchase software should complete an application online and submit it Software Distribution. Please include a University Purchase Order with the application.

If you are making a bulk purchase please contact the Software Distribution Manager for a quote before completing your application on 01223 (3)34427.

Most software is available to staff/students for the period of their employment/studies only. This software must be removed from personal machines prior to leaving the University of Cambridge, or handed to their Institution (with the exception of Operating Systems which are non-transferrable unless the machine is also transferred) for re-use by another bona fide member of staff or student who must re-register the software, where applicable (free of charge).

Personal Sales to Staff and Students

Some products are available for purchase by staff/students for personal use. Please contact Software Distribution for a list of software currently available for personal purchase or see the catalogue at

Use of Software

Software may only be issued to current members of staff or students of the University of Cambridge, its Colleges and Related Institutions. All applicants must raven authenticate (log in with raven credentials) before they can use our online ordering system. All users obtaining software from UIS Software Distribution are required to sign a statement which says that they are fully aware of the software policy of the University of Cambridge as set out below and agree to uphold it. Note that the policy applies equally to software used for University purposes but obtained from other sources. Further information is obtainable from Software Distribution.

The use of all software issued by the University Information Services (UIS) is covered by the EduServ CHEST Code of Conduct and Copyright Agreement. Copies of these documents are available from Software Distribution. The unauthorised copying of software is expressly forbidden under this code and is contrary to the University Software Policy.

The terms under which a user may hold and use the software depends on the individual product concerned. Details of any particular licence can be obtained from Software Distribution.

University Software Policy

Under UK Copyright Law, the illegal reproduction of software can be subject to civil damages without financial limit and to criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. Both the person who made the illegal copy and the relevant University authorities would be liable to prosecution for each illegal copy found.

The University has a detailed software policy which can be found in full  at: Software policy

UIS Service Status

Phone padded  Service status line: (01223) 463085
Website padded  Sign up for SMS/email status alerts

Getting help

UIS Service Desk
General support queries

  Phone padded  (01223 7) 62999

UAS Service Desk
Administrative staff queries

  Phone padded  (01223 3) 32999

Other IT service desks