Purdue University—founded on May 6, 1896—is a major research institution known for discoveries in science, technology, engineering, math, and beyond. Today, Purdue enrolls the second-largest student body of any university in Indiana as well as the second-largest international student population of any public university in the United States.
The Department of Computer and Information Technology, within Purdue’s College of Technology, exposes students to software development, systems integration, data management, and computer networks. The department deployed Oracle Application Express and Oracle Database 11g in a cloud environment to ensure agility in various research projects—spanning from biomedical to political science—to meet a set of continually evolving requirements. The department uses Oracle tools to build and manage research-oriented, data-intensive applications and can now develop and deploy an application in about two weeks—a process that used to take up to two months.
Further, using the Oracle tools, Purdue University researchers worked with the the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (KTB) to develop software that translates tissue samples into a digital data repository with images of stained tissue, viewable under a virtual microscope. This new approach to imaging could help earlier breast cancer detection and enable doctors to more effectively tailor treatments to individuals.
“We were one of the first universities that had a relationship with Oracle Academy [which provides education for secondary schools in the fundamentals of database and Java technology], so the decision to go with Oracle was an easy one,” said John A. Springer, Ph.D., associate professor, department of computer and information technology, Purdue University “We have quite a bit of knowledge about Oracle from coursework that we teach, so the familiarity with Oracle, the knowledge that it is going to scale well as we gain more users, face bigger challenges, and add more data was a huge selling point for us.”
Purdue deployed Oracle Database and Oracle Application Express three years ago for its first cancer research project. It upgraded to Oracle Database 11g within the last year and a half. The university hosts that project at Purdue Discovery Park, which provides various biological services across the campus to help researchers. Purdue hosts the project with KTB at Indiana University. These cloud implementations enable Purdue to focus on research and functionality, rather than on IT support.