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Coeus Steering Committee Sets Roadmap
for Transition to Kuali Coeus

November 11, 2008 - At its annual strategic planning meeting, the Coeus Consortium Steering Committee developed a product roadmap and a technology transition plan for the next major release of Coeus, Version 5.0, which will be released as Kuali Coeus 3.1 (KC). This will complete the convergence of Coeus and KC which is currently underway. KC 3.1 is targeted for release the second quarter of 2011. The partnership between the Coeus Consortium and the Kuali Foundation combines a collaborative software development model with a proven model for support. One significant result of convergence will be advances in the overall Coeus architecture that will ensure continuance of a robust, state-of-the-art, cradle-to-grave research administration system.

Over the next year, the Coeus Steering Committee will continue to develop strategies to support the Coeus community as it upgrades to the new Kuali Coeus architecture. In addition, the Committee will release regular updates to its membership on plans to support and develop Coeus/KC while maintaining transitional support for the existing Coeus 4.x product line.

Blending Coeus and KC

The Kuali Foundation chose Coeus as the basis for its research administration software and licensed Coeus from MIT in June 2006. Coeus is the basis upon which KC, a community source software product, is built. The Coeus Consortium will continue to develop additional functionality and continue its proven support model with KC’s look-and-feel for the end-user and underlying architecture for the technology professional. This is consistent with the Foundation’s philosophy, which calls on higher education institutions and commercial affiliates to collaborate as partners in the design, development and support of its applications.

To achieve the integration between Coeus and KC, MIT and the Coeus Consortium now hold five seats on the various Kuali boards, councils and subcommittees that are charged with completing the Kuali Coeus research administration system project. Coeus and Kuali technical and functional representatives have been working together on the transition, as well as on the development of new Coeus/KC functions and modules. This teamwork will ensure that the Coeus Consortium members have a successful upgrade path to Coeus 5.0 without losing any of the robust functionality that is unsurpassed by other research administration systems. As in the past, the Coeus Consortium will continue as the primary intellectual resource for versions beyond Coeus 5.0.

Advancing the Coeus Architecture

Coeus has undergone two major technology transformations since its inception in 1996, when it was originally developed using the PowerBuilder development application. MIT and the Coeus Consortium invested millions of dollars to move the technology from a PowerBuilder to a Java Swing version (Coeus Premium) in 2005. CoeusLite, using JSP, was introduced in early 2007 to make use of web interface technology. Unlike these past technical improvements for which the Coeus Consortium expended its own resources, the collaboration with the Kuali Foundation advances the underlying technology with minimal cost to the Consortium membership.

The Kuali Coeus product combines the full functionality available in Coeus Premium with an easy to navigate web application using technology advances utilized by Kuali’s Rice architecture. The Kuali Rice effort will provide an enterprise class middleware suite of integrated products that will allow KC to be built in a more fluid fashion. This will enable developers to react to end-user business requirements in a more efficient and productive manner, so that they can produce high quality and robust business applications. Additionally, KC allows institutions flexibility to take advantage of an open-source database solution, or to continue using Oracle or other database platforms.

Moving Functionality Forward

Enhancements included in Coeus Version 4.4, scheduled for release in April 2009 were established in accordance with the governance procedures of the Consortium. Functional improvements to be included in Version 4.5 will be established under the same principles shortly after the Coeus User Group meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas from March 22-25. The estimated release date of Coeus 4.5 is currently April 2010. The Consortium anticipates that Version 4.5 will be the final release of Coeus under the current technology standards. KC Version 3.1 will be functionally equivalent to Coeus Version 4.5, and is scheduled for release during the second quarter of 2011. At this time, institutions will be able to upgrade from Coeus v4.5 to v5.0 (KC 3.1).

The Coeus Consortium will outline plans for the transition, including migration paths, defining the new support model, and setting time lines, in 2009. The Consortium is committed to continuing a model that will solicit members, spearhead and prioritize changes to the application through its seats on the Kuali boards and councils, and provide support for its members.

The Kuali partnership, coupled with the Consortium’s strong leadership in research administration, is a win-win for both organizations. We are excited about the future and look forward to continued growth in and benefits from the Coeus Consortium.


The Coeus Consortium – The Coeus Consortium was established in July 2005 to provide a shared model of support for the members’ use of Coeus. The Consortium is currently comprised of over 50 institutions at various levels of membership (Basic, Development and Steering Committee).

Coeus is an Electronic Research Administration system developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and named after the Greek Titan of Intelligence. Created to assist the research community in proposal development and pre- and post-award management, the purpose of the system is to standardize and increase the efficiency of award acquisition and administration for all participants contributing to the research enterprise. Coeus now includes a comprehensive proposal development module including system-to-system submission of applications to; a robust award module that stores detailed information on awards (including reporting requirements with report tracking, terms and conditions, and subcontract management); award negotiation; human subjects protocol tracking and IRB meeting management; and Conflict of Interest disclosure submission. See for more information.

The Kuali Foundation – The Kuali Foundation is a non-profit organization responsible for sustaining and evolving administrative software that meets the needs of all Carnegie Class institutions. Its members are colleges, universities, commercial firms and interested organizations that share a common vision of open, modular, and distributed systems for their software requirements. The goal of Kuali is to bring the proven functionality of legacy applications to the ease and universality of online services.

The Kuali Foundation manages a growing portfolio of enterprise software applications for colleges and universities, such as Kuali Financial System (KFS), Kuali Coeus (KC), Kuali Student (KS) and Kuali Rice. Foundation staff coordinate the activities of Foundation members for critical software development, such as source code control, release engineering, packaging, documentation, project management, software testing and quality assurance, conference planning, and educating and assisting members of the Kuali Partners program. See for more information.