Take a test drive

Looking for a way to test, port or research new software?

Platform Lab, a nonprofit entity located within the Business Technology Center on Kinnear Road, is a shared facility providing resources for the IT needs of Central Ohio businesses.

You can configure the physical layout of the facility to suit your needs, receive technical support and avoid unnecessary investment by using Platform Lab for a trial run. Reservations give you scheduled access to the facility’s secure resources.

The lab will provide technical resources to start-up and established businesses to research, develop and test commercial and in-house applications.

“Any company, for example, that had an application that currently operates on a previous version of Microsoft operating systems like Windows NT and will be upgrading to a new version like Windows XP, they could test the application to make sure they have the right hardware and software configured correctly so the application meets their expectations,” says Steven Clark, director of information technology for the Business Technology Center.

Companies developing new software also could use the lab once they arrive at the testing phase, he says.

The facility, which opened in November, includes popular mid-size hardware platforms, technical hardware and leading database support, secure external network access as well as physical access, and development software, testing tools and software analysis tools.

The lab has partnered with companies including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Embarcadaro Technologies to help bring in resources.

Users pay weekly rental fees for the labs.

“If you’re making a large commitment to use a platform lab over a period of time, you get a preference and a little better pricing,” Clark says. “If you’re a walk-up customer and you didn’t plan to use the lab but you need it immediately, then the price would be a little bit higher.”

Platform Lab is supported jointly by a partnership of the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Business Technology Center with assistance from the Ohio Department of Development Technology Action Fund, Ohio IT Alliance and industry vendors. How to reach: Steven Clark, BTC, 675-3714, [email protected] or www.platformlab.org