Specifications - Technology

Does the Common Grant Application use custom developed or packaged software?

The Common Grant Application (CGA) software was custom developed by the Common Grant Application. The CGA software may also be licensed for use by grantmakers that wish to host and manage the service themselves (although there may be less value to applicants that wish to research and apply to multiple grantmakers using the service). The CGA software uses Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP (LAMP) technologies and it does not use any other commercial or custom developed software packages. The CGA software is hosted on a Linux server. The client does not require any special software. All that is required is a Web browser. The CGA software is tested against the Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari Web browsers.

How do you develop and test your system?

We use the agile software development model. We deploy new features, enhancements and fixes on an ongoing basis as they become available and after they have been thoroughly tested. After development and testing on the local operating environment, the software is checked in to a configuration management system on our server. The software is then checked out and deployed on our development website. The development Web site is not for general usage but operates in exactly the same manner as our production website. We then continue testing on our development Web site using the same operating environment as our production Web site. After the completion of testing on the development Web site, the software is then deployed to the production website. Deployment of new upgrades and updates is done without affecting the service availability of the production system. It is at this point that new features, enhancements and fixes become available to our users. Additional testing occurs as a result of the day-to-day usage of our system by users. If a user needs support, we make it easy for them to communicate with us. We may be contacted by email or phone.

Do I need to buy or manage a server to use the Common Grant Application?

The Common Grant Application is a hosted service. The server is not hosted by the grantmaker or applicant. The website is www.commongrantapplication.com. There is no hardware or software to install, support or maintain. The CGA is hosted by a third party service provider at a data center in Dallas that hosts 150,000+ server blades with a wide range of backup, privacy, security, monitoring and performance options. Our backups are performed daily and transferred over a Virtual Private Network to an electronic vault in Seattle. Our solution provides a high degree of security, availability and reliability.

Are any elements of the Common Grant Application service outsourced to 3rd party service providers?

Common Grant Application uses only four 3rd party service providers. Our servers are hosted in Dallas, TX and elsewhere by two different service providers. Another service provider provides management services for one of our servers. All payment processing is performed in San Francisco, CA. All four companies are very large service providers in their respective areas of expertise. They both have mature, well developed and well documented technical and organizational security measures to protect and keep personal information secure and private.