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How can I find out whether someone else has already solved my problem?

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There are three main areas you can research for possible existing solutions:

  1. Your HSU IT contacts. They'll have a good sense as to whether anything currently in use or being evaluated for use on campus has the potential to be adapted to meet your needs.
  2. Your peers at other CSUs and colleges - ask them if they've ever encountered the problem you're looking to solve and, if so, how they resolved it.
  3. Search the Internet using keywords from your problem definition.

The results of this process should provide you with a shortlist of solutions.