Desktop Application Suite Standard



  1. To utilize feature-rich functionality beyond basic industry standards and achieve 100% integration and interoperability throughout the enterprise.
  2. To create systems of nominal complexity so that support and administrative efforts can be minimized, training can be leveraged, and job duties can be refocused to reduce redundancy.
  3. To allow for rapid deployment of new technology and position the enterprise to react quickly to emerging opportunities, problems, and threats.
  4. To simplify the end-user's experience.
  5. To utilize a single directory for authentication, access control, directory lookups, and distribution lists.
  6. To project a consistent view of state government to the public.
  7. To avoid duplication of system resources and leverage enterprise licensing.


Desktop productivity software will be composed of products specified in the Desktop Application Suite Components document (Appendix A).


Desktop - A metaphor used to describe a graphical user interface that portrays an electronic file system. Such a desktop consists of icons that show cabinets, files, folders, and documents. Typically, the applications most commonly used on a computer are bundled and marketed as suites. Desktop application suites generally include:

  • Groupware to facilitate collaboration among people. Technologies include email, calendaring, desktop faxing, instant messaging, desktop audio/video conferencing, chat, presence detection, white-boarding, application sharing, and collaborative applications.
  • Word Processors to create, display, format, store, and print documents.
  • Spreadsheets to create and manipulate multidimensional tables of values arranged in columns and rows.
  • Presentation Designers to create highly stylized images for slide shows and reports.
  • Desktop Publishers to create professional quality printed documents using different typefaces, various margins and justifications, and embedded illustrations and graphics.
  • Desktop Database Support to collect limited amounts of information and organize it by fields, records, and files.
  • Web Browsers to locate and display World Wide Web content.


A single, standardized suite of desktop technologies will be used across the enterprise for groupware, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation design, desktop publishing, desktop database support, and web browsing.


This standard applies to all executive branch state agencies including the University Systems Office but excluding other higher education institutions, i.e. campuses and agricultural and research centers.

Statement of Commitment

North Dakota's CIO/CTO directs that IT Policy be created to establish statewide information technology policies and standards as defined within ND Century Code (Chapter 54-59-09).


Non-compliance with this standard shall be reported to the Office of the State Auditor.

Appendix A

Desktop Application Suite Components


Word Processors

  • Microsoft Word


  • Microsoft Excel

Presentation Designers

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Desktop Publishers

  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • CorelDraw

Desktop Database Support

  • Microsoft Access

Web Browsers

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (Standard for internal Enterprise applications)
  • Others (Allowed; Compatibility not assured for internal Enterprise applications)

Revision Number: 2
Revision Date: 2006-05-14
Effective Date: 2004-12-08
Last Reviewed: 2020-03-5
Number: POL0020127