Frequently Asked Questions

Software and Media

Is there a class I can take to learn more about a specific software?

There are classes available to faculty, staff, and employed students through For more information and a link to, please go to Information Technology at UCSB. Log in with your UCSB NetID and password and enjoy learning new software or new features for your current software.

Can I borrow the media for software titles I have purchased?

Downloads are available, as long as the item was purchased through COSL or Gateway. To request a download of media, send an e-mail request to and your request must include:

  • your order number
  • the name of the product

You will receive an e-mail response with a download link.

Can I borrow media for software titles I purchased several years ago?

Downloads for some software titles are available. if the software is not older than two versions prior to the current version available. Please reference your order number on all requests. COSL retains records of all its orders and will re-loan media to past customers (provided we are able to correlate the order to the person making a request). Please note, however, software is updated on a regular basis and COSL may only retain one previous version of a product. Very old versions may not be available after a period of time.

Can I borrow media for software titles not purchased through COSL?

Only if you purchase through the UCSB Gateway e-Procurement system or our current reseller. Purchases made through vendors other than the current reseller, cannot be verified; our license agreements have strict rules requiring our correlation of product downloads to known purchases.

If I choose to order physical media, when will I get it?

Once an order has been placed with our reseller, media is expected to ship within 7-10 business days. Media is not availalbe for all titles.

I'm a System Administrator, how can I set up Matlab for my labs?

Please contact for more information and instructions on how to access a network license.

Where can I get ArcGIS software?

The library supports and distributes ESRI ArcGIS suite of software. Information is available here:

More Information: UCSB Library Esri Arc GIS

L&S departments may send requests to

Does COSL offer installation assistance?

No, we are not funded to provide technical support. In most cases, we have tested an installation to verify that media is workable and the license codes are valid. If you need support installing a product, please seek assistance from the technical support staff in your area.


What is a software "license?"

A software license is the legal term for the right to possess a product. Some software companies' End User License Agreements (EULAs) state that their product is not owned, but licensed. This merely means that the software company retains the right to control the usage of its intellectual property and you are subject to the terms of the EULA. For COSL purposes, a "license" represents one installation of a product.

What is a concurrent license and how can we use it?

With the advent of the Creative Cloud software leasing model, concurrent licenses are no longer available.

Historical background: Concurrent licenses were used by Adobe to provide software, primarily for lab settings. Limited numbers of licenses were purchased and provided on multiple computers to be used at the same time, yet limited by the number of licenses purchased.

How do I update my SPSS license?

There is a license authorization wizard for SPSS that downloads itself with the program.


Go to Start -> Programs -> IBM SPSS Statistics -> IBM SPSS Statistics License Authorization Wizard  and then follow the prompts and enter the code.


From within the SPSS applications folder, click on the License Authorization Wizard icon and follow the prompts to enter the new code.

You can find this by Googling it or checking the support knowledge base at IBM/SPSS.

How do I update my Matlab license?

Once you have launched the MATLAB activation client:

  1. Select "Activate automatically using the internet."
  2. Log into your MathWorks account.
  3. Select the license from the list of licenses you would like to activate.
  4. Confirm the activation information.
  5. Click "finish" to complete the activation process.

Campus and Individual Licenses:


  1. Open MATLAB (If the license has already expired the activation client will launch and you can skip the next step)
  2. Navigate to Help Menu and select Licensing
  3. Click on Activate Software
  4. Choose to Activate using Internet
  5. Once reactivated you will need to restart MATLAB before the new license file is recognized If the installation has already expired, you will be prompted to activate when attempting to launch MATLAB. As long as the activation finishes successfully it will roll over to the new license file once the old one expires. You might continue to see the expiration warning in MATLAB until the old file expires.

What is a license with software assurance for Microsoft products?

Due to the reduced price of Microsoft products available through our reseller, such licenses are typically ineligible for upgrades. This means an upgrade to a new version usually requires a new purchase.

Software Assurance addresses this issue by providing free upgrades if a new version is released during the assurance time period. The Software Assurance product is an add-on to a corresponding Microsoft product. You can find Microsoft Software Assurance products in the Gateway list of "Campus Software Favorites."

Can Staff and Faculty get Windows 10 for their personal computers?

Yes, Staff and Faculty are elligible to purchase Windows 10, by going to



How do I make purchases and assign accounts in the Software Depot?

The Software Depot is no longer available for purchasing software. Please use the UCSB Gateway system for most software purchases. Exceptions are the site licensed software and specific licenses coordinated and managed by COSL.

See the Software Information section of this site for more information on those titles.

Can I view older orders placed before July 2008 from the old order system?

The online order system is no longer available for you to access and find old orders, as of February 1, 2013.

 If you need information regarding orders placed through Software Depot,  please contact

Do I need to purchase both a software license and installation media?

No. You do not need to purchase media but you must purchase a license of the desired product; a license serves as the "right to use" the software, while the media simply allows you to install it on your computer. If you choose not to purchase media, you may borrow a copy from the COSL lending library. Most products are available for 24-hour check-out.

What is a Software Depot recharge?

Once a Software Depot (COSL) order has been received and closed, your account will then be charged for the amount of the order. This is commonly referred to as a "recharge." 

How do I place an order with the reseller if I'm not on Gateway yet?

There are instructions located on the Information Technology at UCSB website. Please log in to the website in order to view the Word document.