01 Dec REDCap external modules policy
External modules extend existing REDCap functionality in new and creative ways. These modules are not developed by the main REDCap development team at Vanderbilt, instead they are put forth by members of the REDCap consortium.
Vanderbilt introduced the concept of external modules in version 8 of REDCap. The ITHS REDCap production instance upgraded to this version on December 2nd, 2017. Modules will need to be installed and enabled by the local REDCap support team. The following policies ensure that our local ITHS REDCap production installation will continue to run smoothly while allowing users to utilize this functionality to the fullest.
Many of the existing external modules will be useful for regular REDCap users, however some will only be useful for administrators. If you are interested in using an existing module, please contact the REDCap team through the form below. Be sure to include the name of the module and the project for which you would like this module implemented.
All external module requests will be classified by the REDCap support team in one of three categories: Administration, Global and Custom.
- Administration external modules. Modules in this category are restricted to administrators. The REDCap support team will not implement administration external modules.
- Global external modules. If an external module is determined to provide utility for a large portion of ITHS REDCap users, the support team will implement it at no charge to the project team. The REDCap support team will decide when and how often these modules will be implemented; this can be expedited as part of a fee-for-service consultation.
- Custom external modules. Most external modules will fall into this category. These modules have limited utility and are mainly applicable for a select number of users. Modules in this category can only be installed as part of a paid REDCap consultation.
Once an external module has been classified, it can then be implemented. There are three phases of implementation: Installation phase, Enable phase, and Configuration phase.
- Installation phase. Any external module will need to be installed to the ITHS REDCap instance only once. Part of this process is to verify that the particular module will work with the ITHS installation of REDCap and confirm that it poses no security risks. For most modules, this effort will be provided only as part of a paid consultation. (There will be an exception for globally useful modules which will be implemented only when the REDCap support team deems it appropriate.)
Please Note: Time spent evaluating an external module will be billed even if the module cannot be installed due to compatibility or security risks.
Once a module is installed, we will make it discoverable in the “External Modules” section of any project. Click on the “Enable a Module” in the “External Modules” section to view all available external modules. These modules will not need to be re-installed and can go straight to the enable phase.
- Enable phase. Installed external modules will need to be enabled for each project separately. Enabling a module must be done by a REDCap administrator. There is no additional charge for enabling a module that has already been installed.
- Configuration phase. Some external modules will be very simple and will not require any specific configuration. However, as the technology matures, we expect the modules to become exceedingly more complex over time. Once a module is enabled, authorized users in a project should be able to configure the external modules themselves if required. Help configuring a module from a REDCap administrator will be provided as a fee-for-service.
Developing your own external module(s)
If you are interested in developing your own external modules for REDCap and you are a user of our REDCap installation, contact us through the form below. We can provide you with access to our development installation to safely test your work. You will need to adhere to the rules set out by Vanderbilt university. These rules can be found within the External module repository under “Module Review Guidelines (PDF)”.
The hourly rate for a REDCap consultation is $110 for internal projects (using a UW budget number) and $150 for external projects (without a UW budget number). An estimate will always be provided before work on a project begins.
External modules are developed by third party developers instead of the main development team at Vanderbilt. These modules are therefore not as thoroughly vetted or supported as standard REDCap functionality. At any point in time, a module can stop working due to an upgrade or other incompatibilities. Any bugs will need to be reported to the author of the module directly instead of the ITHS REDCap support team or the Vanderbilt development team.
By using an external module, you assume the risk associated with the use of such a module.