[thelist] Suggestions for an intranet

David Landy davidlandy at clara.co.uk
Fri Jul 9 07:54:16 CDT 2004

Hi Ken,

I've just designed an intranet application. I'm by no means an expert...
but... here's my 2c worth, as no one else seems to have replied ;)

- Use whatever scripting language you are comfortable with - perl, PHP, ASP,
JSP, or whatever (sorry if I left out your favourite) - I've used ASP and
JSP in the past, all good
- Use whatever Internet or Application server you like - I have used IIS and
Apache and Tomcat, all work fine
- Plan ahead for security and user access rights
- Log all access to your system, who came in and when, which pages they
accessed, and what data they changed/deleted. Audit trails are relatively
easy to build in at design phase and can save you hours of time when someone
wants to know, "hey, how come this record got changed to this data?" - then
you can pull out the log file and show them
- Code your (X)HTML to standards (grin)
- Make it browser and device-independent, people could one day want to use
it via Mozilla on a Palm Pilot (for example)
- Plan accessibility for visually impaired users and other people who can't
access the site in the usual way
- Keep all data including settings in the back-end database so people can
update their settings online
- Watch out for overlapping record updates by two or more users: the first
user - let's call her Janet - could open the "update" form for customer
number 1234, then go on lunch. While she's out on lunch, her buddy - let's
call him John - could come in, open the update screen on his PC for the same
customer, make changes, and save them. Now John has changed customer 1234's
record, without ever knowing that Janet was about to make an update, and
Janet is about to update stale data that's still on her screen an hour
later. You have to cater for this scenario somehow, usually by warning Janet
that the underlying data has changed while she was away, and asking her to
overwrite the other changes, or to discard her own. A tricky one, this --
who's ever to know what the "right" data is? You have to figure out a plan
with your client.
- See if you can automatically detect the users' login via your scripting
language, so you don't have to ask them to log in again to your site. You
can save all their preferences, even which screen they were last viewing
before they logged out, etc, and welcome them back.

Is this the kind of info you are looking for?


----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Moore <psm2713 at hotmail.com>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: 03 July 2004 18:59
Subject: [thelist] Suggestions for an intranet

> Hi all,
> I am experienced in web design. Now, I am going to suggest  an intranet.
> is for the local Head Start program to which in run by a non-profit
> corporation. My question for those of you in the know, what advice do you
> have.
> Specifically:
> Sources of information
> Suggestions
> What do be careful of
> We are on a network in 50+ locations behind a firewall.
> Ken
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