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Web Development Thread, Intranet Options in Coding and Web Development; Just returned from my hols to discover our Intranet server has died, no chance of a rescue. I therefore am ...
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    Intranet Options

    Just returned from my hols to discover our Intranet server has died, no chance of a rescue. I therefore am looking at a quick solution to implement a new intranet and was looking for advice and possible ideas. The old system was based on a Linux box running Joomla and to be honest my Linux knowledge is pretty limited although the Joomla package created by my predessor worked adequately although it was tired and not used as much as it could have been. Luckily I do have a new server which I recently purchased intended for another role which I could use specifically for this purpose, its a reasonable spec running Server 2008 R2.

    Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated as to software/packages which are suitable for a windows setup. Would anyone recomend going down the sharepoint route or is there an easier and possibly cheaper alternative.

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    why isnt there any chance of rescuing the original setup?

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    What do you want your intranet to do as well?

    Ours includes staff and student home pages, room bookings (MRBS), some basic SharePoint and a few other things.

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    I currently maintain a Sharepoint based Intranet. Sharepoint is too expensive, clunky and difficult to mess about with though good for things like workflow and document storage. Linux with Joomla or Moodle would be my own preferred choice(though they can be run on a Windows box too) or the WSS version of Sharepoint might be an option. If you do make the leap to Sharepoint, make sure you've a decently spec'd SQL server. You could just run IIS on your server too.
    Last edited by jdoyle; 26th August 2011 at 08:15 AM.

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    Havent seen the error yet but my colleague has described the problem as a failure of the SCSI controller and possible drive. The server is getting on abit at least 8 years old with just a single disk configured with no redundancy, not an ideal set up. To be honest now seems an ideal time to replace this server and start a fresh. In the short term we could try and source a replacement controller and then see if we can recover the disk but this could just be a waste of time and money. Havent looked at costs for this option yet !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    What do you want your intranet to do as well?

    Ours includes staff and student home pages, room bookings (MRBS), some basic SharePoint and a few other things.
    The old system was very basic in terms of a front page with links to other sites and programs with a general news and info section which we could update but was available to staff and students. We dont use MRBS anymore as we have Room bookings linked in with our MIS.

    The idea of two home pages one for staff and one for students sounds like a useful option. I would be interested in details of your set up but suspect its a Linux system ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post
    I currently maintain a Sharepoint based Intranet. Sharepoint is too expensive, clunky and difficult to mess about with though good for things like workflow and document storage. Linux with Joomla or Moodle would be my own preferred choice(though they can be run on a Windows box too) or the WSS version of Sharepoint might be an option. If you do make the leap to Sharepoint, make sure you've a decently spec'd SQL server. You could just run IIS on your server too.
    Have to agree with the Sharepoint costs, did look at this a while back. In the short term perhaps IIS would provide a solution but have not played with it on 2K8 R2 as we only recently recieved the new server. How easy is it to configure to provide a basic intranet home page ?

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    This has been one of my jobs for the summer, setting up our first school intranet site.

    I've done it in Sharepoint 2010, and it's looking pretty good. Wasn't too difficult to configure either. I'd be interested to know (apologies for the thread hijack) what other people have on their intranet? Currently I've got things like the staff phone list, access to e-mail, access to the VLE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain.Faulkner View Post
    This has been one of my jobs for the summer, setting up our first school intranet site.

    I've done it in Sharepoint 2010, and it's looking pretty good. Wasn't too difficult to configure either. I'd be interested to know (apologies for the thread hijack) what other people have on their intranet? Currently I've got things like the staff phone list, access to e-mail, access to the VLE
    May I ask what resources you used to guide you in your set up. I know from previous versions of Sharepoint it looked more suited to large organsations with what you can do/complexity, so kind of put me off as being a bit of over kill for just a school Intranet site especially with the costs.

    Links wise we also had links to the MIS and Help desk. Seem to remember that you can get a Help desk option in Sharepoint ?

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    It might be worth sticking the disk into another scsi controller and imaging the disk - you'll soon see if it is fixable

    If the server isn't recoverable I think you should consider dropping the idea of an intranet entirely. We used to have an intranet site. but things have moved on and teachers/students expect to have the same level of access whether at home or at school, and on their own equipment. I would suggest adding the functionality of your intranet into a password protected location on your internet site, and start migrating your internal data onto the internet. We have mostly achieved this with a mixture of Google apps, Drupal (which is a good choice even for an intranet only site) and moodle.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Sharepoint Foundation 2010 is free with a 2008 or R2 Licence

    Feature comparision here: SharePoint 2010 Feature Comparison (SharePoint Foundation 2010 Vs SharePoint 2010 Standard/Enterprise)

    Personally I think SP is a good choice for intranet sites - LDAP integration makes it easy for security setup, easy to install and configure as long as you read up, and if you wanna take it further easy to allow staff control over certain sections.

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    Using Sharepoint Services 3.0 here for our intranet. Free, quick and easy to set up (install on any windows server) and it acts as a default intranet page for students with links to all our internal and external web sites, and then separate staff area with resources directed at staff such as helpdesk email etc.

    Don't use it for any of the fancy stuff like document storage / workflow / etc as we have moodle for that as sharepoint is a bit clunky for that stuff (IMHO).

    Just literally use it as an easy to update hyperlink repository.

    Butuz

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    Plone would be a good bet - free and with complete Windows installers:

    Plone CMS: Open Source Content Management

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    Update - Decided to opt for Sharepoint 2010 Foundation which was a free download. A breeze to install and setup and there are several really good tutorials on Youtube in tweaking the setup to make it look almost professional. Would definately recomend this as a replacement for all those who are not Linux minded and prefer an easy way to setup and manage their Intranet.

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    We use Sharepoint foundation on a 2008 R2 box and it works great. Some pretty useful add-ons such as resource bookings and calendars.

    Thumbs up and very easy to configure and edit

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