Developing a new Content

tansygoobertownInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Developing a new Content
Management System for GDNet

Progress Update


Geoff Barnard

Institute of Development Studies


January 2004

Why a new system?


GDNet is outgrowing the current
system


Plans to move the website hosting
responsibility to Cairo


To simplify management of the
site, so we can all concentrate on
content

Joining forces


IDS is embarking on a similar upgrade for
Eldis, id21 and its other websites


It makes sense to join forces to:


share the development costs


maximise on lessons learned


ensure future compatibility


New system provisionally called “System X”

Step 1: Better content sharing

id21
GDNet
Bridge
Eldis
Other
services
Eldis

GDNet

Current
structure

Shared Data
Pool

id21

Bridge

Other

Services

Step 1

Step 2: Moving hosting to Cairo

Other
services
Eldis
Bridge
GDNet
id21
id21
GDNet
Bridge
Eldis
Other
services
Step 2: Moving hosting to Cairo

Maintaining good connections

id21
GDNet
Bridge
Eldis
Other
services
Supporting Regional Windows from
Cairo

id21
GDNet
Bridge
Eldis
Other
services
Supporting Regional Windows from
Cairo

id21
GDNet
Bridge
Eldis
Other
services
Background worries


Making the right system choice


Choosing the right contractors


Keeping the existing site running
well and expanding in the meantime


Keeping on time and within budget

Key Criteria


GDNet’s ambitious functional
requirements
(current & future)


Tight timescale and budget


Must be easy to maintain and
support so it can work well in Cairo

Functional Requirements


Large number of users entering data


Distributed network of editors


Easy to use and develop further


Integrated web & email functionality


Excellent data exchange capacity



Results of initial scoping work


There are no “off the shelf” packages that
provide the level of functionality and
flexibility we are looking for


It makes sense to develop the system
ourselves


Strong case for staying with mainstream
technology where possible

Project approach


Work with an experienced partner


Try not to reinvent the wheel


bring in
components that work


Contract out parts of the design &
programming work


Manage the whole process very carefully!

Provisional technology choices


Hardware



HP/Compaq server clusters
running Windows 2003 Advanced Server


Applications



Macromedia Cold Fusion MX
or ASP.Net (with either VB.Net, C# or Java)


Database management system



Microsoft
SQL Server


Design model



use “layers” and “modules”
so system is easy to upgrade later

Probable technical partner


Clear Thinking Group
(www.clearthinkinggroup.com)


UK
-
based with international clientele in
both non
-
profit & commercial sector


Not trying to push their own system


Client owns the final product, but they can
provide ongoing support if desired


Strongly recommended by SciDev.net


Timetable


Sept/Oct 2004


Prototype available


Jan/Feb 2005


Live but still hosted at IDS


Later 2005


Migration to Cairo


……. fingers crossed!