I have a client who wants me to design and code them a PHP & MYSQL driven intranet for their company. This is something I have never done before but I would like to take it on.
Which factors do i need to take into consideration when building an intranet as opposed to a website?
And what is the best way of delivering the product to the customer? Unlike a website where I can remotely upload the files, I suppose i would need to send him the site to load onto his own server?
P.S sorry if this isn't the right thread, I wasn't sure what it falls under.
Outsourcing Intranet development. Interesting...
Microsoft developed SharePoint in an attempt to make creating Intranets "easy". SharePoint is anything but easy to work with. And it is expensive. But that's Microsoft for you. They take the "in for a penny, in for a pound" approach - hey you already use our other products (Office, Outlook, Windows Server, etc.), this integrates with what you already have!
A quick Google search for open source/free Intranet solutions turned up:
Developing a completely customized Intranet from the ground-up is possible too. But...
Keep in mind that the initial intention of an Intranet is typically "everyone will use it" and people are excited at first because it is new and interesting. So it seems like it will work wonderfully. But, in many cases, pretty much HR and managers end up using it and the rest of the employees loathe the site for one reason or another - usually because it ends up being static content and a pain to keep up-to-date with the general consensus that "e-mail is easier". Most Intranets die slow, painful deaths because SOME of the content is actually useful.
Typical things found in the average Intranet: Employee phone book, global calendar, forms (e.g. tax forms), announcements no one reads, and the daily lunch special in the cafeteria. Department-level areas restricted to certain people via LDAP/Active Directory might include login information to secure systems and specific procedures to follow that are at least six months to several years woefully out of date.
(There's a Dilbert cartoon or two in there somewhere just waiting to happen.)
(#6 just screams, "The Intranet died and someone was desperate...and bored!")
As to installing an Intranet, that should be done on-site or over VPN. Here's how I picture your scenario otherwise: You hand the files off to them and then...what? It'll be sent to someone in IT who is going to look at the files and ask, "What do we do with this mess?" There will be a long chain of e-mails and then everyone will throw up their hands in frustration and toss the problem back at you. Maybe.
First, it's best to investigate off-the-shelf solutions before developing your own. There's lots of software available depending on what tasks you want this software to accomplish.
This brings the matter to another point--what exactly do they want to do on their intranet that they can't do now?
what exactly is the client looking for? 1 thing for sure they will need an in-house server.
Similar as for internet. You need protect intranet with IPs restriction or something like that. This will allow access only from computer in the network (intranet).
Do your homework carefully.
What kinds of databases hold which intranet destined data?
What IM system do they use, if any?
Which is the official browser they use? What are the unofficial ones?
How many sites must the intranet be viewable over, and in which languages?
Do they employ any disabled people, do they have a disability policy? (this could end up affecting your display options)
See how well they accept Social Media (socmed) in work time, do they engage with the public using socmed?
Take a good look at their website for clues to all of these questions.
thruska, that is an awesome post