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Personalized settings

By james.l.harris ·
I have recently been given responsibility for maintaining an intranet site for my company. I have no experience with this but I have been tasked with giving users the ability to customize the site for there personal needs. Can anyone help me with this? I don’t even know where to start. Thank you.

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Is customization a user need?

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Personalized settings

IMHO the biggest challenge that you are going to face is determining whether your users really need the ability to customize your intranet site.

Customization and personalization have been big buzzwords for awhile. I can't remember the number of times that I've heard "You know, like My Yahoo!" Unfortunately, customization is often implemented poorly or unnecessarily.

I would start by really examining how your intranet site is currently used by reviewing your server logs and talking to some of your fellow employees.

Armed with that info, see if you can isolate the most common tasks or pages that users access.

You may find that the majority of your users are performing the same handful of tasks (i.e. requesting time off or downloading forms).

If that is the case, redesigning your intranet's home page to make those tasks more accessible may be more worthwhile than building needless customization.

Hope that is helpful.
Shawn Morton

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I agree with Shawn

A re-design may actually be what the site needs.

If they are sure that they want customizations, then your site will quickly become complicated. You will have to create logins for the user and control the pages so they are created dynamically for each user. This means that you will have to store most of your web content in a database.

If you would like to see the kind of data structure that you would need for this then i recommend that you look into the IBuySpy( Portal application from Microsoft. It is a dotnet application, but the disign is what you should be interested in. It has a white paper that describes the database structure.

It will take some time to understand it, but a truly user customizable application is an ambitious undertaking, so be prepared to spend a lot of time on it.

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by andremedeiros In reply to I agree with Shawn

Well... don't start buying stuff before trying free solutions. If you plan (or can) to use PHP, use PHP Nuke ( It features a news system, user system (with themes and all), many language files, and tons (I MEAN TONS) of add-ons. Download it and try it. You will even be surprised of how easy it is to make an excelent intranet site :)

Open-Source rules!

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