For next 3 months or so I will be involved in another complete redesign of a portal that I have built in the recent months in KSA. It was due to the fact that the initial design was done by old developers and the project was over 50% when I joined it and were not given option to redesign it from scratch. But as we are facing problems updating the portal everyday I suggested the company to redo the portal from scratch so that we can be able to fix the things that were managed incorrectly by the initial developers. Below are the biggest mistakes done by the initial architect of the portal
- Same Web application for Internet, Intranet and mysites.
- Multiple Master Pages for English and Arabic
- Multiple CSS and Image Duplication
- Using SharePoint 2003 Style Pages to host User Controls for Custom Applications
- Using User Information List to store user personal information for Internet Users
- Not using out of the box feature and many more
- Not using Variations and Best Practices for Multilingual sites
Based on the detailed analysis of the current environment we will be working on the following improvements
- Separation of Internet and Intranet Web Sites physical web applications
- Separation MySites from Intranet Web Application
- using Variations feature of Moss for English and Arabic Sites
- Development of Single Master Page to Handle English and Arabic Transition
- Removal of Duplicate CSS and Images stored Content Database
- Migration of User Registration Information to SQL Server Database
- Development of Web Controls Container web part for web user controls developed for custom applications and development page layouts for hosting them.
- Development Resource Files for language Transitions and Labels
- Using Custom Navigation for Internet Site Only and out of the box navigation for Intranet Sites
- Developing Migration Utilities to Migration Sites Data using Migration API
The good thing about all this is the high level of re-usability. Customer does not require redesign of the User Interface for custom applications but we have to update many custom application because of using SQL Server instead of SharePoint Lists. One of the interesting task during this will be a development of a SharePoint Site Template for my Events and Conferences. I remember that I built the same template in 2003 days for one of our customer and later we upgraded it the Portal 2003 to MOSS upgrade project.
I will also be very busy in the RSUG Event. First there will be a Live Web Cast on using SharePoint Designer. You can see my last post to register for it. Later we have our monthly meeting on 16th of April. Things will get busy soon.