Intranet Portal based on Microsoft SharePoint technology

The client, one of the largest providers of biopharmaceutical development services, was interested in developing and rolling out an intranet corporate-wide portal based on Microsoft SharePoint technologies. The first version was implemented with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS2007) and required a number of enhancements. The client’s previous development partner had failed to complete the task.

Our company was contracted to enhance the existing MOSS2007 version of the portal. A dedicated team of software development and quality assurance engineers was created for the task. The solution was completed and deployed to production. Following on from this successful work, the team was extended and engaged to develop a brand new version of the portal based on the latest Microsoft SharePoint 2010 technology.

The results was an award-winning enterprise level portal based on a highly customized Microsoft SharePoint 2010 server. The portal provides all the functionality of the out-of-the box SharePoint combined with custom user experience and includes a number of custom web parts to allow for better usability for intranet users. The portal provides access to company-wide information, news and documents. It uses advanced social features of the latest SharePoint server to create communities, share information, track and follow other employees’ activities and statuses and even includes an instant messaging Twitter-like application implemented as a set of custom web-parts.

The portal allows its users to publish custom content like corporate news, discussions, polls, blogs, share documents, etc. For different content types, custom master pages and custom page layouts are provided.

The portal includes custom and out of the box web parts: content query, content editor, xslt list view, html data form, etc. Standard web parts are used to render content like most recent blogs, files and integrate with external data sources such as weather forecasts.

The system consists of SharePoint features with different scopes: Farm, Web Application, Site Collection, Web Site. So, for example, the deployment of a single feature creates a fully functional Web Site with predefined content (lists, libraries, etc.) and a home page with predefined web parts in place.

There is a hierarchy of web sites on the portal (Department, Location). Users may subscribe  to updates to specific sites. Updates are generated from different sources: SharePoint search, SharePoint timer jobs for incremental updates, SharePoint activity events for feed updates.

To facilitate user profile management, synchronization is implemented between Active Directory and SharePoint profiles. The portal also includes fully branded and customized MySite sites.

Security is also customized to conform to the corporate security model and standards, including custom permission levels and SharePoint groups.

SharePoint Search is customized to scope search results to news, colleagues, departments, etc. The Search results page is also customized and branded with CSS, XSLT and custom web parts to reflect the look and feel of the portal.