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Recommendations for an IIS intranet

by sweetblood (Prior)
on Apr 09, 2009 at 18:54 UTC ( #756681=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
sweetblood has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have been asked to build an intranet for our 300 user facility. I have done so little "web" development it is not worth mentioning. The vast majority of my perl experience is in data munging, so I need some guidance regarding web programming. Initially they'd like a phonebook app and some calendaring, maybe an RSS reader for news and events. When I first started looking at what is available module wise I thought I'd simply need CGI, but after really looking things over I'm wondering if Template::Toolkit and Mason perhaps even Catalyst may be best to get this done. There are so many choices I'm just confusing myself before I even start. At this point the most important thing for me is simply to get started. Perhaps someone can point me to some intranet samples using perl. Fortunately I don't (yet) have any firm dead lines but I know there are coming.
A few other items worth noting:
  • I will eventually need to connect to a sql server
  • Access to Exchange/Active Directory
  • Exchange calendaring
  • Whatever else the bigwigs can come up with

Any thoughts on design from a graphical standpoint would also be greatly appreciated.


I don't have any choice on the IIS portion of this project. If I did it would linux/apache, at least they are not telling me I can only use visual studio and sharepoint.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Recommendations for an IIS intranet
by mr_mischief (Monsignor) on Apr 09, 2009 at 19:17 UTC

    According to the feature matrix comparing Outlook Web Access to Outlook on Microsoft's site, Outlook Web Access is a built-in component of Exchange Server 2007. It offers most email, some calender, some productivity, and some of the other functionality of Outlook 2007 paired with Exchange. Perhaps that's the first place to look, as it already integrates with Exchange and all.

    You'll need far more for this sort of thing than just a template system or web framework. You'll also need at least:

    • DBI and a suitable DBD for your SQL database
    • Net::LDAP for access to ActiveDirectory (which would also be handy if you were making your own phone book/address book app)
    • some connector to Exchange if you want the calendering to mate with that
    • an RSS reading and perhaps aggregation module

    You'll also need some other parts (some of which will be provided by some web frameworks) if you don't tie directly into Exchange's data for these parts:

    • Date or Time modules for separate calender functionality
    • some way to manage user accounts (creation, deletion, authentication, editing)
    • some way to manage the sessions of the logged-in users
    • an interface to get your address book data into and out of an SQL database or an LDAP directory

    There are parts of this intranet of yours out there, but you'd have to piece them together. Getting them to work in an integrated way could be a hassle. Consider what Microsoft offers already made since you're tied to the Windows/IIS/Exchange platform.

      I coudln't agree more with you, mr_mischief, but would...
      • beware of the (apparent) non-maintained status of Net::LDAP
      • commiserate with the mandated architecture
      A user level that continues to overstate my experience :-))
        Net::LDAP not being maintained is not an issue. In fact, it points to the fact that LDAP as a technology is currently relatively static because it does it's job, works quite well, and is extensible without having to muck with the internals of LDAP.

        Just because something isn't obviously maintained isn't enough to signify a dead/rotting library. You need to look into its maturity level, and whether it is being used a lot. LDAP is a wonderfully useful tool, that is used a lot, but it's quiet enough that many smaller shops may not have been introduced to it yet. The fact that Active Directory is built on top of LDAP is something Microsoft would rather not advertise. But that fact alone is enough to tell you that it won't be going away any time soon.


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