How Intranet Should be Planned

Planning your intranet is an iteractive process in which you develop a prototype, test how it works, and get feedback from users. Then you redesign to elinimate the problems and rerun your tests. Part of planning involves figuring out how your Web server will operate within your organization’s network, which can access it, and whether users have adequate bandwidth to access it over the existing network. You can project loads on the servers but you’ll more than likely need to rework your numbers as the process continues and as you put your server into actual use.

Part of your site strategy may include replication servers, which are servers that maintain duplicate copies of the information on the Web servers at your site. Once replication is done, is handled for the most part in the background.

In planning an internal Web server, you need to ask the following question.

What are the security requirements ? Should some employees or workgroups be restricted from accessing Wb servers ? Which controls will you implement to restrict access ? Map out your security requirements in advance.Are internal Web servers also connected to the Internet ? If so, firewalls and other security measures will be necessary.Will employees access corporate databases through the Web browsers ?What type of database support is required (i.e., Microsoft’s Open Database Connectivity) ?Who will manage the services ? A central MIS department or individual departments ?

Determining User Needs

Identify how users will access your Web server. Some people will access it over the network. In other cases, employees might access it through an Internet connection or by using dial-up connections. The point is that not all users may be connected over the high-speed topology of your internal networks. Consider how the following people might need to access your Website:

Field workers and developers, who access the site over dial-up connections.Researchers and developers, who may need more bandwidth than other users to work with Web pages that, have high-resolution images.Content providers, who may store Web server information on the servers in their departments or workgroups. You may need to set up connections and virtual directories for those servers.Employees without desktop computers, who will need kiosk computers in accessible areas, such as break rooms, that let them view company information.

Business associates and EDI partners, who access various servers and Web sites on your network under strict security rules.

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