Internal Website development

silchester
silchester used Ask the Experts™
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We are a small company so there would only be a maximum of 8 users and  have an existing intranet that has been developed over the years by various personnel (no longer with us). It runs on IIS on our small business server 2011 and connects to our SQL Server 2008R2.

The system was developed on old versions of Frontpage and Visual Studio 2005. There is a mixture of language scripting in the system, these being

Java (appears for navigation purposes on a header page)
VB script

The files appear to be either asp (from original Frontpage)
or aspx (from visual studio development)

in the main, with a few html and JScript files

The system extracts the domain user logged in using "WSCript.Network" control.

When I open the project in Visual Studio 2005 there are numerous errors, which I presume are due to legacy code. However the website still works.

I want to be able to continue to develop the system, but ensure it can be completely developed in the same environment.

What would be the best development environment?
If it is Visual studio, could I get away with the free version?
How would I go about importing the files from the website into the package?
How would I go about decoding the errors or updating sections of code?
There appears to be numerous file that may be redundant in various sub directories of the website folder. Howe would I go about verifying these are redundant and removing them.
 
Please bear in mind that I am not a programmer yet! I have some basic experience with VB and vba.

Many thanks in advance.
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Oh what a mess. Yes that is the first thought that occurred to me.

Now let's see what you can do to resolve this issue.

1. I think your intranet would consist of several applications clubbed in one.
2. I also think that the aspx code is not compiled in a dll and runs as it is on the server.

Anyway let me answer the questions as you have asked:

1. Depending upon the code and how it is written you will have to decide on development environment. For example if majority of the code is in java then stick to java and use Eclipse or any other IDE but if majority of code is in asp or asp.net then it would make sense to continue developing in asp.net albeit use the latest VS instead of VS 2005.
2. Since it is intranet and has no commercial value, you can use VS 2015 community edition to develop further.

3, 4 and 5. These are tricky questions and are for seasoned developers. I will answer those but
remember they are for experienced developers.

3. You may be able to import the asp.net files in the VS 2015 but you cannot import asp or java based files. To import, you can either add them to your project by right clicking the project and choosing "Add Existing Item", or you can simply create new files and copy paste the code.
4. That is where experience comes in handy. You will need to search about individual errors and know about the best programming practices. The errors are already shown in VS IDE. You may try to google them or post them here for us to answer. Updating section of code requires code reviews so I cannot comment on that without seeing the code.
5. Again, you will have to learn from experience. Now commonly the files with extension bak are usually backup copies and can be deleted safely. Duplicate files should only be removed if you know that a latest copy is working and is in some other folder. Let's take an example:

Suppose you have an attendance application consisting of 15 asp pages. Now you find 3 copies of this application in your directory say - attendance1, attendace2 and attendance3.

Now you need to check which one is currently active i.e. which one the users are using. These applications will have the url like:
http://yoursite/attendance1
http://yoursite/attendance2
http://yoursite/attendance3

Now say users are using http://yoursite/attendance3 which means it is the active one. The rest two can be deleted but there is one more check. Check the file creation date for the files inside the attendance3 folder. It should have the latest dates as compared to other two folders. If it is, in all fair chances the other two are redundant code and you can probably remove them from your intranet and keep them somewhere archived.
My recommendation would be to hire some experienced person and have him take a look at all the applications. Let him recommend the changes and how to go about it and then you can make the changes.

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