Development or Sourcing?

APD Toronto
APD Toronto used Ask the Experts™
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Hi Experts,

I have been approached by a group of 8 companies to provide for them an information exchange portal. Here they would store files, documents and posts, organized by category and sub category, and a bulletin board with latest news and events posted by the users.

The companies indicated that SharePoint wont’t work because the each have their own domain, and they need this solution to be independent from any of them. They also want to restrict each company to 3 users, and if another company wants to join, the admin of 3 other companies need to approve.

My question is - would this be a development project (I'm a PHP developer); or a sourcing project, where there is something pre-made that can be adjusted? What would a  bull park cost be for this?

Thank you.
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Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
> The companies indicated that SharePoint wont’t work because the each have their own domain, and they need this solution to be independent from any of them

If SharePoint would work and the only barrier is the domain name, then purchase a new domain name and use an Office365 account to host this.  

>  They also want to restrict each company to 3 users, and if another company wants to join, the admin of 3 other companies need to approve.

This can easily be done via email, chat, phone etc since it sounds like a one off.
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
I don't know much about SharePoint, but if I got SharePoint under abc.com, can paul@def.net and adam@ghhi.org join?
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
What I envision from your question is a group of people want to share documents and perhaps let others in as well.  Why couldn't you make the private group of people all part of the abc domain.

With Google I know you can do this under groups and create a TeamDrive (new) much like sharepoint and share with people in our out of the domain.  Having a hierarchy though is where Google may not be a good fit though you could create that in folder structure.  For discussions groups I don't think it will be very good.  https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/products/keep/#!/

Team Discussions will most likely work better with Microsoft.  It seems like the right product for them.  Create a free trial and play around. You get very good help via phone for onboarding even when under the free trial. For the free trial you will get a temp domain something.onmicrosoft.com  which you could use live by the way. But it will be prettier to use your own vanity domain.
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APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
When it comes to SharePoint, is there a video that shows posting news, events and attachments? I have seen videos on setting up users, adding files, but not a high level overview.

Besides SharePoint, I'd like other point of views in terms of other products or development.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
This may be what you are looking for.  https://support.office.com/en-us/article/video-use-a-newsfeed-on-a-team-site-81493a95-1965-4459-8cbc-db16d2319160.

The office365 suite has a lot of great features and granular control compared to other products and is essentially managing a server in the cloud, though much easier.  When you need help using the product, I have had a very good experience working with MS in getting one on one help via phone and screen share.

There are other options and gsuite is one but for the type of sharing you are looking for, this falls short in my opinion.  For collaboration there is slack https://slack.com/features and as that has become very popular, there are also many look a likes.  I have also signed up for Facebook Teams https://www.facebook.com/workplace/about as that looks promising for a client but have not really dove in yet.

Going back to your question, your clients have mentioned a product they like and given a reasonable objection that they are not sure it can be shared.  Given it can do everything they want, if you can show that is not an issue, I would go with that. Anything else you bring up if it does not behave like the way they expect may be an issue down the road.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I did something like this recently for a client simply building a per-user-file directory hierarchy, which could only be seen by the user.

Having all files available to all users is also trivial.

Total code was a plugin of 152 lines, half of which are whitespace. Likely only maybe 20-30 lines required if everyone will be allowed access to all files.

Pretty trivial. Just find an WordPress developer. Time... Maybe 1-2 days to develop + test.
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
David, Can I know which plugin you used?
Last Knight
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi APD Toronto,

Personally, I'd source this opposed to develop it unless you are getting paid to dev it...typically I see these projects having a ton of feature creep and then you essentially end up reinventing a lessor wheel than what has already previously been developed.

I'd recommend Office 365 as well like Scott mentioned. You can use Office Groups, Planner, Tasks that all work on permissions and are collaborative & PM focused. Office Groups will give you a message board, doc sharing space, news feeds. You could also use Yammer (within Office 365) to do this as well although it is less PM driven. SharePoint would work too but would require lite dev. Honestly, Office 365 would allow you to get around the Domain Federation hurdle and provide everything you need and more.

Office allows real-time collaborative editing and coupled w/SharePoint you can achieve library check-in/out processes so that you don't get into versioning issues which is quite common among collaborative groups.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
APD TorontoSoftware Developer

Author

Commented:
Thank you I will take this info for consideration.

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