Software Development Under Control

Project Portfolio

Customer: Office Depot

Office Depot, Inc. is one of the world's largest sellers of office products and an industry leader in every distribution channel, including stores, direct mail, contract delivery, the Internet and business-to-business electronic commerce.

At Issue:

Office Depot was rolling out there version 2.0 of their corporate wide intranet. The wanted a fully customized solution with substantial content management services built in, as well as a totally modular and data driven design. They had a team attempt development, but several months and many percentage points over budget, they called on us to put all their pieces together and make them actually work.

The Solution:

The art and design had already been completed to Office Depot's satisfaction, and these were incorporated into a modular three tier design, driven by an SQL 2000 database.

Site Server 2.0 was integrated for many content management functions, and all the navigation elements were turned into data driven includes that allowed for portal personalization.

The Intranet site was written in Microsoft ASP with VBScript and data generated JavaScript.

In order to optimize web server capacity , the menus were exported from the database and into an XML structure that resides in server memory.

This allowed custom data driven menus to load very quickly and put no load on the database server.

While common today, when these technologies were implemented in 1999, there were very advanced for the time.

In order to allow the content to grow organically, a workflow security based content submission system was implemented, allowing managers in various departments to submit content for the Intranet and then approved by the Intranet Development department and published live, rather than have all work be performed by the Intranet Development group.

This distributed approach to content management allowed the Office Depot Intranet to grow useful content very quickly, with minimum impact on ongoing functional development.