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Recommend a client portal solution to add to our website?
March 6, 2009 3:25 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to add a client portal to an existing website. Any ideas?

My employer currently has a website. We'd like to add a customer portal, where the client can download documents pertaining to their project and view videos that we'd produce for them. There's no need for any kind of interaction component and we'd really like to add this feature to our website. Any ideas?

I saw this post from 2007, which basically ended up recommending Basecamp.

I'm going to evaluate Basecamp, but we'd really like something that could be added to our website. I think it might actually be overkill for what we need.

One option, which I am also investigating is that we have a Sharepoint which can be exposed to the internet. I don't have much Sharepoint experience (and that which I do have indicates that it's pretty clunky and tough to customize), but perhaps it could be used for this purpose?

Thanks.
posted by reddot to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you really want quick and dirty, you can simply use obscure folders. Create a directory on your website called /clients, and inside that place a folder for each client with some obscure name/number like benny228z1103. Send that path to your client:

  www.mywebsite.com/clients/benny227z1103

And then you can place or remove all the files/documents/videos you like in those folders for those clients to see.

You were okay with SharePoint, so I'm thinking you don't care how pretty it looks, but if you want prettier (with your website branding and navigation on top, for example, you could include one (identical) HTML page in each folder containing all that static info plus the same simple SSI or PHP or Perl script that just "lists the contents of this directory" midway down the page.

No, it's not secure. The names are obscure so people cannot guess other directory names (as likely as they'd be to guess passwords, I should think, anyway), and if you add some onetime robots.txt and htaccess blocks, nobody unwanted should stumble in. Administering 100's or 1000's of client passwords is an enormous pain, anyway, and adds complexity. This way, your only administration is uploading files to the right places.
posted by rokusan at 6:58 PM on March 6, 2009


Hey there.

Thanks for the idea. I'll check that out. I like the simplicity.

Sadly, I'm not yet ok with Sharepoint, but I did feel that I had to list it as an available option. :)
posted by reddot at 7:49 AM on March 7, 2009


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