I'm researching for a project I'm going to be doing at work on the side...

I work for a small hospital and we recently upgraded all the browsers inside our intranet to IE8 (Goodbye 6 :). We have a small, obsolete intranet built by someone who isn't a web designer... functional enough, but annoying to maintain and really sparse.

What I'm wanting to do... is use a good framework. I'm looking for suggestions...

I'm looking for something Windows IIS based.

I'd love windows authentication - with the ability to delegate sub-sections of the website to managers. Right now it's my job to add/update/delete anything from the site... I'd like something not complicated that can be delegated to non-technical people.

Like... the Cafeteria Manager should be able to update the menu without putting a ticket into me. She'd log into her computer, open the intranet (which would use her windows log-on to identify her) and have elevated privileges to edit her section of the intranet.

If I have to "extend" a good framework to get Windows Authentication, I'll do it... but I'd prefer it to be baked in.

What are some good frameworks, tools and places to start? While this isn't a "Huge" project... it's going to be bigger than the basic stuff I've done before and I'd like a good place to start.

  • 1
    s/intranet/intranet app/g
    – BenV
    Oct 29, 2010 at 3:55

4 Answers 4


Drupal is a great option. Many coming from a Windows background will probably suggest SharePoint, and that may be a good option, but I've detailed reasons why I, in particular, recommend against it here: http://archstldev.com/node/545

I'm building out an Intranet on Drupal right now, and there are some good background materials on using Drupal for an Intranet here on the same site, node 374 (sorry, can't post more than one link yet).

Drupal's LDAP integration module is very useful for authenticating against a Windows Active Directory server (that's what I'm using).

The Organic Groups module for Drupal would let you define (or even let your users define) different 'groups' on the site which would be completely managed by those users. You could pop in and make changes if you want, but users could create and manage their own content pretty easily.

Open Atrium is a purpose-built prepackaged Intranet system built on Drupal, as is Drupal Commons (google those names for links, as I can only post one link in this post :).

  • I'll have to look into Drupal. That's one platform I hadn't (in my short career) heard of. Sounds like everything I'd want.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 29, 2010 at 12:45
  • I'm liking drupal so far... found a version that works like XAMPP, in as much as it's an all-in-one-folder solution that has Apache, MySQL, etc... still tinkering with it, so haven't gotten the LDAP to work yet but it seems feasible as the best option I've seen. Thanks for the module suggestions as well :) I'll look at those two packages as well.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 30, 2010 at 0:45
  • @WernerCD: LDAP documentation for Drupal is bad... but it does work, just finished setting it up last week.
    – blunders
    Oct 31, 2010 at 2:45
  • I'm still trying to get it, or Joomla, working with LDAP. I'm not real up to speed on BaseDN's and Tree's and what-have-you... I can't seem to get either of them to act like I want... I'll probably have a second question up about it tonight.
    – WernerCD
    Nov 2, 2010 at 19:03
  • @geerlingguy @blunders ~ after much toil and pain, I finally got the hang of BaseDN and LDAP Attributes... FINALLY got it setup that when a user logs in, it authenticates against LDAP, pulls in groups and creates stuff.
    – WernerCD
    Nov 4, 2010 at 13:18

It sounds like what you need is a Content Management System (CMS). DotNetNuke is the most popular CMS that runs natively on IIS. If you're willing to install PHP on your IIS box then you could also look at PHP CMS's like Joomla and Drupal.

  • I saw those on the Windows Web Platform Installer. Hadn't seen anything about Windows Authentication integration. I'll look deeper as those looked like a good start.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 29, 2010 at 12:44
  • I found something mentioned in MS Web Platform installer - acquia.com/downloads - Acquia Drupal. Never heard of Drupal before, but it's like a suped-up XAMPP which I have used before and rather like.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 30, 2010 at 0:43

If you are after a Windows IIS based Intranet, I suggest either one of the following content management systems:

  • DotNetNuke (Community version is available)
  • Microsoft Sharepoint

Both of these can link into your Windows Active Directory, and provide pretty good control over every aspect of the site (including granular security, so you allow that cafeteria lady to edit her menu).

  • Sharepoint is too expensive, although we are a very MS-centric business... and my co-worker has had very bad experiences with DNN, although I kinda liked it when I checked it out. It also seems that one of the desired parts ("granular permissions" I think they called it) is on one of the paid versions only... Not saying my company won't pay for it, but I'd rather not have to ask.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 30, 2010 at 0:40

I would suggest you take a look at Atlassian Confluence wiki, many establishments use it as their internal website and knowledgebase. And the windows authentication is built-in as far as I know.

It might even be free for hospitals, but even if not - it is quite cheap to buy.

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