For a large retail corporation that manages 800+ vendors and thousands of users, it is necessary to develop a portal tailored to external users. This portal will allow the company to push out information and external users to consume said information. Users will be able to use this portal as an all-purpose platform for the latest news and updates.
Implement a portal to serve as an all-purpose platform for the company to push out information and for external users to utilize as the primary access point.
This portal will serve as the main informational platform that these users will access for general news and the latest updates. Updates made to certain lists and libraries, such as announcements or guidelines, will automatically be pushed down to child sites. Additionally, users will use this portal as the primary access point to their respective brand sites. To serve this purpose, a user-customized bookmarking feature is an additional implementation to the portal site.
- The portal must include a method to add, update, or delete information from the portal and push the effective changes to all child sites. It is not acceptable to task an administrator to update each child site individually every time there is new, updated, or obsolete information.
- Users who are visiting the site should have a clear and efficient access to child sites that specifically pertain to them.
- Managing hundreds of vendor sites means the site directory will be quite expansive and lengthy. It is not feasible to ask users to scroll through the entire listing to find the site or sites they are looking for, especially if the listing is sorted in some method other than alphabetical order.
At first glance, the portal is a simple informational page, complete with announcements, contact information, and relevant links. A document library is displayed and maintained with several documents.
What is not obvious to the visitor is that these lists and libraries have additional columns that indicate whether the item or document should be rolled down to the child site or not. This field allows the administrators to push out information to child sites when the time is right and ensures that each child site will receive the same information at the same time.
What really promotes the use of this page, however, is the custom bookmarking feature that is placed at the top of the content area on the portal site. Office 365 includes a Follow control that allows users to keep up to date with sites, lists and libraries, and/or items and documents. Utilizing this functionality, users can "follow" a site, which will be recorded to a list. To display a customized collection of bookmarks, the content will need to pull from the listing of followed sites on a user by user basis. When users follow a site, a new listing is created and linked to a unique user ID. Upon loading the parent site, these listing are displayed at the top of the page for easy access.
Additionally, since the site titles are prepended by a unique vendor ID, a search control with dynamic filtering is implemented to assist in finding sites to bookmark or "follow". This search functionality will grow to be increasingly useful and mandatory as the number of child sites increases to the hundreds, and possibly thousands.