For the latest project I have been working on I have been building a “virtual office” intranet using Amazon Web Services. One thing I wanted to add was a simple way for people to update continuously on projects they are working on as well as having a good place to exchange ideas as a group. I came up with using WordPress with the micro-blog theme Prologue. The theme allows for people adding a post at top of main page. So this will allow us to avoid having users login to the back-end admin section. One thing I did to do this was add this hack to wp-login.php to allow people to login then be redirected back to main page of site to post micro-blogs.
To integrate the new internal micro-blog was to hook it into our LDAP infrastructure. I found the Simple LDAP Login plugin to allow users to authenticate to our Fedora Directory Servers. Another addition to make it more Twitter like was to add the Prologuer Bot being that users will be utilizing Jabber/XMPP for internal instant messaging. The bot allows people to post and read from the WP/Prologue site. Another thing to keep in mind once you setup the site is to edit the permalinks structure to be custom with /%author%/%post_id%/ structure. Another bonus to the Prologue theme is it has RSS links next to tags and authors to allow users to easily follow messages in their favorite RSS reader.
Using internal micro-blogging can be a very effective means of exchanging information and ideas. I look forward to seeing it in action and being of value to the company.
UPDATE: If any of you wish to use WordPress/Prologue for private group micro-blogging you can setup an account on WordPress.com then edit your themes to be the Prologue theme. To lock down access go to Settings > Privacy and select the “I would like my blog to be visible only to users I choose” option and add users who can access it. This may require people to also signup for a WordPress.com account of course. There is an option to signup for just a username for those who do not wish to have a blog in addition.
I have been working on some new projects since leaving my last job about 6 months ago. One is to build an entire infrastructure that is highly available and redundant. With Amazon Web Services this is a snap and almost makes my job obsolete. With EC2, S3, EBS, and CloudFront you can build a scalable solution with dependable backups with ease. My goal now is to also use AWS to create an intranet for the company. I have not found much on this topic so I ma taking the time to document it here. My ideas so far:
- Use Fedora Directory Server as main LDAP solution. This can be used with EBS (Elastic Block Storage) with striped volumes to store the LDAP data. Along with having redundant multi-master replication geographically depending on where the EC2 instance is set.
- Subversion server using EBS for storage. Using EC2 for something along the lines of SVN is a good use since it speeds up performance. Along with having the backup ability of EBS and EBS Snapshots
- Twiki as documentation for intranet.
- SugarCRM for customer relationship management which will include project management and bug tracking.
- S3 for backing up users data automatically. This is helpful since it is a telecommuting company. Using a tool like JungleDisk or similar.
- The DEV and Staging environments will also be on AWS with same Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) as the production environment.
That is all I have so far I will update as the project comes along.