Plone and construction industry: brain dump
High time to dump some ideas on using Plone for the
construction industry. I’m not currently working with Plone professionally
anymore. And I’m also not working in the construction industry. I’ve however
been asked for my ideas :-)
- Plone is a great collaboration website. Users, groups, permissions:
everything is build-in. And such security and division of edit/view rights
is central to many construction industry web-based solutions.
- Storing pages, documents, powerpoints, drawings in a flexible folder
hierarchy: that’s what plone is all about.
- Workflow: Plone has multiple workflows and you can customize your own. So
Plone will almost certainly support all your review, control, worklist and
- Possible drawback: Plone is somewhat resource-hungry, so the hosting costs
will not be really low. But the license costs will beat the crap out of
many other options: totally free and a mighty set of out-of-the-box
But that’s just standard plone. We can do better. Grab a decent Plone
company (like zest software) and get them to
customize Plone for you.
- Tagging support. There are categories in Plone, but that’s quite limited.
Use an add-on or add support for your own (or a re-used) classification or
- Figure out what you need next to pages, documents and whole drawing files.
Chop them up. Smaller parts mean more detailed search results and more
- Specialized needs? Plone is customizable. If you chopped up your
information (into separate Plone content types) you can start exporting the
information in those pieces as XML or whatever format you desire. Look at
RDFa, or so-called microformats, even google is starting to
- Important: really work at it to make it all a bit granular: no huge
documents or drawing files, but smaller pieces. Coupled with good export
(xml, rdfa, json, etc) options, you can try and see if others want to use
your data or want to integrate your formats with their applications. Make
So, that’s my brain dump for now. I’ve got a load of more elaborate ideas in
my PhD thesis (html)
(or pdf) in case you’re up
to reading it :-)