In this post I’ll explain how our Download Center will be constructed, how it works and what’s the idea behind it.
The Download Center is a project I developed in the past for a company where I worked for; this project was a part of another part of the project that had two main goals: first I was trying to reduce the overall cost of the IT department in Europe, the second was to improve the relationship the IT Department and the rest of the world, that’s to say The Users!
At that period the IT Dept. wasn’t seen very good because we were spending a lot of money for upgrades, technology changes and so on, this was resulting in a bad consideration of our department versus the users because they just thought “They are spending a lot of money with no real advantage and, above all, I have no visibility on how this budget is spent.”
By creating this project and others I was able to A) reduce IT costs by 20% (reduced telecommunication costs with another project) and B) Give the Users more control on their IT assets, expenses and have them do many things “self-service” resulting for us in a significant decrease of the customer calls and consequentially reducing the workload on the IT staff.
Ok, go ahead now and see why I created this project! The company had a lot or “road-runners” that means that many users were travelling a lot in Europe, Asia, US and most of them had no Administrative privileges at all so we had the need of providing them a tool that allowed to obtain the Company licensed software in the easiest, fastest way possible.
The Download Center is a set of ASP pages that relies on 2 Microsoft Access databases and the Domain users/groups membership to work.
The two databases were called downloads.mdb and hits.mdb (we’ll discuss later their table structure), while the Domain users/groups part was used to check whether the user visiting the page was entitled to download/install the given software. Let’s say: you need Microsoft Frontpage? You must be a member of the “MSFrontPage” security group.
In addition to this feature the Download Center is also capable of redirecting the users to the closes server possible so this also reduce the download times and costs because the road-runners where mainly connected in RAS and VPN from Hotels.
In the next post I’ll discuss more about the databases and the start page…keep on reading!