Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Looking for a consultant on a "Drupal6-based collaborative workspace"

Sharing this email to see if someone knows of a consultant who can assist on this project.
Hello Friends, 
I'm using LinkedIn to find quality consultants to bid on a project my organization is spec'ing out. I have not contacted many of you in many years, so please don't be offended if you feel this is kind of spammy, but I thought you might know someone interested in responding to this RFI we have crafted: 
I'm facilitating the project for a colleague--I have my hands full. The RFI is a tool we are using instead of an RFP or just diving in and adding this project to my workload with my one existing contract developer. 
So far, the kinds of responses I'm getting are basically: "I'm a smart developer and charge @25/hr; when can we start?" We need someone who will actually read the RFI and respond. 
If you would like to pass this on to trusted people you know--or have feedback for me--I would appreciate that very much!

Thank you!
--Dave Atkins

Here's a more specific and technical commentary from me that frames the project:

The attached Request for Information (RFI) describes our need for a tool that will allow collaborative management of information similar to a shared spreadsheet and be compatible with our Drupal6-based collaborative workspace. We are open to different approaches--whatever works most efficiently with our project--but my preference is to integrate this solution in a way that it can be used for other situations where we need to gather and manage data from multiple organizations who use our workspace.

Our workspace/extranet is a highly-customized Drupal site organized around organic groups with complex permissions. One approach could be to create a new custom content type and then assign the nodes created with this type to the appropriate organic group, so the resulting "document" would only be accessible to other group members. An alternative approach would be to develop a custom php-based application with its own database, then integrate authentication. A third path would be the completely non-integrated solution or some off-the-shelf product that automagically does it all. Because we don't have enough information to choose an architectural path, we developed this RFI. However, you may choose whatever approach you feel most expert in and propose a solution. If we receive multiple similar solutions we will followup with questions to identify the best proposal.

Some things to consider:

  • The solution needs to be easy for the end users. They have their own systems containing the data to be uploaded and will not be asked to change or conform their datasets to a standard. We need to give them a one-time data mapping wizard that works for both import and update.
  • We do not want to design data entry screens. Users are not going to be asked to copy and paste from the screens of their systems to another system.
  • We do expect non-technical end users will perform the initial data mapping or follow a simple procedure such as export to XML, then import with this tool. We need this general approach to avoid having to write custom ETL scripts for every user. We do not have that level of access to the users: we need to give them a finished working tool, not more work.

The budget for this project is somewhat flexible. We don't expect credible solutions for $500, but we also do not view this as enterprise software development. It should be doable in the 1-2 month timeframe following an agile approach where, once engaged, you work with us to test and refine the solution.