I have a client who needs to set up a site to share documents with a select group of users.
The documents in question are related to a lawsuit so the site needs to be secure and password-protected. The majority of the documents are PDFs. They will need to be organized in categories for easy browsing.
The site will be maintained by an attorney (i.e., not a webmaster) who will need to be able to add and remove documents and maintain a page which gives updates on the progress of the case.
I'm thinking that what he needs is an extranet solution. But the site only needs to be a one-way street -- that is, the users are all read-only. (No comments or responses.) So most of the available solutions seem like overkill.
Your solution would be to create a simple web front end for the lawyer where he can upload these PDF files and create a password for the directory. Perhaps put them all in a ZIP file, which can be password protected.
I'd store the paths and passwords in a simple database, even Access would work for this, unless you're talking about thousands of uploads.
then, the users could login, be validated, and then download the stuff, using another password to access the zip file, with the PDFs.
If you have access / control of the server, I would set up the Plone/Zope combination. Doing some CSS to make it look nice and you are done.
Plone does exactly what you are looing for. Set member permissions to not be able to create content just view it.
Plone has a very easy to manage UI. So the attourney should have no problem uploading the documents, and you can even set discussions enabled to be able to track everyones comments about every document/event....
Essentially, with plone you are not going to have to do much more work than train, and maybe make it look more like you want it to.
I'm hoping to do something as simple as possible. Unfortunately, the solutions that seem to be available are either 1) an FTP site, which would require the manual construction of a front end for a variety of features, or 2) programs so feature-rich that they don't seem worth it. I'm sure there must be a piece of software out there that does what I'm looking for -- that's really what I had in mind rather than a custom development job. Any ideas?
WS_FTP Pro will integrate with PGP quite nicely so that you can automatically encrypt/decrypt documents to specified keys. You can use some pretty large keys which would lock things down securely. That would ensure only authorized persons could open the files.