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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.
Any suggestions on available software or ASPs?
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.
Not difficult at all.
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.