In February 2003, Softline Absol was contracted by the Department of Communications to develop the global communications portal for the Presidential International Advisory Council. Absol was awarded the tender in partnership with Erasibo and Johnnic eVentures after beating out competitors like Dimension Data and MGX.
The Council was set up to discuss, recommend and advise on appropriate measures to enable sustainable growth and investment in the ICT sector and stimulate employment and job creation. The council consists of the leading minds and personalities in ICT from around the world including such personalities as Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation and Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP. The portal is also utilised by leading government officials including President Thabo Mbeki himself.
Absol was tasked with developing a solution based on the AbsolPublisher Content Management System and had to provide a secure, robust, easily maintainable document repository capable of importing existing data. The provision of a fully integrated and secure instant messaging component was a new feature addition to the AbsolPublisher product suite.
The following solution was achieved:
Our portal evokes a SSL key to guarantee security. The portal resides on MTN Networks high security back bone.
The portal caters for high volume of document traffic from around the world. The portal also pulls in news content from INET Bridge.
The Department does not have staff with HTML or other programming skills, thus the portal needed to be easily maintainable.
Importing of data
Absol had to migrate data from other databases in the department onto the portal's database.
The portal's database stores a vast array of documents in the document repository.
Portal members have access to a custom developed instant messaging tool that allows them to communicate with each other in real time and in groups, all correspondence is logged on the AbsolPublisher database, maintaining automatic "minutes" of all virtual meetings.
The portal is a high availability portal with a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%
The system was launched in June 2003 and can be viewed at www.isd.gov.za