ASP.Net case management CMS document management legal software

Is it better to extend or rewrite

I have been dealing with this conondrum for sometime now. The problem, well its not really a problem. Lets say that its an opportunity then. I have this opportunity to develop some software for a small legal practise I know of. They are very small, tiny is closer to the description as it consists of a single solicitor and spouse as the unpaid ‘volunteer’ helping out.

This person approached me a while back to come up with a small and cheap system which would provide basic needs of case management. They also want something that can build bundles a lot easier than the very manual process the have now.

So over the past while I have umm’d and ahhh’d over this. Being a software programmer, but mainly in desktop and database applications I have no contact at all with the legal case management area. So do what everyone else in my situation does. I google.

After a lot of looking around, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can either take a CMS and extend it to perform legal case management. Or I can write on from scratch. The latter does sound tempting as tying yourself into an existing framework can hamper some future customisations one wishes to do. Then there is technology, .Net or LAMP? (well there are more choices than that really).

Not being an expert in web technologies I have to decide this without really knowing anything. Who do I ask?  Maybe somebody in LinkedIn knows?

My choices are:

  • CiviCRM and extend it.
  • DotNetNuke and extend
  • Build from scratch on LAMP
  • Build from scratch on ASP.Net

The technology choices are quite open as I’d have to learn ASP.Net or PHP or whatever anyway. Though I’d rather stay away from MySQL and stick with something better like SQL Server and I do like Linq. So one choice made, it must be on ASP.Net!

Then I found this book Pro ASP.NET 4.0 CMS. I started to think. Yeah, all the source, no licences at all. Sounds good. Sounds very good.

Me and gang at Chameeya are gonna give this a go.

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