By Greg Wilson
The municipality outlines plan to develop a centralised portal based on Microsoft .Net, as part of Oman's e-government strategy.
Muscat Municipality is planning to use Microsoft.Net to develop its internet strategy. The municipality is developing a central information portal, as part of Oman’s broader e-government initiative.“Timely information depends on a robust IT infrastructure, which enables us to make the right decision at the right time,” explains Yaqoob Dur Mohammed Al Balushi, director of information systems directorate, Muscat Municipality.“As part of the country’s e-government initiative, Muscat Municipality [is] committed to providing employees and end users with information on a real time basis,” he adds.When live, the portal will enable visitors to browse for information by categories, conduct searches, subscribe to new or changing information, find data in core line of business applications, check documents, review a documents history and approve & publish documents. The web site infrastructure will be based on Microsoft’s internet development platform, .Net.“We were looking for a portal solution that gave us an integrated application environment and combines desktop productivity software with messaging and internet capabilities,” says Al Balushi. “With Microsoft’s platform we have achieved our aims and the first phase of the project is now live with over 700 users migrating to the new platform in a record 2 week time period,” he adds.Further development will include the deployment of Microsoft’s Content Management Server 2001 and integration with SharePoint Portal Server 2001 to increase collaboration and streamline information flow.“A combination of the products’ ease of use, ease of deployment, local support and compatibility with existing infrastructure, placed Microsoft’s technologies on top of the list,” comments Al-Bulushi. “In addition, personalisation capabilities of the SharePoint Portal Server 2001 and its easy integration with our data warehouse were key factors in selecting this particular solution,” he adds.