HELP! S IT POSSIBLE TO BUILD A LEGAL CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM? WITH ORCHAD

Topics: Customizing Orchard, General, Writing modules
Jun 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Hi all,

We are a charity organization and we are looking to provide a legal case management system for the lawyers are helping us. We are looking for an open source platfom, as some of our members are involved in IT and sofware development, they will be able to help us.

We understand that a Legal Case Management system will be dificult to find, so we were thinking to use Orchadas the engine.

Does anyone knows if we could build the following with Orchad?

- Be able to create clients (with all the info)
- Be able to create mater (with all the info)
- Be able to create tasks for the lawyers
- Be able to store documents for the tasks.

Any ideas will be more than welcome, as we have never used Orchad,

Thanks a lot in advance,

Gabriel

Jun 20, 2011 at 5:59 AM

If your team is experienced with asp.net mvc then there is no reason why you could not create the Case management system you are looking for.

Note that Orchard is primarily a CMS, so from my point of view, you should be very careful what you make a content type and what will be just plain mvc with tables for data persistence.

Have your team draw a skeleton of what would be required. Let them experiment with Orchard for about 2 weeks in order to get through the documentation and actually learn Orchard, afterwards start a prototype. if you feel that the prototype when smooth then, by all means, use orchard as a platform for this system.

Jun 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM
sharpoverride wrote:

If your team is experienced with asp.net mvc then there is no reason why you could not create the Case management system you are looking for.

Note that Orchard is primarily a CMS, so from my point of view, you should be very careful what you make a content type and what will be just plain mvc with tables for data persistence.

Have your team draw a skeleton of what would be required. Let them experiment with Orchard for about 2 weeks in order to get through the documentation and actually learn Orchard, afterwards start a prototype. if you feel that the prototype when smooth then, by all means, use orchard as a platform for this system.

@sharpoverride: Just for clarification, what do you mean by "you should be very careful what you make a content type and what will be just plain mvc with tables for data persistence"? Is that to say that, for example, creating some sort of module for "create clients" (as @gabrielrenom stated) is not suited for the content paradigm in Orchard and that it would not be a good idea? or not feasible?  Just curious.  Thanks. 

Jun 21, 2011 at 2:24 PM

The short answer would be that I don't consider a customer as being a content type, because you don't want ( or at least I don't ) to manage the info about a client as a content type. I view some data as only being useful in the back-end or admin area.

But it's mostly a matter of taste.

Jun 22, 2011 at 7:58 PM

User is already a content type; so there's no reason why a customer shouldn't be one as well. My view is that in a web application "everything is content". The advantage in Orchard of using Content Types is that you they can be extended so easily with existing and new components.

Regarding the OP; my Media Garden project (http://orchardmediagarden.codeplex.com) now has a Documents module for document management. Combined with my many-to-many connectors in Mechanics (http://scienceproject.codeplex.com) you can do everything you need by defining everything as content types; create Task content items, attach Tasks to Users and Documents to Tasks, attach Users to Users to assign Clients to Lawyers -- the connectors themselves are also content types so you can have additional metadata across the relationships. Orchard also lets you define Roles so you could add Lawyer, Client, etc. roles to users.

Jun 23, 2011 at 7:55 AM

@randompete Nice! I should probably embrace your approach.

How many content parts do you think could be assigned to a content type before SQL Server starts screaming ? I mean whenever you want a content item it has to go and bring data from each contentPartRecord table that the ContentPart uses for persistence. I keep thinking that there has to be some penalty for really large content types. You'll probably say that very large content types should be mitigated by making bigger content parts.

My understanding is that Orchard uses 1 unique identifier ( an autoincrement number) for each Content Item. That id is spread through a bunch of tables in order to recompose the content item upon display. Joining many tables, in my experience has a significant drawback.

Am I just worrying for nothing?