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© 2021 Ambica
Last Updated:
22 October 2019
Version: 1.3.2

E-Science Fora (E-SF)

Client: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Period: Sep 2002 - Jun 2003

Role(s): Web Development

The Science Directorate (SD) had a number of web sites to interact with both the public and external scientists. It was decided to incorporate these and potential future sites in individual 'zones' within a single, generic web site (E-SF) with site and zone administrators having the ability to select 'blocks' of functionality for each 'zone'. The project used the DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) RAD (Rapid Application Development) methodology. Development used:

  • Compaq Proliant server
  • Windows NT 4.0 Server
  • SQL Server 7.0
  • IIS (Internet Information Server) 6.0
  • Visual Studio 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Visual Interdev 6.0
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • VBScript
  • ASP (Active Server Pages)

The web site was designed to run on Internet Explorer version 4 and above and Netscape version 4 and above on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple Mac operating systems. Ambica developed the initial prototype pages. Ambica then developed the following pages to completion:

  • All front end pages (site, zone and block home, login, terms and conditions, privacy statement, about and registration pages).
  • Mail merge and mail log (allowing administrators to email groups of users).
  • User administration (process user registration, add and maintain users, add, maintain and delete user group, assign user to user group, assign user/group to zone, user/group access rights).
  • Document library block (giving users functionality to upload, view, download and delete documents).

Ambica also implemented SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) on all pages where passwords were entered. Development was transferred to a new server running Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000 towards the end of the project prior to system testing. Following system testing, live date was delayed enabling following additions:

  • Security was enhanced following audit by QinetiQ.
  • Information library block was added.
  • Front end was changed to match Defra corporate branding.

E-SF is now live (see

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