Since Jason wasn't very verbose in his response :) I thought I'd elaborate.
Drupal is a good choice for this kind of activity. It has a number of features that come ready or nearly ready to do what you're looking to do. With two thousand modules, you're also likely to get other needed functionality without a lot of work. You will, of course, need a developer to help you build out the system, but the day to day maintenance can be done in-house. If you have PHP/HTML people in-house, you might be able to develop it on your own, too.
I could brainstorm on the types of modules you'd need, but Drupal has wide acceptance around the world, and is also making inroads to libraries. I think you would be quite successful in building such a system in Drupal, but the devil is really in the details, both in terms of what you want and what is offered by the various modules out there.
As for reasonable fees, you'd probably want to a simple RFP to get your ideas in order, indicate that Drupal is a requirement and see what developers/companies come back with. I've done freelance work and I would honestly say that it's not possible to create an accurate estimate with only the information contained in your email.
IT Specialist, Web Services Department
Smithsonian Institution Libraries | http://www.sil.si.edu/
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On Sep 6, 2011, at 8:04 PM, Fowler, Jason wrote:
> On 11-09-06 4:20 PM, "Heather Rayl" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> ** apologies for cross-posting **
> Hi there,
> We have a database of performers that we use in our libraries. Currently,
> the data is stored on one person's computer in a file maker pro db that only
> this one person has access to (Hooray for legacy systems!). In order for the
> rest of the staff to have access to the performer listings, this one person
> runs yearly reports and they are posted on the staff intranet in a
> rather unwieldy series of pdf documents for staff to browse. For a sense of
> scale, we have over 80 libraries, about probably around 300-400 staff people
> accessing these documents, and there are probably around 400 or so
> performers in the database. Clearly, we need a new system of managing these
> What we would like is something like a Yelp-like system for the performer
> database (online obviously), where performers have the ability to go in and
> update their contact information, the kinds of programs they offer, their
> program descriptions, the price of their programs etc. Staff would have the
> ability to search the database in a myriad of ways, mark favorite ones, and
> submit an evaluation of the performer (that the performer cannot see). The
> evals could be anything from "This person was great and I would use them
> again in a heartbeat" to "Don't book this person. They were late. gave me a
> hassle about the invoice and smelled like cheap wine." Ideally, the
> moderators of the database would also have the ability to make some of the
> comments "public" to the performers for their own use in advertising, etc.
> but this is not a requirement.
> So here's what we're grappling with:
> 1. We can purchase a product that would give us the framework to do this. I
> realize that something like a wiki would let us do some of these things, but
> really we are rather freaky about our content control, and a wiki is just
> too free-wheeling!
> 2. We can hire a developer/programmer to design a custom solution for us.
> So my questions for the list are:
> 1. do you know of any products that do what we want?
> 2. if we were to hire someone, how much is a "reasonable" fee - we have some
> money in our budget, but we don't really know what a real person would
> charge for this, and if the money in our budget would cover it. And I don't
> want to go through writing an RFP for it if in the end we won't be able to
> afford it anyway.
> Usually we develop most stuff in house, but this is outside the scope of our
> Many, many thanks for your thoughts!
> ~heather rayl
> Internet Services Coordinator
> County of L.A. Public Library