Information Technology Projects Course

Professor Arthur Goldberg
Computer Science Department
Fall 2004
Project Proposal


Company Description

As their web site states, this summarizes Medidata:

In early 1999, a group of researchers and scientists immersed in the world of clinical trials, but frustrated by the limitations of the data capture tools available, united to develop a revolutionary solution. Their goal was to create a powerful Electronic Data Capture system that would improve productivity and workflow, yet be easy to learn and use; something sophisticated enough to be simple.

Founded by clinical research professionals, Medidata understands the demanding needs of the clinical research environment. We take pride in our customer service and relationships; our aim is to work with your team as a partner, not just a vendor.

Proposal: Prototype An Internal Company Portal in Microsoft Sharepoint

Medidata is organized into several departments including Research & Development, Professional Services, Information Technology, Finance, Sales, and Quality Assurance.  Naturally, the company needs to share electronic documents within and between departments.  As expected, the firm must also control access to documents.  Medidata uses a network file system to share documents.  While this solution successfully supported a modest sized team, it does not scale to over a hundred employees and multiple offices – both of which Medidata has. In particular, a shared file system is difficult to reorganize, and does not conveniently support access control.  (For example, how does one give someone access to a document that is buried in a directory which they should not access?)  It has become a significant bottleneck to sharing information and working efficiently.

The goal of this project is to prototype an internal company portal in Microsoft Sharepoint.  The portal will become the primary user interface to shared files and other resources.  The portal should support at least these features:

Other needs will be identified during the project's requirements gathering stage.

The project should produce a plan that describes a staged approach for implementing and rolling out the portal. The plan must assist users gracefully migrate to the new system, without significant interruption of their productive work.

The architecture of the system will support browser access to the portal.  It will run in an IIS web server, on a Windows 2003 server.  It will access the shared network file system.

Medidata has decided to implement the portal in Sharepoint because they are a MSFT .net 'shop', and staying with Microsoft will simplify implementation and maintenance, as well as offer the possibility to integrate the portal with Medidata’s future product offerings.

Students will need to sign an NDA to participate in this project.  Students that work for a Medidata competitor are not eligible.

Intern Address

79 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Authorizing manager

Glen de Vries, Chief Technology Officer,, 212-918-1777

Project manager

Vik Shah, Senior Director Product/Program Management,, 212-918-1820

Meeting hours

Regular business hours (9-6, M-F)

Resources that will be made available to students

Medidata has a “best practices” team that understands past, current, and potential future Medidata operating procedures and how they relate to documentation that would be stored in the portal. Members of this team would be available for consultation during the requirements gathering phase of the project. Workspace (e.g. conference rooms) can be made available, and a development/sandbox SharePoint installation would be created and maintained by Medidata’s IT department.