Portal Fundamentals

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					Portal Fundamentals

     david.morrison
    Common Portal Categories
 Corporate or Enterprise (Intranet)
  Portals
 e-Business (Extranet) Portals
 Personal (WAP) portals
 Public or Mega (Internet) portals
Enterprise Information
     Portals (EIP)
 Portals designed for businesses to keep
  employees in The Know™.
 Support activities and communities to
  improve the access, processing and
  sharing of structured and unstructured
  information within and across the
  enterprise.
 Designed to incorporate roles, processes,
  workflow, collaboration, content
  management, and data warehousing in a
  central, easily accessible location
   Shilakes & Tyleman, Merrill Lynch, Inc.
    define Enterprise Information Portals as
    "applications that enable companies to
    UNLOCK internally stored information, and
    provide users with a single gateway to
    PERSONALIZED information and
    knowledge to make informed business
    DECISIONS".
Examples of Enterprise
  Information Portals
    Business Intelligence Portals
   A corporate portal that enables users to
    access and produce reports for decision-
    making purposes on enterprise-wide
    databases.
                 Horizontal portals
   Horizontal portals are generic in nature and cut across
    the organization.
   Examples
       Collaboration -Enterprise Collaborative Portals (ECP) - which
        provide virtual places for people to work together
       Expertise - Enterprise Expertise Portals (EEP) - which provide
        connections between people based on their abilities
       Knowledge Management - Enterprise Knowledge Portals (EKP) -
        which provide all of the above and proactively deliver links to
        content and people that are directly relevant to user's tasks in
        real time.
       Content management
       Document management
                        Role portals
   Role portals are evolving to support the three business models of
    B2E, B2C and B2B.
   Role portals for B2E support the access and availability of
    personalized information for employees, as well as employee self-
    service.
   Role portals for B2C support the linkage and relationship between
    the corporation and its customers. Role portals for B2C support the
    service and support activities, workflow and collaboration between
    the corporation and its customers. Role portals also support
    customer self-service.
   Role portals for B2B support the information flow, business activities
    and processes across the corporation and its suppliers and partners
    for distribution and supply chain management activities.
e-Business (Extranet)
       Portals
    Extended enterprise portals
 Business to customer (B2C) portals which
  extend the enterprise to its customers for
  the purpose of ordering, billing, customer
  service, self-service, etc…
 Business to business (B2B) portals which
  extends the enterprise to its suppliers and
  partners. B2B portals are transforming the
  supplier and value chain process and
  relationships.
            e-Marketplace portals
   An example of an e-marketplace portal is CommerceOne.net.
    Commerce One.net focuses on the North American Maintenance,
    Repair and Operations (MRO) market. Commerce One.net provides
    commerce related services to its community of buyers, sellers and
    net market makers.
   Another example of an e-Marketplace portal is VerticalNet.
    VerticalNet Marketplaces portal connects buyers and sellers online
    by providing industry-specific news and related product and service
    information. Buyers can find the information they need to quickly
    locate, source and purchase products and services online. Suppliers
    are able to generate sales leads by showcasing their products and
    services across multiple marketplaces to reach highly qualified
    buyers.
Application Service Provider portals
   An Application Service Provider is a company
    that provides software functionality over the
    Internet or a private network for a fee.
   Examples of an ASP, B2B portal is Portera's
    ServicePort and Salesforce.com. ServicePort is
    both an application and web information portal
    for the professional services industry.
    Salesforce.com manages the sales and
    reporting process for a distributed mobile sales
    team.
Personal portals
              Mobility portals
   Portals that are embedded in web phones,
    cellular phones, wireless PDAs, pagers, etc.
   Personal or mobility portals are becoming
    increasingly popular and important for
    consumers and employees to obtain product
    and services information, prices, discounts,
    availability, order status, payment status,
    shipping status, scheduling and installation
    information, etc.
        Personal Resource Portals
 Portals which are designed to organize
  personal information in a form of rapidly
  accessible index or table.
 Possible categories:
     Bookmarks
     Contacts
     Schedules
     Media Indexes
            Appliance portals
 These are portals that are embedded in
  devices away from a personal computer
 Examples:
     TVs (WebTV, AOLTV)
     Automobiles (OnStar)
     Other Home Appliances
Mega (Internet) portals
 Organizations that fit into this category are
  becoming "new media" companies and are
  focused on building large on-line
  audiences with large demographics or
  professional orientation.
 Divided into two sub-categories: General
  public portals and vertical portals
           General public portals
   Portals that attempt to address the entire
    Internet versus a specific community of interest
   Examples:
       Yahoo
       Google
       Overture
       AOL
       MSN
   As time progresses, the number of portals will
    decrease due to consolidation.
                 Vertical portals
   Vertical portals or vortals are rapidly growing
    and they are focused on specific narrow
    audiences or communities such as consumer
    goods, computers, retail, banking, insurance,
    etc.
   Examples of vertical portals include:
       iVillage, which focuses on families
       The Thomas Register of American Manufacturers for
        products and services
       Bitpipe, a syndicator of information technology
        content
Community Portals in the
 business environment
        Employee Community
   Designed to make the people component of an
    organization as productive and successful as
    possible.
   Companies leverage data and information about
    their employees and management to allow
    individuals and work groups to be more
    productive, produce more work with fewer
    people, share best practices, work more
    efficiently and make better decisions on a
    timelier basis.
           Employee Community
           Common Resources
   Human Resources
   Recruiting
   Training
   Accounting
   Financial planning and analysis
   Legal
   IT
   Project management
   Research and development
           Customer Community
   Designed to improve a company's ability to acquire,
    serve, and retain customers.
   Competitive advantage is becoming more about
    customer intimacy, relationships and service than
    product features and innovation.
   With a secure and scalable portal, businesses can
    deliver key information within and outside the firewall so
    employees and customers can view products and prices,
    track orders, check inventory and view delivery and
    service call status.
   The level of customer information and self-service will
    improve customer relationships and retention.
       Customer Community
       Common Resources
 Marketing
 Prospecting
 Sales
 Field service
 Relationship management
 Ordering
 Customer service
 Support
            Supplier Community
   Directed toward improving the company's ability to
    identify, maintain, and manage suppliers.
   Organizations are integrating and transforming their
    supply chain and realizing the value of up-to-the-minute
    information to manage more efficiently.
   Organizations are also trying to reduce redundancy,
    improve time to market and reduce overall costs.
   Improved information flow across the organization and
    supply chain will enable employees to make proactive,
    fact-based decisions
         Supplier Community
         Common Resources
 Ordering and Fulfillment
 Procurement
 Planning
 Sourcing
 Inventory Control
 Logistics and Distribution
 Manufacturing
             Partner Community
   Partner community portal allows corporate employees as
    well as channel partners to view information across both
    the enterprise and the channel partner.
   Companies are looking to reduce their costs, improve
    their time-to-market, improve their overall efficiencies
    and generally improve their supplier relationships.
   Organizations need the flexibility and nimbleness to
    enter in and out of partner relationships on an on going
    basis, based on dynamic changes and competitive
    pressures in the market.
   Companies will utilize partner information portals to
    provide access to and share information across the
    value chain with their partners, in order to collaborate on
    selling, delivering and serving their combined customers.
              Partner Community
              Common Resources
   Share Marketing Documents, Product Release
    Schedules
   Distribute leads to reseller channel
   Manage Forecasts from multiple channel partners
   Collect up to date partner profile information
   Collaborate on joint selling opportunities
   Provide channel with a knowledge base for both sales
    and technical support
   Provide access to partner-specific training, documents,
    etc.
   Schedule resources based on demand
   Collect feedback from partners on both sales and
    product issues
Portal Framework
             Presentation services
   This layer of a portal framework deals with the presentation of the
    portal content / portlets to the end users and serves as the web
    interface.
   This is typically done in HTML, but it might also be done in WML (for
    wireless devices) or some other format in the future.
   Because a portal is a collection of different panes (also referred to
    as portlets, or web services), the question of where the presentation
    work gets done may or may not be straightforward.
   In many portals, each portlet generates the HTML necessary for that
    portlet, and then the portal server aggregates these portlets into a
    final HTML presentation.
   In other portals, each portlet is really a Web Service, which returns
    XML and returns an XSLT, which the portal then transforms to the
    final presentation format.
                Information services
   A portal is an aggregation of one or more Information services.
   An Information service can be thought of as meaningful information -
    which might come from a structured data source, unstructured
    content sources inside the corporation, or external information
    available on public or private web sites.
   The information may be coming from third-party sources in the form
    of a web service (e.g. syndicated content), or might be provided in
    the form of documents. End users can then subscribe to one or
    more information service on a personalized basis as part of their
    portal customization.
   Examples
        Stock Quote Ticker
        Local weather Information
        Syndicated Headlines
           Infrastructure services
   A robust portal framework includes multiple levels of
    infrastructure services that provide a comprehensive
    unification and integration platform.
   This includes the services related to load balancing,
    caching, high availability and performance that are
    provided by the web server environment, as well as the
    underlying security infrastructure.
   The security infrastructure at this layer consists of secure
    access related issues (firewalls, VPN's, etc.). Also
    included are LDAP synchronization, unified
    authentication, single cross-platform login and
    authorization services of the portal.
         Identity Management and
             Security Services
   The identity services layer deals with security
    issues at the level of the portal and at a cross-
    application level.
   Includes authentication services
    (username/password management, LDAP
    synchronization, single sign-on, groups, etc.).
   Provides authorization services, which map the
    roles, privileges of end users to individual
    security policies and to domains of content
    within the portal.
    Administration and Management
                services
   Administration/Management services are necessary for
    the portal to be easily administered and supported,
    allowing "power users" to configure the portal framework
    for the end user community.
   The managing IT organization can configure, manage
    and support the environment.
   Administration services are offered through a Web
    interface in many portals and in some cases there is a
    separate client/server program that makes administration
    easy.
   Services might include taxonomy management, user
    management, configuration management, role
    management, registration of modules and information
    services.
Access and Integration services
   A comprehensive portal solution will provide the
    architecture for tying into back-end databases
    and applications.
   The Access and Integration services layer
    provides this functionality to the portal, and even
    to individual Portlets.
   This layer may tie into an existing EAI solution to
    get access to certain back-end adapters or APIs.
   A well formulated Access and Integration
    services layer will allow for the development of
    additional adapters for new systems as needed.
             Content Services
   Content services deal with the management of
    unstructured digital assets within the portal.
   Includes a full text indexing engine, a set of
    crawlers that are capable of navigating and
    indexing existing content, a metadata repository,
    and a content management system to allow for
    the submittal and approval of content into the
    portal.
   This layer also includes a taxonomy manager.
          Collaboration services
   Allow end users of the portal to work together
    more effectively by establishing shared
    workspaces, shared document repositories,
    interaction in real-time and shared discussion
    forums.
   Collaboration services also allow for the
    definition and execution of workflow across the
    enterprise and outside the enterprise to different
    content sources and back end systems.
       Development services
 Development services is an environment
  that allows for the development of custom
  portals, custom portal modules, or
  Portlets.
 Very often, these Portlets will be
  implemented as tiers of Web Services.
 Allow for the creation of these modules, by
  providing http, rendering, customization,
  and XML-related services.
        Application services
 services that are obtained via a portal
  engine or a portal assistant through an API
  interface (sometimes called gadgets or
  portlets) or EAI layer.
 include interfaces and integration to
  enterprise software packages
 provide access to other legacy systems,
  content management, document
  management and collaboration.
Portal Components
                Directory
 The portal's directory is its organization of
  content into a structure and hierarchy of
  categories.
 The directory is the implementation within
  the portal of the enterprise's taxonomy.
Browse / Navigate Documents
   This feature enables portal users to
    manually locate content by navigating the
    directory structure.
                     Search
   Indexes enterprise content from multiple storage
    systems and allows users to browse and retrieve
    content based on selection criteria.
   Searching across multiple portals and their
    integrated applications is referred to as
    "federated" or network search.
   In this scenario, the user can specify the search
    criteria once, but retrieve relevant content links
    from the diverse repositories targeted by the
    search.
      Content management
 Process of authoring, contributing,
  reviewing, approving, publishing,
  delivering, and maintaining content
  integrated with or accessed from a portal
  or other web site.
 Generally the text and graphical content
  that is viewed in a web browser.
     Document management
 The control and management of an
  enterprise's documents (other than web
  pages) stored in electronic files, including
  scanned images of paper documents.
 Includes check in and check out of
  documents to ensure version control.
    End User Customization
 The capability of portals to allow users to
  specify their own preferences for the user
  interface look-and-feel attributes.
 Accommodates preferences for color
  schemes, modules that appear, and the
  layout of the modules and content on a
  page of the portal.
           Personalization
 Each individual user can have settings for
  each of the portal functions that they use.
 A community, or group of users, can have
  settings and settings can be established
  up to the organizational level.
 A portal provides the framework for users
  to store the settings and tailor the content
  that they are interested in seeing.
               Expert Locator
   In addition to helping users locate information
    that is important to them, a portal can be very
    useful in finding "experts" within the
    organization.
   Extends the concept of corporate knowledge to
    include people and their skill sets.
   These skill sets are implicit in their job functions
    and the types of information they regularly
    handle.
               Collaboration
   Enable a group of users to work together to
    share ideas and complete work as a team.
   Includes electronic interactions among users in
    different physical locations in real time
    ("synchronous") and at different times
    ("asynchronous").
   Forms of collaboration are instant messaging
    ("chat") systems, team workspace, and
    discussion forums, document sharing, electronic
    white boarding, virtual conferencing, and video
    conferencing.
                      Alerts
   A notification of an event or change based on
    one or more conditions involving single or
    multiple information or application sources.
   These notifications can be delivered within a
    portal as well as by other mechanisms such as
    e-mail or wireless device.
   Alerts usually accommodate individual user
    preferences, such as the delivery mechanism
    and format, the conditions that should trigger an
    alert, and the frequency of notification.
            Subscriptions
 Allows individuals to register an interest in
  or "subscribe" to a particular component or
  category of content.
 Portals will then notify the subscribers
  when the content changes or new content
  is added.
                    Workflow
   The efficient electronic management of a
    business process, including roles, tasks,
    templates, checkpoints, approvals, and
    escalation procedures.
   Workflow systems are administered and
    integrated to achieve the interaction between
    different component modules of the portal
    through which the business process flows.
   Notification alerts that a workflow step or task
    have been assigned are typically delivered
    through the portal to its users.
                 Single sign-on
   The ability to see information from multiple systems, in
    multiple formats, all presented on a single page view is
    perhaps the largest benefit to a portal's user community.
   Significant reduction in employee orientation and
    training, as well as timesaving for the users who can
    monitor and update multiple systems through a single
    web view of the enterprise.
   Different systems that make up a page within a portal
    may be secured with different user login credentials,
    single sign-on solutions facilitate the navigation among
    the systems through a single authentication scheme.
Portal Design
Considerations
                 Trends
 Portals have emerged in many markets as
  strong component of any solution delivery.
 Understanding the new and noteworthy
  directions affecting the portal market are
  an important step of defining the solution
  for corporate strategy for deployment for
  any project manager or technologist
  working with or planning for portal
  solutions.
               Feasibility Study
   Such a study targets specific objectives
       accessing and prioritizing business requirements
       determining the feasibility of the fundamental concept
       identifying and weighing the issues surrounding the
        implementations
       identifying critical success factors
       determining the likely cost of meeting the business
        requirements based on the priority scheme.

   Feasibility for an enterprise wide implementation
    can typically be demonstrated via a prototype or
    pilot of the proposed solution.
        Critical Success Factors
   Enterprise wide portal implementations are giving rise to
    a new set of Critical Success Factors (CSF's).
   Most implementations have standard success factors
    such as the following
       well understood requirements
       top management support
       business area representation
       a culture that supports collaboration and teamwork
   There are more refined success factors specific to portal
    implementations that involve striking an important
    balance between items
       centralization and decentralization
       ease of use and security
       pure technology vs. pure business focus
    Return on Investment (ROI)
   A calculation of how much money will be saved
    or earned as the result of an investment in a
    Portal Solution.
   Calculations should be used in developing a
    business case for a given proposal; be sure to
    factor in investments of both time and capital.
   Typically in Portal implementations, streamlining
    business processes commonly returns ROI,
    however for each implementation of a portal the
    detailed ROI can be calculated.
      Information Requirements
   Understanding the business information usage is the first major step
    involved prior to selecting the Portal technology.
   Conduct a business information study to understand how information is
    used within an organization. Understand the following:
        who uses the information
        how the information is used
        how it flows into, within and out of each of the business areas.
   Typically as part of this discovery phase, 3 generic types of usage will be
    revealed:
        Internal use for an application area- internal user communities (B2E)
        Business-to-business trading community (B2B)
        Business-to-consumer (B2C)
   The study data will allows the developer to consider the implications for
    security, availability and scalability in the production environment.
   Determine user classes and communities.
   Identify information, resources, applications and tools these communities
    need to access via a portal to do their jobs.
     Enterprise Architecture
 This architecture includes the plans,
  methods, and tools aimed at providing a
  single point of access to information and
  applications from across an enterprise.
 Enterprise architecture defines the
  technological blueprint for how all the
  technical components of the enterprise fit
  together.
               References
   PortalsCommunity.com – Library:
    Fundamentals

				
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posted:7/30/2012
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