A web portal is a site that functions as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web. Portals present information from diverse sources in a unified way. Aside from the search engine standard, web portals offer other services such as news, stock prices, infotainment and various other features. Portals provide a way for enterprises to provide a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether.
A personal portal is a site on the World Wide Web that typically provides personalized capabilities to its visitors, providing a pathway to other content. It is designed to use distributed applications, different numbers and types of middleware and hardware to provide services from a number of different sources. In addition, business portals are designed to share collaboration in workplaces. A further business-driven requirement of portals is that the content be able to work on multiple platforms such as personal computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cell phones.
It is often necessary to have a centralized application that has access to various other applications within the same enterprise to share the information across the applications. Also the various users with different roles accessing the different applications prefer to have a single access point to all of them over the Internet. They like to personalize the applications and have the coupled applications coordinated. Above all, the administrator users like to have administrative tools all in a single place to administer all the applications. All these are achieved through portals. Since all the applications share information through portals, there is better communication between various types of users. Another advantage of portals is that they can make event-driven campaigns. Below is detailed list of advantages of using portals:
- Intelligent integration and access to enterprise content, applications and processes.
- Improved communication and collaboration among customers, partners, and employees.
- Unified, real-time access to information held in disparate systems.
- Personalized user interactions.
- Rapid, easy modification and maintenance of the website presentation.