Web portal: Wikis

  
  

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A web portal, also known as a links page, presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. Apart from the standard search engine feature, web portals offer other services such as e-mail, news, stock prices, information, databases and entertainment. Portals provide a way for enterprises to provide a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications and databases, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether. Examples of public web portals are AOL, iGoogle, MSNBC, Netvibes, and Yahoo!.[1]

Contents

History

In the late 1990's the web portal was a hot commodity. After the proliferation of web browsers in the late-1990s many companies tried to build or acquire a portal, to have a piece of the Internet market. The web portal gained special attention because it was, for many users, the starting point of their web browser. Netscape became a part of America Online, the Walt Disney Company launched Go.com, and Excite and @Home became a part of AT&T during the late 1990s. Lycos was said to be a good target for other media companies such as CBS.


The portal craze, with "old media" companies racing to outbid each other for Internet properties, died down with the dot-com flameout in 2000 and 2001. Disney pulled the plug on Go.com, Excite went bankrupt and its remains were sold to iWon.com. Some portal sites such as Yahoo! and those others first listed in this article remain successful.

Types of portals

Horizontal vs. vertical portal

Two broad categorizations of portals are horizontal portals, which cover many areas, and vertical portals, which are focused on one functional area. Another definition for a horizontal portal is, that it is used as a platform to several companies in the same economic sector or to the same type of manufacturers or distributors.[2] A vertical portal consequently is a specialized entry point to a specific market or industry niche, subject area, or interest, also called vortal.[3]

Vertical Information Portal

A Vertical Information Portal (VIP) is a specialized entry point to a specific marketplace and or Industry niche. VIP's provide news, editorial content,digital publications, and Ecommerce capabilities. Separate from traditional Vertical Portals, VIP's provide dynamic multi-media applications including social networking, video posting, and blogging.

VIP Advertising Model

VIP's utilize conventional web advertising, but also implement landing page advertising, an SEO based program that creates specific editorial content based the advertisers traffic needs.

References

Definition by Tech Target
Vertical Portals Definition by Content Manager
BitPipe Portals by Definition
Yahoo News! Highlights new VIP
Vertical Enterprise Portals by Industry

Personal portals

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/mobile phones. Information, news, and updates are examples of content that would be delivered through such a portal. Personal portals can be related to any specific topic such as providing friend information on a social network or providing links to outside content that may help others beyond your reach of services. Portals are not limited to simply providing links. Information or content that you are putting on the internet creates a portal, or a path to new knowledge and/or capabilities.

Regional web portals

Along with the development and success of international personal portals such as Yahoo!, regional variants have also sprung up. Some regional portals contain local information such as weather forecasts, street maps and local business information. Another notable expansion over the past couple of years is the move into formerly unthinkable markets.

"Local content - global reach" portals have emerged not only from countries like Korea (Naver), India (Rediff), China (Sina.com), Romania, Greece (in.gr) and Italy, but in countries like Vietnam where they are very important for learning how to apply e-commerce, e-government, etc. Such portals reach out to the widespread diaspora across the world.

Government web portals

At the end of the dot-com boom in the 1990s, many governments had already committed to creating portal sites for their citizens. In the United States the main portal is USA.gov in English and GobiernoUSA.gov in Spanish in addition to portals developed for specific audiences such as Disability.gov; in the United Kingdom the main portals are Directgov (for citizens) and businesslink.gov.uk (for businesses).
The official web portal of the European Union is Europa (web portal). Europa links to all EU agencies and institutions in addition to press releases and audiovisual content from press conferences.
All relevant health topics from across Europe are gathered in the Health-EU portal.

Corporate web portals

Corporate intranets became common during the 1990s. As intranets grew in size and complexity, webmasters were faced with increasing content and user management challenges. A consolidated view of company information was judged insufficient; users wanted personalization and customization. Webmasters, if skilled enough, were able to offer some capabilities, but for the most part ended up driving users away from using the intranet.

Many companies began to offer tools to help webmasters manage their data, applications and information more easily, and through personalized views. Portal solutions can also include workflow management, collaboration between work groups, and policy-managed content publication. Most can allow internal and external access to specific corporate information using secure authentication or single sign-on.

JSR168 Standards emerged around 2001. Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 standards allow the interoperability of portlets across different portal platforms. These standards allow portal developers, administrators and consumers to integrate standards-based portals and portlets across a variety of vendor solutions.

The concept of content aggregation seems to still gain momentum and portal solution will likely continue to evolve significantly over the next few years. The Gartner Group predicts generation 8 portals to expand on the Business Mashups concept of delivering a variety of information, tools, applications and access points through a single mechanism.[citation needed]

With the increase in user generated content, disparate data silos, and file formats, information architects and taxonomist will be required to allow users the ability to tag (classify) the data. This will ultimately cause a ripple effect where users will also be generating ad hoc navigation and information flows.

Corporate Portals also offer customers & employees self-service opportunities.

Stock Portals

Also known as Stock-share Portals, Stock market portals or Stock exchange portals are Web-based applications that facilitates the process of informing the share-holders with substantial online data such as the latest price, ask/bids, the latest News, reports and announcements. Some stock portals use online gateways through a central depository system (CDS) for the visitors to buy or sell their shares or manage their portfolio (finance).

Tender's Portals

It stands for a gate way to achieve data on tenders and professional processing of continuous online tenders. With a tender portal the complete tendering process– submitting of proposals, assessment, administration – will be done on the web. Electronic or Online Tendering is just carrying out the same traditional tendering process in an electronic form, using the Internet.

Using Online Tendering, the Bidders can :

• Receive notification of the tenders
• Receive tender documents online
• Fill out the forms online
• Submit proposals and documents
• Submit Bids Online

Hosted web portals

As corporate portals gained popularity a number of companies began offering them as a hosted service. The hosted portal market fundamentally changed the composition of portals. In many ways they served simply as a tool for publishing information instead of the loftier goals of integrating legacy applications or presenting correlated data from distributed databases. The early hosted portal companies such as Hyperoffice.com or the now defunct InternetPortal.com focused on collaboration and scheduling in addition to the distribution of corporate data. As hosted web portals have risen in popularity their feature set has grown to include hosted databases, document management, email, discussion forums and more. Hosted portals automatically personalize the content generated from their modules to provide a personalized experience to their users. In this regard they have remained true to the original goals of the earlier corporate web portals. Emerging new classes of internet portals called Cloud Portals are showcasing the power of API (Application Programming Ineterface) rich software systems leveraging SOA (service oriented architecture, web services, and custom data exchange) to accommodate machine to machine interaction creating a more fluid user experience for connecting users spanning multiple domains during a given "session". eg: Nubifer.com's Cloud Portal.

Domain-specific portals

A number of portals have come about that are specific to the particular domain, offering access to related companies and services, a prime example of this trend would be the growth in property portals that give access to services such as estate agents, removal firm, and solicitors that offer conveyancing. Along the same lines, industry-specific news and information portals have appeared, such as the clinical trials specific portal: IFPMA Clinical Trials Portal

Engineering Aspects

The "portal" concept is to present the user with a single web page that brings together or aggregates content from a number of other systems or servers. For portals that present application functionality to the user, the portal server is in reality the front piece of a server configuration that includes some connectivity to the application server. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is one example of how a portal can be used to deliver application server content and functionality. The application server or architecture performs the actual functions of the application. This application server is in turn connected to database servers, and may be part of a clustered server environment. High-capacity portal configurations may include load balancing equipment. SOAP, an xml-based protocol, may be used for servers to communicate within this architecture.

The server hosting the portal may only be a "pass through" for the user. By use of portlets, application functionality can be presented in any number of portal pages. For the most part, this architecture is transparent to the user.

In such a scheme, security and capacity can be important features, and administrators need to ensure that only an authorized visitor or user can generate requests to the application server. If administration does not ensure this aspect, then the portal may inadvertently present vulnerabilities to various types of attacks. [see also articles on SOAP and SOA]

Standards

Emerging standards

See also

References


Simple English

An internet portal or web portal is a website used to enter the Internet. It can also be used to describe a website to enter certain parts of the Internet, like Wikipedia's Community Portal.

Many ISPs have their own portals, but there are many other portals by other companies, like Microsoft's MSN and Yahoo.








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