How do I Choose the Best Portal Framework?

Troy Holmes

A portal is computer technology that provides a single point of access to multiple applications. There are many forms of portal frameworks available today. Choosing the best portal framework depends on the budget and enterprise standards of the company. Each framework offers several benefits but is typically dependent on specific architecture standards that are required for the user.

Portals are made from individual portlets, which present information to users.
Portals are made from individual portlets, which present information to users.

Portal technology was first introduced in the early 1990s. It was designed to assist computer users by organizing information from independent applications into a single screen. When choosing a portal, it is important to determine the platform on which it will be used. Most enterprise portals can either run on Java® or Windows®. This is one of the most important considerations when choosing the best portal framework.

Portals are made from individual portlets, which present information to users. Java®-based portals are required to follow the Java® portlet specification. This specification defines how a Java® portal container will interact with individual components. A specification is necessary to ensure all commercial portal implementations can work in the standard Java® development environment. The portal framework for most java implementations can run on multiple operating systems.

There are many open-source portals available today. These are freely available for download from the Internet. An open-source portal framework is a good option for small, budget-conscious companies. This type of software typically works well but offers limited software support. Most open-source versions of portal use Java®.

SharePoint® is a Windows®-based enterprise portal framework. This software provides an interface for managing content, collaboration, and work flow. SharePoint® relies on the Microsoft® framework stack. Advanced programming and configuration of SharePoint® requires the use of a .Net framework. This software can only run on a Windows® server platform.

Oracle is a commercial version of a Java® portal implementation. This portal framework is designed to run the WebLogic application server platform. Oracle portals work well, making them a good option for large organizations that use WebLogic and Java®.

WebSphere Portal® is an IBM® implementation of a Java® portal framework. This portal is designed to run on the WebSphere application server stack. Websphere Portal® is based on the Java portal specification and is tightly integrated with other IBM® software products.

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