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What's a Portal?

Campus Pipeline's Definition
Campus Pipeline describes its version 3.0 Web platform as a single source for the four essential elements of real-time campus unification:

  • Integration platform—uniting disparate campus information systems into a common, standards-based platform available through a single sign-on

  • Unified user management services—a single location for managing user data campus-wide

  • Web application services—a scalable application set for creating and deploying new communications, learning, administrative, community and commerce services

  • Campus-wide portal—a Web-based, customizable front end that makes integrated campus resources available on demand from a central location

Whatis.com Definition
Whatis.com defines an "enterprise information portal (EIP)" as a concept for a Web site that serves as a single gateway to a company's information and knowledge base for employees and possibly for customers, business partners, and the general public as well.

In one model, an EIP is made up of these elements: access/search, categorization, collaboration, personalization, expertise and profiling, application integration, and security.

  • Access/search: Access/search allows a user to get all the information needed (but no more) in the desired context. For example, a loan officer does not need marketing information to approve a loan. An EIP makes sure the loan officer gets only the information needed.

  • Categorization: An EIP categorizes all information so that it is delivered to the user within the context needed (think of the subject structure on Yahoo)

  • Collaboration: An EIP allows individuals to collaborate regardless of geographical location.

  • Personalization: The information provided to individuals using an EIP is personalized to that person?s role, preferences, and habits.

  • Expertise and profiling: Expertise and profiling is essential for the collaboration element of an EIP. Individuals within an enterprise are profiled according to their experience and competencies. If an individual needs to collaborate with others, he can choose those that are qualified for the project.

  • Application integration: This allows individuals to deliver, access, and share information regardless of applications used.

  • Security: This provides information to users based on security clearance. The user logs on and is given access only to information that the user is authorized to access.