Introduction to enterprise portals
The term "enterprise portal" refers to an intranet platform which provides access to enterprise data as well as resources of the information system within a single interface.
The enterprise portal is therefore the point of entry to the data of the information system of the enterprise for all personnel and, possibly, partners. The purpose of a portal is to provide a starting point for the user within the information system.
Types of enterprise portals
Generally speaking, we distinguish three large groups of portals:
- An enterprise information portal (EIP) sometimes called a corporate information portal, provides access to multiple sources of information (documents, reports, messages, press articles, etc) in a single location;
- An enterprise application portal (EAP), also called an application portal, provides access to different applciatins of the enterprise and to the corresponding data depending on a user profile;
- An enterprise expertise portal (EEP), sometimes called a supervisory portal, makes it possible to capitalize on and analyze the information used by the users to improve access to the knowledge of the enterprise.
User profile concept
The portal concept is generally closely linked to the user profile concept. As a matter of fact, ideally, each user has access to the resources of the information system based on his or her profile, in accordance with the security policy defined by the enterprise.
On the other hand, the user profile may also be used for visual and functional (look & feel) customization, in which case the terms online "workspace" or "Virtual office" are used. In this case, the environment consists of modular elements (usually called portlets or webparts) which the user may select and organize in his or her workspace.