The Real Power of a Portal

By Mark Brown, Sr. Director, Oracle WebCenter

Portals have been around for a long time, a very long time in technology terms.  At last check, Gartner was talking about the 7th generation of Portal software. And portal products have evolved considerably. Rich frameworks to ease development, pre-configured integrations with common data sources, new UI technology like mobile devices, and new integrations standards have come and in some cases gone. But regardless of the new features or different environment variables, Portals have served one purpose extremely well, to serve as a front end for business critical applications. 

Applications, in this context, are not just the typical CRM or ERP applications, but the middleware driven applications that hold those 'core' applications together and increasing serve as the glue between those applications. And why would you choose to present those applications in a Portal? Here are three great reasons.

Modernize
Many applications, even packaged, purchased applications don't meet the expectations of an increasingly computer savvy employee base. Some of these applications have evolved over the years and include very complex interaction models, and training is always an issue. With a Portal, it is possible to put the necessary logic in the user interface of the Portal and simplify and modernize what your users are using. When the Portal is tied to your Identity Management stack as it should always be, this access is controlled and secure.

Aggregate
Now that we have a simplified, modernized UI on top of some of our older apps, what about other information that is critical to making a good business decision? If you are entering an expense, it would be good to have immediate access to the policies and procedures documents around that step in the business flow.  Taking it a step further, it would be extremely useful to know how that transaction was going to affect your budget.   The aggregation of interesting data is a loud cry from the Business users.

Extend
Now that we have key business flows presented in a modern UI along with other interesting data, what about extending that solution directly to the 'consumer' -- even if they are outside of our firewall?  Self-service is often thought about in terms of employee self-service, but why not extend that capability to the partners and customers we deal with everyday? This rich interaction can be a differentiator for your organization. Partners who are on-boarded can see the latest data, get feedback and update their information more easily with you, will be better partners for you. 

Oracle WebCenter Portal
Oracle's answer to these issues is Oracle WebCenter Portal, which is a full featured, modern Portal. Oracle WebCenter Portal supports multiple technologies to build user interfaces and aggregate useful information. In addition, Oracle WebCenter Portal includes rich, pre-configured services to allow social interactions as well as industry leading content integration.  Are you looking to learn how you can use Oracle WebCenter Portal to modernize, aggregate and extend your Portals? Be sure to join us today for a webcast where I’ll share exactly how to do so!
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Oracle WebCenter portal is a portal and composite applications solution that delivers intuitive user experiences for the enterprise that are seamlessly integrated with your enterprise applications.

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