Thursday, April 29, 2004

Portals: Utility or Hype?

Yesterday, I had written about Forrester's survey that portal failed to deliver enterprise benefits. If you have not gone through that, you can read that here. Forrester has also come up with some reasons for failure. But I found a different prime reason for failure. After that the question arises, is portal a safe technology for your enterprise? Or is it complete failure technology and popular just due to hype created by portal vendors?

In my opinion, the enterprise implemented portal solutions in the past were a little ahead of the time. Last year there was no portal standard resulted in lack of interoperability among portals. Due to that the numbers of supporting solutions were nearly unavailable. Mind you, the portal standardization technologies i.e. JSR 168 and WSRP have come onto horizon only last year December and September. Without that standardization, every portal vendor was moving onto his own directions. So the SAP portlets that was available with IBM was not available with BEA. The portlets I was developing for IBM cannot be used with Oracle.

Now the scenario has changed. Strong standardization is there and nearly all leading portal vendors are supporting them. With my experience, I can say that portals are foremost runners for EAI solutions. Portals have the power of integration due to technologies like portlets and Web Services and then add WSRP in the list. Portals will come up as the best integration solutions. According to me, it is the right time to go for portal based solutions.

P.S.: I am preparing a detailed report on "Portals as EAI solution" and if I got permission from my employer, I will publish that here.

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