I continue to be amazed at the frequency of how often this question comes up:
"Should we use a Portal platform to build out our Intranet / Customer Extranet / [Fill in your scenario], or not?"
The key reason why this keeps coming up is that there is a considerable overlap between Portal tools and Web Content and Experience Management (WCXM) tools. Often, there are three options that you have here:
- Deploy a WCXM tool that has some Portal functionality. Many tools such as Adobe's CQ5 and Oracle's FatWire (a.k.a., WebCenter Sites) provide some such functionality
- Deploy a Portal tool that has a bit of content management functionality. Tools such as IBM's WebSphere Portal and Liferay Portal have some built-in CMS capabilities
- Deploy best of breed WCXM and Portal tools and integrate them
Besides our detailed evaluations, we have addressed these options in a few other advisory papers and this blog post is really to serve as a pointer to those.
- Portal or Web CMS: Which One Makes Sense for Your Use Case?: This advisory lays out guidelines to help you identify the best option(s) for you
- Webinar - Making Sense of Different Content Technologies: In this webinar, we will look at the requirements for a range of scenarios while explaining the differences between web content management (WCM), document management (DM or ECM), portals, collaboration, and digital & media asset management (DAM & MAM) systems
- Should you decide to use best of breed Portal server, you will still need to get content, most likely from an external CMS. In Eight Ways to Integrate Content into Your Portal, we look at eight different ways to integrate content from multiple systems into one portal or portal-type application.
- There are many other alternatives too besides using traditional Portal tools. In Alternatives for Building Portal-Like Applications, we explore the pros and cons of these alternatives, so you can make the right choice
- One of the major argument against using traditional Portal tools is that they are resource intensive and heavyweight. As an alternative to these heavyweight tools, you can use a combination of Mashup and Gadget based tools that are relatively lightweight. Our advisories Complementing Portals with Enterprise Mashups and How to Support Gadgets in Your Portal provide guidance on using these techniques
In the meantime, if you're an enterprise struggling with this choice, feel free to contact us for a personal advisory session.