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"Portal" has always been a highly misused term. Depending on the context, people will say "portal" in reference to an intranet, a dynamic public website, a self-service application, a secured social network, a user interface on an ERP system, or all -- or none -- of the above. These represent vastly different business scenarios, and as such, there is no single set of technology that automatically applies in all cases.
Today, the modern enterprise faces demands for multiple portal-like applications. To meet those demands, you can select from at least four major technology options, ranging from out-of-the-box tools, to custom solutions. This advisory explores the pros and cons of these alternatives, so you can make the right choice.