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Web Portals

August 1, 2009

Web Portal:
A web portal is a site that functions as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web.

Portals present information from diverse sources in a unified way.

Aside from the search engine standard, web portals offer other services such as e-mail, news, stock prices, information and various other features.

Portals provide a way for enterprises to provide a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether.

An example of a web portal is Yahoo!

It is Centralized application that has been accessed various other applications within the Enterprise to share knowledge.

Advantages:
Intelligent integration and access to enterprise content, applications and processes
Improved communication and collaboration among customers, partners, and employees
Unified, real-time access to information held in disparate systems
Personalized user modification and maintenance of the website presentation
Properties of portals:
Look and feel
Consistent headers and footers, color schemes, icons and logos which gives the user a feel and sense of consistency, uniformity, and ease of navigation
A portlet is an application within a browser window, displayed in an effective layout
A portlet is itself a web application
Portlets are aggregated by the portal page
Development of personal portals

In the late 1990s, the web portal was a hot commodity. After the proliferation of web browsers in the mid-1990s, many companies tried to build or acquire a portal, to have a piece of the Internet market. The web portal gained special attention because it was, for many users, the starting point of their web browser. Netscape became a part of America Online, the Walt Disney Company launched Go.com, and Excite and @Home became a part of AT&T during the late 1990s. Lycos was said to be a good target for other media companies such as CBS.

Many of the portals started initially as either web directories (notably Yahoo!) and/or search engines (Excite, Lycos, AltaVista, infoseek, and Hotbot among the old ones). Expanding services was a strategy to secure the user-base and lengthen the time a user stayed on the portal. Services which require user registration such as free email, customization features, and chatrooms were considered to enhance repeat use of the portal. Game, chat, email, news, and other services also tend to make users stay longer, thereby increasing the advertising revenue.

The portal craze, with “old media” companies racing to outbid each other for Internet properties, died down with the dot-com flameout in 2000 and 2001. Disney pulled the plug on Go.com, Excite went bankrupt and its remains were sold to iWon.com. Some notable portal sites ??? Yahoo!, for instance ??? remain successful to this day. To modern dot-com businesses, the portal craze serves as a cautionary tale about the risks of rushing into a market crowded with highly-capitalized but largely undifferentiated me-too companies.

There is different type of portal availability like
?? Regional web Portals.
?? Government Web Portals.
?? Corporate Web Portals.
?? Hosted web Portals.
?? Domain specific Portals.
?? Sports Portals.

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