Types of web portals and its use

Personal portals
A personal portal is a web page at a web site on the World Wide Web or a local HTML home page including JavaScript and perhaps running in a modified web browser. A personal portal typically provides personalized capabilities to its visitors or its local user, providing a pathway to other content. It may be designed to use distributed applications, different numbers and types of middleware and hardware to provide services from a number of different sources and may run on a non-standard local web server. In addition, business portals can be designed for sharing and collaboration in workplaces. A further business-driven requirement of portals is that the content be presented on multiple platforms such as personal computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cell phones/mobile phone/mobile phones. Information, news, and updates are examples of content that would be delivered through such a portal. Personal portals can be related to any specific topic such as providing friend information on a social network or providing links to outside content that may help others beyond your reach of services. Portals are not limited to simply providing links. Outside of business intracet user, very often simpler portals become replaced with richer mashup designs. Within enterprises, early portals were often replaced by much more powerful “dashboard” designs. Some also have relied on newer protocols such as some version of RSS aggregation and may or may not involve some degree of web harvesting

Government web portals
At the end of the dot-com boom in the 1990s, many governments had already committed to creating portal sites for their citizens. These included primary portals to the governments as well as portals developed for specific audiences.

Cultural portals
Cultural portal aggregate digitised cultural collections of galleries, libraries, archives and museums. This type of portal provides a point of access to invisible web cultural content that may not be indexed by standard search engines. Digitised collections can include books, artworks, photography, journals, newspapers, music, sound recordings, film, maps, diaries and letters, and archived websites as well as the descriptive metadata associated with each type of cultural work. These portals are usually based around a specific national or regional groupings of institutions.

Corporate web portals
Corporate intranets became common during the 1990s. As intranets grew in size and complexity, webmasters were faced with increasing content and user management challenges. A consolidated view of company information was judged insufficient; users wanted personalization and customization. Webmasters, if skilled enough, were able to offer some capabilities, but for the most part ended up driving users away from using the intranet.

Many companies began to offer tools to help webmasters manage their data, applications and information more easily, and through personalized views. Portal solutions can also include workflow management, collaboration between work groups, and policy-managed content publication. Most can allow internal and external access to specific corporate information using secure authentication or single sign-on.

JSR168 Standards emerged around 2001. Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 standards allow the interoperability of portlets across different portal platforms. These standards allow portal developers, administrators and consumers to integrate standards-based portals and portlets across a variety of vendor solutions.

The concept of content aggregation seems to still gain momentum and portal solution will likely continue to evolve significantly over the next few years. The Gartner Group predicts generation 8 portals to expand on the Business Mashups concept of delivering a variety of information, tools, applications and access points through a single mechanism.
With the increase in user generated content, disparate data silos, and file formats, information architects and taxonomist will be required to allow users the ability to tag (classify) the data. This will ultimately cause a ripple effect where users will also be generating ad hoc navigation and information flows.

Corporate Portals also offer customers & employees self-service opportunities.

Stock portals
Also known as stock-share portals, stock market portals or stock exchange portals are Web-based applications that facilitates the process of informing the share-holders with substantial online data such as the latest price, ask/bids, the latest News, reports and announcements. Some stock portals use online gateways through a central depository system (CDS) for the visitors (ram) to buy or sell their shares or manage their portfolio.

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Search portals
Search portals aggregate results from several search engines into one page. You can find search portals specialized in a product, for example property search portals.

Property search portals
Property search portals aggregate data about properties for sale by real estate agents.

Tender portals
A tender portal is a gateway for government suppliers to bid on providing goods and services. Tender portals allow users to search, modify, submit, review and archive data in order to provide a complete online tendering process.

Using online tendering, bidders can do any of the following:

Receive notification of the tenders.
Receive tender documents online.
Fill out the forms online.
Submit proposals and documents.
Submit bids online.

Hosted web portals
Hosted web portals gained popularity and a number of companies began offering them as a hosted service. The hosted portal market fundamentally changed the composition of portals. In many ways they served simply as a tool for publishing information instead of the loftier goals of integrating legacy applications or presenting correlated data from distributed databases. The early hosted portal companies such as Hyperoffice.com or the now defunct InternetPortal.com focused on collaboration and scheduling in addition to the distribution of corporate data. As hosted web portals have risen in popularity their feature set has grown to include hosted databases, document management, email, discussion forums and more. Hosted portals automatically personalize the content generated from their modules to provide a personalized experience to their users. In this regard they have remained true to the original goals of the earlier corporate web portals. Emerging new classes of internet portals called Cloud Portals are showcasing the power of API (Application Programming Interface) rich software systems leveraging SOA (service-oriented architecture, web services, and custom data exchange) to accommodate machine to machine interaction creating a more fluid user experience for connecting users spanning multiple domains during a given “session”. Leading cloud portals like Nubifer Cloud Portal showcase what is possible using Enterprise Mashup and Web Service integration approaches to building cloud portals.

Domain-specific portals
A number of portals have come about which are specific to a particular domain, offering access to related companies and services; a prime example of this trend would be the growth in property portals that give access to services such as estate agents, removal firm, and solicitors that offer conveyancing. Along the same lines, industry-specific news and information portals have appeared, such as the clinical trials-specific portal.

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