Web-portals and their means of creation
As controls content site, means the creation of portals for the last few years have become quite common in the software market, as the efficiency and timeliness of information available from employees, partners and clients, is one of the determining factors of success in the market.
It should be noted that currently is an active process of integrating internal information systems with enterprise applications to interact with customers and partners, as well as Web-applications, designed for visitors to Web-sites and number of related Internet-projects rapidly growing. In other words, many companies are now actively creating the infrastructure that allows you to use the Internet not only as a means of communication, but as a fundamental tool of doing business. Creation of such infrastructure means the introduction of Internet-applications that allow companies to provide its customers and employees up to date, and often direct access to corporate information systems and other business application, as well as time to process information that received from them (eg, order or proposals). For this purpose, frequently used portal technology that allows integration of existing applications within a unified way to access them. Currently experiencing rapid growth in the market for these technologies and products that accomplish them.
At its core is a Web-portal site for a certain audience (for example, customers and employees), provides analysis, processing and delivering information and providing access to various services based on personalization of users with any device connected to the Internet.
Portals can classify the various features, but they often resort to classification for the purpose. At present, this feature could distinguish three main types of portals:
1. Public or horizontal portals (sometimes called megaportal), such as Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, Rambler. These portals are designed for a wide audience, which is reflected in the hold of the information provided by them, and services they are usually general nature (for example, news about political events and cultural activities, email, newsletter, etc.). Human activities such portals intersects with the sphere of media, as has been observed processes of mergers of public portals, and media under one company.
2. Vertical portals are designed for specific types of market and serves an audience that uses the services of the market or working on it. Examples of such portals can serve applications B2C (Business-to-consumer), such as travel agencies that provide services for booking hotels, ordering and delivering tickets, access to maps and information about driving directions, etc., or portal-type B2B (business-to-business), allowing its clients to implement consistent business operations (for example, choose suppliers and to purchase goods, conduct auctions, etc.). The number of such portals is growing rapidly recently, as new markets for goods and services move to Internet.
3. Corporate portals are designed for employees, customers and partners of one company (sometimes they are called B2E-portals Business-to-employees). Users of this portal to obtain the access service and its intended application, depending on their role and the personal profile, and is the most interesting category of portals in terms of corporate infrastructure and application integration. The destination of corporate portal is to provide external and internal users to personalized access to all corporate data and applications (including unstructured and heterogeneous data), integration of isolated business models, integration of various enterprise applications (including applications of business partners), providing full-stop access for all users (including mobile devices) to the resources of the company 24 hours a day, regardless of their location.
Some publications suggested more detailed classification of corporate portals, which divides them into portals that present the results of data analysis (Business intelligence portals), inter yntranet portals (Business area portals), portals for group work (Enterprise Collaborative Portals), portals, designed for Knowledge Management (Enterprise Knowledge Portals), the so-called role Portal (Role portals), supporting the three business models B2E, B2C and B2B. Some sources refer to corporate portals and websites based on the mass of documents and content site and intended only to provide information to various groups of visitors.
Moreover portals sometimes called other types of Web-based applications that provide its users with those or other services via the Internet, such as voice portals, allowing access to some services from the phone line using voice commands or commands that refer to the phone keypad, or so-called personal portals that provide services to personal information managers and email.
Main characteristics corporative portals
The analytical company Gartner Group in their research outlines the basic requirements for corporate portals that characterize the first two generations of these products. According to this study, first-generation corporate portal has the following characteristics:
search and indexing a wide range of information repositories;
Categorization of content;
Content management and its aggregation;
high-performance application development and integration with other applications.
For the second generation of corporate portals, used as a component of e-business, are:
secure environment of the applications;
powerful and flexible application development tools;
opportunities for integration applications;
compliance information to enterprise systems;
support integration with other applications and information systems of partners;
Support for mobile / wireless data access.
Later - as a structural unit of the Internet.
To begin necessary to find out what is Portal.
PORTAL - A group of Web-pages that belong to a specific person or organization and supported them. In other words, the portal - a Web-site that provides a home page that personalizuyetsya. For a long time practically the only point of entry into the Internet were well-known search engines. However, most users found itself this is not enough, and so was born the idea of Internet portal. In essence, this claim named several attempts to do - well, if not major, then at least more convenient entrance to the "Web site." In the architecture (not a computer, as usual) portal called main, main entrance to the building, often says, attempting to Gothic church. Known, such as architectural classics portal cathedral in Freiburg (Germany).
Corporation began competing in speed to create their own information portal. IT managers have placed on this technology a lot of hope, and until it gives them a reason for disappointment.
The phrase "corporate portal", which was recently very fashionable means software that provides access through a browser to a wide range of data sources - e-mail, database management, data analysis systems, Internet, log, billing systems and automation of sales and others.
Simple ideas corporate portal false - that it is similar to the fashionable a few years ago the concept of information systems support manager. In fact, corporate IT services, which frankly spend their money, build portalopodibni external interfaces to data sources already many years.
Typically, corporate portals attract the sympathy of information technology professionals that can "make a new face" of the corporate intranet, which eventually became very cluttered and segmented.
Units of information technology specialists can customize corporate portals to access variables in real-time data to key indicators of the company and news sources, and supplement their means of searching and processing zapytiv.Portal aspires to become a place that you can see when launched Internet - browser. To this end, he offers the following free services, as selected by the personal taste of news topics or e-mail account. This site is the entry point users in the Web and attracts a great number of them. So it turns out to contain extremely beneficial - for a huge inflow of advertising due to high traffic site.
Ability to systematically search the catalog - is an extra service that provides library and its level is directly dependent on the skills of writers. Typically, the reader begins to develop the theme of learning directory, and then accumulates the necessary set of bibliographic references. As you can see, the idea is not new, but attached to the network it was very fruitful. In confirmation mention known fact: the first four months of the portal Yahoo! (June to September 1996) observed more than 50% increase in the number of mounted visit this Web-site. The new service has been popular for a certain type of information. Just as in the traditional library, systematics Internet portal created by library staff. We know that on a Yahoo! are several hundred cholovik.Dostoyinstva and disadvantages of both methods are obvious, and they have nothing to discuss, but the library has proved the necessity of both.
What other services does portal?
News Service. Typically, a national or international, and include everything that can be found in newspapers: local, national and international news, weather reports, stock quotes, sports scores.
E-mail. The opportunity to receive their own email addresses (e-mail).
Home. Opportunity to display their short resumes, including photos.
Message boards. There is an internal version of the topical conference portal.
Rooms games. The range of games varies when moving from one portal to another, but usually each one is a lot of card and board games in which you can play with other people connected to the portal.
Investment instruments. These include stock quotes, funds tracking the value of the portfolio of shares, charts, analytical reports, a variety of information about companies, message boards devoted to specific actions.
The architecture of corporate portals
Corporate Portal is a product or a product based on a certain infrastructure (which usually includes at least application server and database server) and implements the above functions.
In a typical corporate portal can be conventionally are three main functional layers:
1. Layer of basic infrastructure, which is responsible for basic services such as transaction management, system security, management and other portal. Technically it contains, as a rule, application server, database server and Web-server, or several such servers.
2. Application integration layer, which is responsible for interaction with all portal applications that exist in the company, such as database, CRM-and ERP-systems, legacy applications and others.
3. Layer interfaces, which includes facilities Content management (more about these features, please read the article "Content management Web-sites, published in this issue of our magazine), interfaces to exchange data with information systems of business partners, tools to work with mobile and wireless devices, etc.. The same layer are visual and nevizualni portal components, called usually portlet, but sometimes have other names (Pagelets, Gadgets, iViews, etc.).
Typically, portals have an open architecture that allows them to expand the functionality by adding third-party applications or add-ons. Note that most such facilities are components of content, because such facilities are usually produced by manufacturers portals or just part of the past.
The structure of the portal.
Functional architecture of the portal can provide, as is done in the picture. Portal provides access to various information sources, indeksuyuchy them accumulate their own database metadata. From the perspective of the user has two options work, and one of them involves setting individual according to his needs.
Picture 2. Logic structure of the portal.
Functional architecture supports logical, which may include the following set of components.
Client. It is usual navigator, which provides user access to pages in a format such as, HTML. The principal that the Home can be tailored to the needs of a particular user is configured to receive the type of reports, documents and other data are of concern and to get where he is authorized. In a given taxonomy page may include a mechanism for the keywords and other traditional tools navigator.
Ensuring the security of access over the Internet. This part of the portal includes conventional means for encoding protective screens, authentication and management sessions.
Repository. One of the most important parts of a corporate portal: The repository stores metadata about information objects, users, workgroups, and information channels. Metadata relating to the facility, indicate the type, sect, to which he belongs, format, storage location.
Subsystem publications and subscriptions. This part of the portal allows users to publish their own documents, and subscribe to different sources.
The mechanism of filtering data. The mechanism for the set rules and filters sorts objects coming in repository, type, format, or some other characteristics. It can send users information about new objects and changes in what already is aktualizuyuchy sources available to him.
Mechanism analysis of business - processes. This part of the portal provides support for data analysis by means of relational and multidimensional OLAP, and other similar systems.
Driver data. Of the relational and multidimensional database, various libraries and other possible sources of information are a set of drivers.
Protecting Web-portal of information attacks
Currently in Russia, and throughout the world, there is a tendency towards the practical use of public and commercial organizations, public Web-portals connected to the Internet. Portals of this type can be used to solve various problems, such as advertising on the Internet nature of the company, the organization of Internet commerce, or of the system "Client-Bank". This contributes to the fact that today in the domestic IT market presents a number of ready-made industrial solutions, based on which we can build full-featured Web-portals. These solutions include product family Internet Information Services company Microsoft, Sun ONE Portal Sun Microsystems, and WebSphere of IBM.
The typical architecture of Web-PortalTypically includes the following components:
Public Web-servers that provide Internet users access to information resources portal;
cache-servers, which provide temporary storage of copies of resources, which got access to Internet users. When you access the Web-portal of resources initially tries to resource extraction from the memory servers, and only if the resource is not there, then the request is transmitted to a public Web-server. Using the cache servers to reduce the burden on public key servers, and reduce the time users to access of resources;
DNS-servers that allow the transformation of character name servers Web-portal to the corresponding IP-address it;
application servers on which you installed software specially designed to manage the information content of Web-portal;
database servers that provide centralized storage of information resources, Web-portal;
communications equipment that provides the interaction between different servers, Web-portal.
Typically, servers, Web-hosted portal in the Internet service providers who are able to provide the necessary bandwidth channels in portal servers that are connected to the Internet. Management Web-portal in this case, is removed via the Internet from workstations (ARM) administrators.
Given the fact that the resources of public Web-portal, by definition, open to anyone on the Internet, they become potential targets for attacks offenders. It should be noted that in recent years seen significant growth in information attacks, most of which is directed to public resources, which include and Web-portals. Attacks violators may be directed to the breach of confidentiality, integrity or availability of information resources stored on servers, Web-portal.
To protect Web-portal naydotsilnishe for an integrated approach that includes organizational and technical means of protection. Organizational remedies associated with the development and implementation of legal documents, such as politics and the concept of information security Web-portal, job descriptions for staff work with automatic portal, etc. Data protection is implemented through appropriate software, hardware or software and hardware to ensure compliance with the goals and objectives identified in the relevant legal documents. Using an integrated approach involves pooling of technical remedies Web-portal in an integrated package that includes a subsystem antivirus protection, integrity control, access permissions, intrusion detection, security analysis, cryptographic protection of information and control subsystem. The following description brought the basic functionality of these subsystems, as well as features of their application for protection of Web-portal.
What to expect from portals in the future
Currently, portals are essentially a means of unification of business processes within enterprise business processes with partners and customers. In fact, future portals will function as the integration of applications and data necessary for successful interaction with partners and customers. Important role in the functions of portals will play and support for mobile devices, allowing users to replace their traditional desktop computers and to get permanent access to the services provided by them. Note also that one of the main trends is the use of portals in their management of content, allowing us to realize the function of its aggregation.
In terms of technology we should expect the use of portals opportunities that are presented today with modern application servers and database management, especially support for application integration technologies such as Web-services XML. In addition, you can probably expect the emergence of industry-standard components for portals.
A few words about the market of creating portals
According to a recent study by Gartner Group, this year's market for corporate portals leaders finally emerged. These include SAP (acquisition of TopTier Software), IBM (after the release of WebSphere Portal Server and the announcement that it will be based on all Portal products IBM), Sun and Sybase. Since applicants for leadership should also be noted CA, Oracle, Microsoft and PeopleSoft products of these companies belong to the best proposals in the field of management of general purpose portals.
With regard to the benefits of potential users of a corporate portal, a clear leader, according to various respondents think companies are Plumtree Portal