Portals Unbound

I’m tasked (tasked? what does that mean? why have I said it?) with coming up with a portal strategy for LJMU – & the main thing tasking me is what exactly we/I mean by “portal” – so I’m very glad I came across this interview with Jim Murphy from AMR Research in the latest copy of Oracle magazine

While I was fairly certain  that a portal wasn’t a website – I didn’t know how to describe what it was. So here goes Jim:

Portals are moving from something tangible and demonstrable, like a specific Web site, to an abstract point of access. In other words, while portals employ Web-based technologies, access isn’t necessarily embodied in a Web browser. Today’s portals are better seen as virtual points of presence, accessible from any interface, system, device, or application that happens to sit in front of the user“.

Then goes on to some good stuff about the three common denominators of Presence, Identity & Convergence. Well worth a read, & it’s laudably brief.

So, a very good articulation of what I was trying to articulate – for a technical audience. I now have to work out how to explain an “abstract point of access” or “virtual points of presence” to my senior stakeholders. Or not – I’ll probably just tell them it’s a way of making it easier to get hold of/do all their stuff, & leave it at that. Not being flippant here – after all, that’s what it is.

But the article did make things clearer for me, so thanks Jim!


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