What distinguishes a Portal from a Web site?

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A Portal is generally a vehicle by which to gain access to a multitude of 'services'. Below are some of the features provided by portal.
  • One Stop Shop - Aggregates content from various sources.
  • Portal serves as a gateway to all the enterprise wide information.
  • Standard set of tools (ease of use and adaptation).
  • Global access management mechanism for user groups internal and external to the enterprise.
  • Collaboration features ca be rendered easily using OOTB product capabilities or simple integration with collaboration products.
  • Ability to provide users with customization or personalization.
  • Change Management made easy. Changes can be made any time to the portal content.
  • Good amount of Productivity gains as many of the features and portlets are available out-of-box.
  • Centralized administration - Web based administration console provided by most of the portal vendors.
  • Additional License cost for portal.
A Web Site is a destination in itself. It provides
  • Relevant information spread over several web pages. Lack of correlation of key information held in different systems.
  • Multiple logons required for various applications in the enterprise.
  • External access for customers, partners, staff and suppliers is difficult.
  • Rendering Collaboration features requires slightly complex integration mechanisms.
  • Problems in personalizing the interface and workflow.
  • Change management is always dependent on how the legacy systems work.
  • Productivity gains are limited to what can be achieved within rigid frameworks dictated by legacy systems.
  • Centralized administration is difficult because users habitually store files on local desktops etc.
  • Only Application Server License cost.

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