Secure, Unified Access with Enterprise Portals

By Vinay Kumar & Daniel Garcia

What is an enterprise portal? An enterprise portal can be defined as a secured single entry point to multiple applications. In other words, it is a framework for integrating information, people, and processes across organizational boundaries. Typically, enterprise portals display personalized applications and information aggregated from multiple back-end sources, all under a unified access point.

Portals may also serve as a collaboration environment for users, whether they are employees, team members, customers, or business partners.

The pillars of an enterprise portal (see Figure 1-1) include:

  • Single Sign-On: the portal provides Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities for allowing the end users to access all the organizational information, processes, and collaboration tools only if the user is initially authenticated.
  • Integration: a portal is usually a framework that offers tools for integrating data and information from back-end services (e.g., REST, SOAP, and databases).
  • Federation: integration usually done via web service remote portlets (WSRPs).
  • Personalization: offers the content and the data personalized to the user who is logged into the enterprise portal based on the roles associated to the user.
  • Customization: users with appropriate privileges can customize the pages and components that they want to show or hide in their personal pages or dashboard.
  • Access Control: limits the access to the portal services based on the roles of a user.
  • Enterprise Search: advanced search capabilities for searching and displaying the content from multiple data sources.


Figure 1-1. Pillars of an Enterprise Portal.

Note: enterprise portals are also called web portals because the access to the presentation is made via web interface.

Typically, enterprise portals are used for two types of solutions:

  • Intranet portals: this type of portal offers employees or users within an organization a unique way to access to all the required information.
  • Extranet portals: these are transactional portals that integrate social capabilities and collaboration.

Let’s take a look at a comparison between an enterprise portal and a website. An enterprise portal can be easily confused with a regular website. However, an enterprise portal is much more than a simple website. A website usually refers to a collection of web pages, images, and videos addressed relative to a common URL. However, an enterprise portal is a gateway for accessing to secure information, content, and forums.

The following table shows some of the key differences between portals and websites.

The decision for going for a Website or for an Enterprise Portal depends on the requirements of the business.

Typically, enterprise portals have web content management functionalities for contributing and publishing web content like a Website. However, they are usually very limited and without any intelligence if it has to be compared to a marketing website solution.

The best solution is mixing them both:

  • Expose your web marketing assets through a website.
  • Only portal members can see their personal business data via an enterprise portal.


This is a preview from “Beginning Oracle WebCenter Portal 12c” by Vinay Kumar & Daniel Garcia

ISBN 978-1-4842-2531-8

Pub Date: December 2016