Portal

Purpose

The portal offers a single point of access to SAP and non-SAP information sources, enterprise applications, information repositories, databases and services in and outside your organization—all integrated into a single user experience. It provides you the tools to manage and analyze this knowledge, and to share and collaborate on the basis of it.

With its role-based content, and personalization features, the portal enables users—from employees and customers to partners and suppliers—to focus exclusively on data relevant to daily decision-making processes.

Integration

The portal is the Web front-end component for SAP NetWeaver—the comprehensive integration and application platform that facilitates the alignment of people, information, and business processes across organizational and technical boundaries.

The key capabilities of the portal within SAP NetWeaver are as follows:

Tightly integrated into the portal are also the knowledge management, collaboration, and guided procedure capabilities of SAPNetWeaver, which allow users to share information, to work together using that information, and work in a streamlined process-oriented manner.

?     Knowledge Management offers capabilities that everyone can use to distribute, access, and manage unstructured information within an organization through a heterogeneous repository landscape. Capabilities include collaborative document authoring and publishing, version management, search and navigation through taxonomies, automated classification and subscription, and more. See Knowledge Management.

?     Collaboration brings users, information, and applications together to ensure successful cooperation. All collaboration tools and channels are easily accessible directly from the portal. These tools include collaboration rooms, instant messaging, chat, e-mail, and calendar integration. See Collaboration.

?     Guided Proceduresoffers a set of functions that enables a business expert to create reusable components and model people-centric business workflows with them. At runtime, business users can initiate a process from a process template, and follow its execution until completion. The integration of interactive forms into the Guided Procedures framework enables the implementation of online and offline form-based processes. See Guided Procedures.

For detailed information on the architecture of the portal, see Portal Architecture.

Features

The following table highlights the key features of the portal. Follow the links for detailed information.

Key Capability

Description

Technology and architecture

The portal is built for the enterprise, providing a secure and scalable environment.

?     Platform-independence: The portal runs on a wide range of operating systems, including Windows and UNIX.

?     Multi-language interface: The portal supports many languages to make a global deployment more efficient and usable.

?     High performance and availability: Clustering and caching mechanisms provide high performance and high availability.

?     Security: The portal allows businesses to expose their resources to partners, suppliers, and customers, while maintaining rigorous confidentiality for restricted business information. The security features of the portal include authentication, single sign-on, authorization, integrated user management, and secure communications.

?     Navigation: The portal offers a flexible and open navigation layout design that supports virtually every usage scenario.

?     Federated portal network scenarios: The portal supports federated portal and content scenarios through the use of open standards, wide platform support, multi-language support, global deployment and scalability, and delegated administration.

End-user environment

The portal runtime environment offers users a single point of access, in a fully customizable portal desktop, to internal and external information, applications, and services that are relevant to their role in the organization.

?     User navigation: The portal offers a comprehensive role-based navigation environment for users to retrieve the business-specific information. Portal pages and iViews also display assorted links to associated information, enabling further investigation. Navigation in the portal is facilitated through top-level and detailed navigation, page navigation, dynamic navigation, object based navigation, and navigation by URL.

?     Personalization: Portal users can work in a customized environment; by personalizing the look and feel of their portal desktop, language settings, personal information, single sign-on logon credentials, and content displayed per portal page.

?     Accessibility support: The portal ships with high contrast themes, manages font handling for portal content, enables keyboard access to interactive elements in the user interface, and works with third-party screen readers. SAP is committed to making its products accessible to all users.

Advanced administration support

The portal provides a complete set of tools to maintain, manage and monitor the portal within one coherent environment. These administrative tools are designed as modular portal pages or iViews, enabling you to delegate administration tasks according to your business scenario.

?     Content administration: The Portal Content Studio provides a central administrative environment in the portal for code-free development and management of portal content.

?     Role definition: The structure and delivery of content to portal users is determined by role definitions based on the user’s task within the organization. Through roles, a company can structure its business processes and deliver business content according to the needs of certain user groups of the portal.

?     Delegated administration: Comprehensive delegated administration helps manage large-scale implementations by targeting tools and content specifically related to the functions and tasks of users in the organization.

?     Customization: The portal design can be modified to fit a specific corporate image. It provides design templates for users to choose from. Portal administrators determine the level of personalization available to portal end users, including portal themes, languages, passwords, and page and iView properties.

?     User administration: The portal utilizes a user management service that connects to and manages user and group data stored in the user persistence store. A Web-based interface in the portal enables administrators to administer user data centrally and access multiple user data sources in parallel, such as corporate directories, databases, or SAP systems.

Enterprise-centric content

Portal content delivers information from heterogeneous sources to portal users in a single desktop. Portal content enables access to links and documents, transactions and data in underlying business applications, internal and external services, and to reports and analytics.

?     Development: Developers can stay with their preferred programming model and within their preferred development environment to create content for the portal. The Portal Development Kit (PDK) provides the tools for programmers to develop their own content from scratch.

?     Business Packages: Predefined role-based portal content, in the form of Business Packages, is ready for immediate use in the portal. Business packages are available from the Portal Content Portfolio on SAP Developer Network at http://sdn.sap.com.

?     Role-based portal content: Helps various user groups to be more productive more quickly.

Additional Information

You can find additional documents, including installation and upgrade documentation, how-to guides, and a list of central SAPnotes for the portal on the SAPService Marketplace at service.sap.com/nw2004sdoc.