What is a Web Portal?
A web portal is a web-based platform for organizations and businesses to create, share, exchange and reuse aggregated information. It is hosted publicly or privately and can be accessed via a URL (web address) with a username and password.
Portals can be divided into two classes: horizontal (horizontal company portals) and vertical (vertical company portals) portals.
- Horizontal portals are public and provide different kinds of services that its users may need.
- Vertical portals operate in a user-centric manner and provide organization-specific information.
A portal can use an application programming interface (API) search engine to allow users to search intranet content as opposed to extranet content by limiting the domains that can be searched. Apart from this common search engine functionality, web portals can offer other services such as email, news, stock quotes, database information and even entertainment content.
Portals provide a way for businesses and organizations to provide a consistent look and feel. With access control and procedures for multiple applications and databases, which would have been different web entities at different URLs. The functionalities available may be limited by whether access is by an authorized and authenticated user (employee, member) or an anonymous site visitor.