What is web Portal ?

When will the Portalbe needed?

Nowadays, many organizations are making extensive use of theweb to disseminate information and provide services to their users, say theirstaff members, customers, etc. To cope with the various needs of differentusers, the numerous types of information and services that can be available toall kinds of users would be grouped together and presented on the web accordingto the nature of the operational functions. In general, this means that the information and services are groupedbased on the division of the service-providing departments, and the users musthave some idea about what kind of information or services could be provided bywhich department in order to gain access to the required information or servicewithout much difficulty. Very often, it is not the case because a user may knowquite little about the departments or there could be too many departments andtoo many kinds of services of which only a small subset would be of relevanceor interests to the user. Under such circumstances, a user would face theproblem of information overload and find it quite difficult to locate theneeded information or service from the many service offerings. As it is thetrend that organizations are increasingly making extensive use of webapplications for information dissemination and service delivery to the users,the just mentioned difficulty that could be encountered by users due toinformation overload would become a more severe and obvious problem that needsto be resolved.

What is web Portal ?
A Web portal or public portal refers to a Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services,such as e-mail, forums, search engines, andonline shopping malls. The first Web portals were online services, such as AOL,that provided access to the Web, but by now most of the traditional searchengines have transformed themselves into Web portals to attract and keep alarger audience. 

3. Desirable features of a Portal

A portal should support the followingdesirable functions and features:

Allowing different information- andservice-providing departments to set up and update their own information and servicestailored specifically for different user groups according to the common userprofiles (such as grades, departments associated, etc.) and the specific needsof these user groups at specific times.
Presenting automatically the information and services that a user would needaccording to his profile at the appropriate time.
Allowing a user to select the information and services that are his interestsand to customize their presentation.
Setting up information and services from users' perspective rather than fromthe angle of convenience of the services providers.