Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is a Web Portal?

A web portal is a page that allows a user to customize his homepage by dragging and dropping widgets onto it. This approach gives the user complete control over what content he sees on his home page, where on the page he wants to see it, and how he wants to interact with it.

A widget is a discrete piece on a web page that performs a particular function and comes with its own UI and set of features. Examples of widgets include to-do lists, address books, contact lists, RSS feeds, clocks, calendars, playlists, stock tickers, weather reports, traffic reports, dictionaries, games, or almost anything you can imagine that can be packaged up and dropped onto a web page.

In a corporate environment, widgets can connect to internal systems; for example, an expense tracker widget can interact directly with the internal accounting system. If you are familiar with the SharePoint Portal, then you already know about widgets, which are called Web Parts in SharePoint and ASP.NET 2.0.

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