The Anti-Portal: mashup and forget it [B1]


During 2008/09 UCL has been engaged in a proof-of-concept project to demonstrate portal functionality. The scope of the project was to:

  • develop a portal framework in uPortal
  • integrate limited functionality from key applications
  • integrate single sign-on to those applications
  • demonstrate the concept to a wide range of users

At the start of the project we accepted that the outcome could range from progress to a full project to implement an enterprise portal, to deciding that we didn’t want one at all. The result was neither of these and surprised us. While users were enthusiastic about the functionality, we were skeptical about the technical solution and realised that the cost of implementing such a solution properly was beyond our means.

This outcome prompted us to think again and the concept of the anti-portal was born. By our definition this anti-portal provides the functionality users require, but is developed using existing and lightweight techniques used in a flexible manner.

The workshop is intended to be participatory both before and during the session. Participation is encouraged from those who have successful portals, those who are considering them and those who never would. The success of this session relies on your input, your stories – Jeremy and Russell have as many questions for participants as they have answers!

Learning Objectives

At the end of the workshop participants will have:

  • Learned about a number of portal and anti-portal technologies
  • Discussed the technical and financial decisions required to take forward such projects
  • Understand why some portal implementations can be successful whilst others aren’t
  • Understand what the implications will be for implementation
  • Have an appreciation that the technology that delivers Service Orientated Architecture is changing more quickly than a traditional portal can be implemented