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Understanding Portals

Before delving into the details of how Crystal Enterprise integrates with portal applications, it’s helpful to know who the major portal vendors are, what functionality is offered, and, most importantly, on what application development technology the portal is based.

According to Leigh Gregg, a well-respected portal expert, “Today’s most popular portals started as search engines, but they’ve extended their offerings to include e-mail, chat functions, instant messaging, and even personalized service.” A few examples of the early portals (now termed consumer portals) were Yahoo!, Excite, and AOL. While providing relevant searching and categorized content, they also offered fingertip browsing, convenience, and a sense of continuity, which attracted tens of millions of technical and nontechnical users alike.


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