Originally published on May 2, 2017

32nd in a series of 50 Knowledge Management Components (Slide 43 in KM 102)

Portals: web sites that provide personalized capabilities to users through the use of customization, building blocks, and integration of multiple sources

The term “portal” has several meanings. It can be a gateway web site offering an array of services, a personalized home page that aggregates content from multiple sources, a document repository, or a sophisticated customizable user interface.

Enterprise portal vendors offer tools that promise to integrate diverse content through a highly-personalized user interface and advanced search capabilities. These portals are often positioned as knowledge management tools. Their importance has waned, giving way to new terminology such as “Digital Experience Portal (DXP)” or “Digital Workplace.” As an example, Gartner rebranded its annual portal conference to “Digital Workplace Summit.” Tony Byrne defines “digital workplace” as “what an employee reads and does digitally while working.”

Internet portals such as AOL, Excite, Lycos, MSN, and Yahoo! were once the main gateways to the Internet, but their importance has also waned. They have limited personalization options, typically for location or language only. Google used to offer personalization through iGoogle. That name has been taken over by another company. See below for options for similar functionality.

Example from HP


1. Forrester Vendor Landscape: Digital Experience Portals by Mark Grannan

Legacy Portal Technologies Have Emotional Baggage, While Digital Experience Portal Scenarios Are Red-Hot and Demand Investment

Portal technologies may seem passé, but in reality they are critical to delivering secure web and mobile experiences on top of back-end and transaction systems of record. They must be part of your modern digital experience (DX) platform strategy. The landscape of portal vendors is rapidly evolving as pure plays like Backbase and Liferay join stalwarts like IBM and Oracle.

2. Digital Workplace or Intranet? by Toby Ward

Whatever happened to the portal?! Wasn’t the portal supposed to be the future of the intranet?!

The portal hasn’t gone away either, in fact, it’s very much alive in most organizations. However, the label is no longer de rigueur. Microsoft stop referring to SharePoint as a portal in 2010; many other vendors followed suit in recent years.

In fact, the definition of a portal is in fact a “door” or “gateway.” In other words, a door or gateway to most if not all of your digital tools. Sounds like the digital workplace, doesn’t it?

The portal evolved over time in the years following the turn of the millennium to be the “enterprise information portal” or “corporate portal” that was defined as:

  • “A primary website on the enterprise intranet. A web-based gateway to most, if not all, tools and information on the enterprise intranet.”– Finding ROI white paper

Sounds akin to the “digital workplace.”

3. What Is A Digital Workplace Anyway? by Daniel Cohen-Dumani

A digital workplace is an environment that allows employees to quickly find the information they need, regardless of their physical location or the device they are using. It’s a self-service environment, where employees can quickly search for and find information they need for their work, whether that is an important document, the office number of a colleague they need to speak to in person, or the company template for writing reports. A digital workplace is a system that removes the barriers to accessing this information. It consists of both physical elements — the devices that people use to access information — and virtual elements — the software applications running on those devices.


1. Enterprise Portals

  1. IBM WebSphere Portal
  2. Liferay DXP
  3. Microsoft SharePoint Online
  4. OpenText Portal
  5. Oracle Portal
  6. SAP Enterprise Portal

2. Enterprise Portals covered by Real Story Group

  1. Backbase CXP
  2. IBM WebSphere Portal Server
  3. Liferay Liferay Portal
  4. Microsoft SharePoint 2016
  5. OpenText OpenText Portal
  6. Oracle WebCenter Portal
  7. Plone Plone
  8. SAP SAP NetWeaver

3. Alternative Sites Like iGoogle Portal by TopBestAlternatives

  1. iGoogle
  2. igHome
  3. YourPort
  4. uStart
  5. Netvibes
  6. Protopage
  7. Gritwire
  8. AllMyFaves
  9. Start.io
  10. Dash Dashboards
  11. Awesome HQ
  12. Symbaloo
  13. Combobox


  1. KMWorld
  2. CMS Digital Workplace
  3. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals
  4. Forrester’s Vendor Landscape: Digital Experience Portals
  5. Sue Hanley
  6. Michael Sampson
  7. Step Two Designs
  8. Portal Solutions


  1. Enterprise Knowledge Portals: Next Generation Portal Solutions for Dynamic Information Access, Better Decision Making and Maximum Results by Heidi Collins
  2. Proven Portals: Best Practices for Planning, Designing, and Developing Enterprise Portals by Dan Sullivan
  3. Enterprise Portals: For the Business & IT Professional by Berthold Kastel
  4. Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management by Joseph M. Firestone
  5. Building and Managing Enterprise-wide Portals by Jana Polgar, Robert Mark Bram, and Anton Polgar
  6. Enterprise Information Management: The Next Generation of Enterprise Software by OpenText’s Mark Barrenechea and Tom Jenkins
  7. Portlets in Action: Covers Portlet 2.0, Spring 3.0, Portlet MVC, WSRP 2.0, Portlet Bridges, Ajax, Comet, Liferay, Gateln, Spring JDBC and Hibernate by Ashish Sarin (Author)
  8. Liferay Portal 6.2 Enterprise Intranets by Navin Agarwal
  9. Liferay 6.x Portal Enterprise Intranets Cookbook by Piotr Filipowicz and Katarzyna Ziolkowska
  10. IBM Websphere Portal 8: Web Experience Factory and the Cloud by Chelis Camargo and Helmar Martens
  11. SharePoint 2016 User’s Guide: Learning Microsoft’s Business Collaboration Platform by Tony Smith
  12. SharePoint 2016 For Dummies by Rosemarie Withee and Ken Withee
  13. Essential SharePoint® 2013: Practical Guidance for Meaningful Business Results by Scott Jamison, Susan Hanley, and Chris Bortlik
  14. Beginning Oracle WebCenter Portal 12c: Build next-generation enterprise portals by Vinay Kumar and Daniel Merchán García
  15. The Complete Guide to SAP NetWeaver Portal by Manish Chaitanya
  16. The Digital Workplace: How Technology Is Liberating Work by Paul Miller
  17. The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future by Paul Miller and Elizabeth Marsh
  18. The New Digital Workplace: How New Technologies Revolutionise Work edited by Kendra Briken, Shiona Chillas, and Martin Krzywdzinski
  19. A Complete Guide to Portals and User Experience Platforms by Shailesh Kumar Shivakuma
  20. Personalizing knowledge portals: Principles, requirements, methods by Eva Oberbichler

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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