Portals went through the following different life cycle stages: desktop organization and personalization; single intranet-based portals such as human resource and Internet product-based or industry-based portals; functional-based portals such as knowledge management and business intelligence; and integrated intranet-based enterprise portal (EP) covering some or all functions of the enterprise (see for example http://www.ebizq.net/topics/eai/features/1650. html on how integrating portals and business process management (BPM) enabled the presentation of an integrated view of diverse back-end databases). Current research and practice efforts are directed toward making portals an open system supporting different platforms and allowing its integration into emerging technologies such as Web services (WS). A WS, on the other hand, is defined as an integrating loosely coupled application that uses three major standards: WSDL (definition of WS), UDDI (registry and discovery of WS), and SOAP (access of a WS). However, strongly coupled applications may also benefit from WS technologies to componentized diverse application platforms (i.e., databases, file-based legacy systems) using WS technologies. The article emphasizes cross-organization integration of business function and processes, rather than simply accessing general purpose WS such as weather forecasts and currency conversion.