Evolution of Portals

Evolution of Portals

Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK) and Kimmo Salmenjoki (University of Vaasa, Finland)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-989-2.ch066
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The word portal came from the Latin word porta, which is translated to gate. Anything that acts as a gateway to anything else is a portal. The portal server acts as gateway to the enterprise in a network. However, there are many different definitions of the word portal. A search of the word using Google search engine yields many thousands of references. Some consider portal to be a new name for a Web site. A portal is an entry point to the World Wide Web (WWW) and therefore, more than what a Web site does. According to Internet 101 , a portal is a Web site linking to another Web site. Sometimes search engines have been referred to as portals. Access companies, such as Microsoft Network (MSN) and America On-Line (AOL), have often been referred to as portals. Although the definition of the word portal is still evolving, the definition we will use is a gateway, and a Web portal can thus be seen as a gateway to the information and services on the Web, more specifically to services on both the public Internet and on corporate intranets. This article aims to take the historical approach based on the development of the Web and examine the factors that have contributed to the evolution of portals. The origin of portals came about because of the need for information organisation. Users need to be provided with coherent and understandable information.

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