5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Portal Software

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Portal Software

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

It’s not easy shopping for enterprise portal software. There are many factors to consider such as reliability, long-term costs and the ease of development. Not to mention things like meeting compliance standards or working with a customer service team that actually cares about your needs.

Regardless, the goal of any sensible organization is to maximize business value by reducing costs and mitigating risks. Here are five specific things to look for when evaluating the right portal vendor for your project:

1. Keeps it simple yet robust

Many enterprises are saying goodbye to the complex and monolithic systems of old. Instead, they are looking for something that is lightweight and feature-rich. They want a product that has the ability to evolve with business needs, which means having built-in expansion features like microkernel architecture and plugins. Having a tool or product that is simple yet robust lends itself to a rich user experience and ease of integration with other technology.

2. Makes it easy to consume relevant content

This is becoming all the more important as demand grows for personalized user experiences. A good portal infrastructure should allow new features and services to be added into the existing infrastructure. It should provide authentication, authorization and role-based content delivery (RBCD). This means that users receive content unique to them depending on their roles and permissions.

3. Combines content, portals, and apps

Not too long ago, portals were thought of mainly as a channel for a specific web experience (think employee portal) alongside other siloed products. App platforms were used to build individual apps. However, many modern portals now include a full workflow enabled WCM system as well as social collaboration and app platforms.

4. Addresses both the enterprise and department

In the past, it was not uncommon for companies to use different sets of software for various enterprise-wide and departmental projects. For instance, a company might use IBM for an enterprise implementation and Microsoft SharePoint at a department level. Now, trends are pointing towards products that can service both solutions—a scalable product that allows for code and feature reuse.

5. Allows you to code and develop as you choose

Java or PHP/Ruby? Spring or EJB? Eclipse or Dreamweaver? With various technology options to choose from, IT teams feel a lot of pressure to make the right choice when developing their project. Portals, however, aggregate content at the presentation layer and allow multiple technologies to be used in the application layer. Some products also allow the various web technologies in different programming languages to be aggregated by a single presentation layer to the end user. Rather than push for a development team to choose certain technologies, a portal interface opens up new possibilities for development.

Whether you are evaluating Liferay or another platform, make sure you are doing your due diligence. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a choice that will sap your time, energy and money. Be sure to ask the hard questions and expect to receive the right answers. Your research will ensure your project gets off on the right foot.