Implementing a context portal using the WebSphere Portal

Source: Internet
Author: User
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Using dynamic portal capabilities to adapt the user interface to specific situations and contexts


It can be a very complex issue to associate content and applications with the users who need them most. On the one hand, you want to provide sufficient information and applications to the users who perform their tasks. On the other hand, you don't want to provide too much information to take on the risk of excess information, because an overload of information can limit employee focus and reduce productivity.

This article describes how to use the WebSphere portal to provide a more dynamic, flexible, intelligent, and context-aware user interface, called a context portal. This article uses example scenarios to illustrate how static Web sites and static portals constrain productivity and how the dynamic capabilities of the context portal overcome these user experience and productivity challenges. The context portal concept describes how administrators, Portlet developers, and portal developers use dynamic portal capabilities to adapt the user interface to the user's specific circumstances and contexts. Understanding and exploring the dynamic features in the WebSphere portal can help you improve your user experience and productivity-raising the value of your portal site.

This article assumes that you understand some of the basic techniques of the WebSphere Portal.

What is a context portal?

Recognizing the value of Internet technology, companies have established intranets to provide their employees with centralized access to enterprise-specific information. Initially, intranets provide employees with the most valuable and widely used information, and enable employees to quickly and efficiently access that information. However, with the rapid growth of the amount of information that is accessible, it becomes more complex and takes longer to find the data that you need.

Many companies have successfully introduced portals to manage new and emerging volumes of information. Portals enable users to have centralized access in a highly personalized manner. Portals allow you to provide information and applications based on the roles of the users in your enterprise. Understanding the roles and information of a given user can effectively find the appropriate content. Now that the portal contains a lot of content, it is time-consuming to find and access the right information for a particular situation. Information overload and become the work efficiency of the association. In today's business environment, the information needed by users in a given role is changing. The portal needs to constantly adapt to the role definition to reflect the business changes, so as to maintain a higher level of efficiency and efficiency.

You can use the WebSphere portal to improve the continuous role adaptation process by building a context portal. A context portal is a concept that allows you to use dynamic portal functionality to make the user interface fit into the user's specific situation and context. The first step in simplifying access to what is needed in a particular scenario is to introduce a filtering mechanism to personalize it (Figure 1). Filter content through access control rules, reducing the amount of content in a portion of the entire portal content that a particular user needs to access to do their daily work. Reducing the amount of content accessible to a particular user can increase availability because irrelevant content is no longer distracting to users, so users can access the content more quickly.

Filtering mechanisms usually do not recognize the context of user actions. These mechanisms also do not "learn" the user's previous behavior and cannot make assumptions that show meaningful content in a particular situation. Filter rules (for example, access control rules) are typically managed centrally by administrators. When user behavior changes, these rules do not immediately reflect user behavior or automatically adapt to changes.

The context portal can further reduce the filtered portal content based on the relevant portal content. This content is selected based on the context that the user is working on, and only the part of the content that is relevant to a particular context is provided to the user. The context information that is typically used for filtering includes the current date, time, last action performed, current navigation location, and other personal online recognition.

Figure 1. The filtering process for user Content

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