Portal

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Glossary.svg This page describes a concept which is part of our glossary
We use the term portal to refer to an easily-accessible repository of information that's associated with a key concept or structural element of an organisation or trust group. Any concept, no matter how abstract, could have an associated portal, but the most important are the elements that form the organisation's structure, such as departments and projects.

The actual form that the portals have depends on the technological context the organisation operates within and could range from physical noticeboards in outback villages to electronic desktop widgets in a PDA. The most important aspects of the portal are that:

  • they are used in a consistent way throughout the organisation,
  • that access be restricted to the members of the group that the portal is associated with,
  • that they can serve as an easily accessible catalogue for current relevant documentation and procedures,
  • and that they exhibit a scheduling aspect so that activity (such as work done for that context) can be logged and meetings or resources can be booked.

Using a CMS for implementing portals

We have implemented a prototype of our portal system in MediaWiki in the form of our Wiki Organisation system, and we're now working on a more complete implementation in Drupal. In the context of a CMS, a portal is like a "home page" for a particular department, role, user or other high-level concept, such as procedures or projects. Many of our portals in the Wiki Organisation system are actually category pages with the standard items hidden and replaced with a more specifically structured list of member items. In general, we have a portal for the top level nodes in the organisation's Ontology that contain the following kinds of information:

  • Creation (of new member records)
  • Searches
  • Queries (of associated records, e.g. Orders associated with a Person)
  • Calendar: interface to member records
  • Activity: Most recently used member records
  • Procedures: related to this type (e.g. procedures associated with a Wiki, Computer or Person)
  • Reports: Creation of dynamic PDF reports of all category items listed in portal

See also