What is a Portal?

Portals can serve an enterprise in a variety of ways. Read about key use cases and then learn more about Liferay Portal's robust portal, content, and collaboration features.

Web Platform

A portal is generally defined as a software platform for building websites and web applications. Modern portals have added multiple features that make them the best choice for a wide array of web applications. Some common uses for a portal include:

Build Gadgets, Portlets, Pages, Themes, Navigation and Websites

Portal platforms make it easy for users to build web pages and websites by assembling portlets or gadgets onto a portal page. Portal websites combine a theme (header/footer and common look and feel), a set of pages, navigation (menu bar, etc.), and a set of portlets and gadgets. Administrators can build pages without coding by reusing existing portlets and gadgets.

Anonymous Pages and Authenticated Pages

Portals make it easy to build websites that show different content depending on whether or not the person is logged in.

For example, a bank website may feature a set of pages describing its services, special offers, and contact information that are accessible to all; however, after a customer login, additional content may be available such as account information, bill payment, loans, etc.

Role-Based Content Delivery

Portals additionally simplify the development of websites that display different data depending on a user's role. For instance, a bank website may feature anonymous and authenticated (logged-in) pages but can additionally have different pages available for various customer types. A standard account can have basic services and pages, while business customers can have additional pages defined.

Community Pages

In addition, portals allow end-users to define pages, and add content to their pages using predefined portlets or gadgets. They can also define who can access their pages. Team members can then collaborate together within their community site.

Multiple Languages, Multiple Platforms

Once it is developed, a website may need to be made available in multiple languages and from multiple platforms (e.g., smart phones, tablets). The portal provides a method to simplify the development and management of pages for each type of end-user.