Chapter 2. Portal composite pattern and custom designs introduction 25
2.3 Portal custom designs
A Custom design, like the Composite patterns, combines Business and
Integration patterns to create advanced, end-to-end e-business applications.
These solutions, however, have not been implemented to the extent of the
Composite patterns.
The Business and Integration patterns that could be combined in any given
Portal Custom design are as follows:
򐂰 Access Integration
򐂰 Self-Service
򐂰 Collaboration
򐂰 Information Aggregation
򐂰 Extended Enterprise
򐂰 Application Integration
Depending on the type of portal solution being deployed, different combinations
are implemented based on the required functionality. Some of these Business
and Integration patterns are more common.
However, our premise here is that
these patterns common to any Portal custom design will contribute to the Portal
composite pattern that is the focus of this endeavor
.
One of the patterns, Access Integration, can be considered the most distinctive
pattern for a portal, given its focus on improving a user’s access to information
and e-business services. Since the Integration patterns are used to extend the
capabilities of Business patterns, we will also be looking for which of the other
patterns contribute to a specific portal scenario. We will see that Self-Service,
Collaboration, Information Aggregation, and Application Integration can also be
important to portal solutions.
2.3.1 Access Integration pattern
The Access Integration pattern is commonly observed in e-business solutions
that provide users a seamless and consistent user experience that combines
access to multiple applications, databases, and services. It is used as a front-end
integration pattern. The Access Integration pattern does not stand alone in a
solution, but is typically used to combine Business patterns to create custom
designs and Composite patterns used to solve complex business problems.
Access Integration contains many of the characteristics that describe a portal
implementation. It fits well into the Portal composite pattern because it includes
aggregation and management of information and access to information by
various user and group types, and the business “rules” have been clearly defined
that determine which user types can access certain types of data.
26 Patterns: Portal Search Custom Design
For more information on the Access Integration pattern and its services, refer to
the Access Integration Pattern Using WebSphere Portal Server, SG24-6267.
2.3.2 Self-Service business pattern
The Self-Service business pattern describes situations where users are
interacting with a business application view or update data.
Often an organization not only wants to disseminate information internally but
also wants to make this information available to external users and partners. The
Self-Service business pattern is focused on allowing the end user access to
information from various data sources using a mechanism that allows the user to
access just the specific information that applies.
For more information on the Self-Service business pattern, refer to the following
redbooks:
򐂰 Patterns: Self-Service Application Solutions using WebSphere V5,
SG24-6591
򐂰 Self-Service Applications Using IBM WebSphere V5.0 and WebSphere MQ
Integrator V2.1 Patterns for e-business Series, SG246875
2.3.3 Collaboration business pattern
The Collaboration business pattern enables interaction and collaboration
between users including e-mail, virtual team meetings, e-learning, instant
messaging, and workflow processes. This pattern can be observed in solutions
that support small or extended teams who need to work together in order to
achieve a joint goal.
Collaboration can often combine with a workflow engine that provides the ability
to set up and support more complex processes that might involve multiple users
from different workgroups, departments, and organizations. An emerging
capability is the concept of
contextual collaboration that incorporates functions
previously found only in knowledge management applications. This includes the
ability to apply context to a piece of content, to discover the experts within the
organization, and to add collaborative functions to transaction-based
applications. Collaboration is a core feature of a portal implementation.

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