Chapter 1. Practical benefits and real-world scenarios 9
this chapter. IBM has extended the value proposition of the portal by providing portlets that
assist you in integrating your existing business applications into the portal framework.
Today you may use the portlets provided with iSeries Access for Web to integrate your
5250-based applications into portlets along with the ability to view spooled files, run database
queries, and more. You can integrate WebFacing-based 5250 applications and IBM
WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services (HATS)-enabled applications via the
iFrame portlet. Also, IBM is working to enhance the capabilities of these offerings to improve
the integration of your existing applications into the portal.
The WebSphere Portal product ships with several Lotus Domino®-based portlets to let you
integrate your e-mail, calendar, and other Lotus-based facilities into the portal. The portlets
also help you to integrate Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing (Sametime®), and
Lotus Team Workplace (QuickPlace®) into the portal. If you are an IBM Content Manager
user, portlets are available to integrate those applications into the portal.
Citrix provides several portlets that can integrate Microsoft® Windows®-based applications
served via Citrix and their nFuse product into the portal.
There is an ever increasing library of IBM-supplied and third-party portlets that are available
from the IBM operated portal catalog that you may download and install in your portal. You
can find the portal catalog on the Web at:
The portal can become the single browser-based interface to all of your computer
For example, imagine that you integrate your applications via IBM WebSphere Portal
Express. Your CEO attends a meeting in London with a large prospective customer. He opens
his Apple PowerBook or his personal digital assistant (PDA) and connects to the Internet from
his hotel. He accesses the latest sales figures, enters them into a spreadsheet or updates a
graph that he will use in a presentation later that day, and sends a few notes to his staff. He
does all of this by simply logging into your corporate portal.
The portal provides support not only for traditional personal computer workstations, but also
for cell phones, PDAs, and other pervasive devices.
The goal of a portal and the advantage to the customer is a single interface to everything that
your employees, customers, or business partners need from your computer system.
The implications of this integration are far reaching. It improves the satisfaction of your
customers who now have a single entry point to all of their computing needs. Also, from an
economic standpoint within your IT organization, it reduces the cost to support complex
software installed on individual desktops or server farms. Portals can enable you to
dramatically reduce the number of people and the total cost to support your organization.
1.2 Real-world scenarios
Perhaps the best way to understand IBM WebSphere Portal Express and its benefits is to
examine how you can use the portal in the real world.
1.2.1 Corporate communications
When companies grow to 50 or more employees across multiple locations, communication
problems begin to develop communications within the company. How many of your