Enterprise portals have hooked corporate leaders with the lure of simplified access to disparate resources, but the cost and time associated with integrating applications into the portal framework can catch businesses by surprise. Portal software vendor
Epicentric and content management player Documentum are rolling out tools this week that aim to ease the process of building applications in portals. Meanwhile, infrastructure player Bowstreet on Tuesday will introduce enhancements to its portal aimed at streamlining the creation of customized functions.
The Epicentric Foundation Builder is designed to let non-technical business users build and share applications within a portal. The toolkit consists of browser-based wizards that guide users through building and deploying applications in the portal, a process that typically requires programming by an IT specialist.
As portal deployments have grown in complexity and scope, the effort needed to stitch resources into the framework has jumped in relation, according to Nate Root, analyst at Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass.
"Depending on the scale of the project, portal users really are caught off guard by the cost and time needed to connect it all together because so much of the marketing for portals has been focused on out-of-the-box deployment and that is really not the case," Root said.
Epicentric Foundation Builder integrates with the company's Foundation Server portal, giving business users the power to automate and customize their own business processes, said M.J. Johnson, technical marketing manager at Epicentric, in San Francisco.