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I have been doing some heavy-duty investigating of the SP2 version of SAP Enterprise Portal 6.0, which has been available internally over the course of the last few weeks.

Wow…did I ever discover a cool new feature: Portal Display Rules!

Here is the definition according to the help page:
A set of conditions defined by a portal administrator determining which portal desktops (a portal object combining selected framework pages with portal themes; see Portal Desktops) are assigned to end users at runtime in SAP Enterprise Portal. This allows organizations to allocate portal desktops with varying designs, branding, or layouts to different departments, sub-companies, or platform-specific scenarios.

Display rules definitions are transparent to end-users. At logon, users are seamlessly presented with the appropriate portal desktop assigned to their role, group, user or scenario.

And here is how this looks in an example:

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Finally, for those of you like me who prefer the real thing to the “abstracized” version, a screenshot of what this looks like in the portal admin view:

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What this means is that I can determine for a user, group or role how their portal experience should look. Desktop layouts, as you already know, are completely customizable since JSP files allow for maximum flexibility in positioning screen elements. And by now, you have probably successfully worked with our theme editor, which has been there since SAP Enterprise Portal 5.0. So you can see the possibilities that are opening up!

While this concept was in place for a while, I have discovered something I consider even cooler: The possibility to send users to a differently designed portal based on the mode with which they arrive, which could be influenced by bandwidth or browser type. In other words, if the user logs in with a certain role, they would be presented with a particular desktop layout and branding, but if he or she comes in through a modem connection, this might be yet another look and feel, maybe minimizing graphics displayed, etc.

The rules can be nested and are read from top to bottom, i.e. the first rule that is found, which applies to a particular log-in, is the one executed.

I propose you let the wheels in your head start spinning and share with us some of the scenarios for your organization where this functionality will create the same excitement it created in me.

Have fun brainstorming!

P.S. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, above you have a clickable link, which takes you to the help file describing this functionality.

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