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Normally when I stay out till midnight at a conference, it doesn’t involve installing an Enterprise Portal.  Last night was an exception.  I wanted to just take a moment to thank Marian Maravilla and her team of helpers for provide an excellent educational experience for everyone involved.  I had done some Portal installs and administration back on EP 5.0 SP3-SP5.  As the Portal project at my company is begining again, I had been looking for an opportunity to update my Portal skills. This evening did just that.  From the time we started the installation of MSSQL to the time we logged into the our newly installed Portal was about 2 hours!  The Rapid Installer certainly made the process very simple.   Not only did we get to install the Portal, but then we went through several exercises.  We connected the Portal to a backend R/3 system, setup a R/3 transaction IView, create custom pages, roles and worksets, and even created a custom theme!  The best part is that we did all this not in a lab, but on a machine we brought.  That means we get to bring a finished Portal back home with us and continue to explore it.  Overall this was an incredibly valuable experience.  If you ever get a chance to participate in the Bring Your Own Box Portal Party, sign up quick!
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