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All for One and One for All – New Functions for the SAP NetWeaver Portal in 2004s Part II

One for All!

With the 2004s release of the SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP has further added functionality that is called Multitenant Portal. This functionality allows one SAP NetWeaver Portal to look like many different distinct portals depending on the end user.

This is the second installment about new portal functionality in the 2004s version of SAP’s NetWeaver Product. Check out the previous post, All for One! All for One and One for All – New Functions for the SAP NetWeaver Portal in 2004s, for more information on the Global Portal functionality of the SAP NetWeaver Portal on 2004s.

What is a Multitenant Portal?

A Multitenant is a single portal infrastructure hosted by a service provider that offers services, such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), to internal and external customers. It supports the division of the portal into several logical units – the portal tenants. (“Many logical portals within one physical portal.”) A multitenant portal environment allows parallel entry points into the portal, and each entry point is referenced by a unique URL that is assigned to the end User.

Why a Multitenant Portal?

Within a single portal infrastructure, the service provider can provide content which is unique to different user groups. They can isolate the content of a group and apply access controls and permissions to customized content on a per user, group, or role basis.

Some Common Terms.

Service Provider – The vendor or host providing portal outsourcing services to multiple customers in a single portal infrastructure. Also referred to as the provider.
Portal Tenant – A customer instance defined in a multitenant portal environment. Each tenant has its own collection of customized content and services, which is available only to that customer, its business users and administrators, and the service provider.
Tenant Administrator – A tenant user who manages tenant-specific users or content in the design-time environment of a multitenant portal. A tenant administrator is employee of either the service provider or a tenant customer.
Global Administrator – An administrator of the service provider who has access to cross-tenant users or content in the design-time environment of a multitenant portal. Global administrators can be involved in tenant-specific management tasks; this is defined by the super administrator of the portal.

What is New in 2004s.

In the 2004s version of the NetWeaver portal, you have a number of features supporting the multitenant portal environment. There is Multi-language user interface support as well as Customer-specific branding and corporate identity. You can set up delegated administration for different customized content and per user/group/role permission infrastructure for controlling access to portal content. There are mass editing and transport operations along with a user management filtering mechanism for controlling access to users, groups, and roles per tenant.

From an administration point of view you have to be able to distinguish between global and tenant administrators. Below is an example of how you might divide the two types of administrators.

Figure 1. Possible Distribution of Administration Responsibilities

The global administrator defines the various tenants that will be hosted in the portal. Below is the administration screen. Besides a description for each tenant, the administrator defines the portal alias, the path to the logo, brand-name and stylesheets as well as other tenant specific information

Figure 2. Global Administrators Screen for Creating Tenants.

It isn’t a striking example, but after the tenant configuration is completed, when you use the tenant alias to access the portal, you will get the specific logon screen for your tenant. See figure three below.

Figure 3. Different Logon Screens Based on the Portal Alias.

There are a number of benefits for using a multitenant landscape. Internal or external service providers can offer their services to multiple customers within on single portal infrastructure. There is a cost improvement through lower ongoing total costs for operating a multitenant environment rather than multiple portals. Risk is also reduced by having a less complex system landscape. You can also achieve system landscape optimization through reduction of hardware and system complexity. You can implement quality improvement through standardization and best practices. The standardizing and reuse of services by different tenants reduces the cost for the service and the cost per user.

More Information

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