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The SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal as an External Web Presence – Help Us Help You

It is hard to believe that SAP has been offering a portal product for about ten years now.  For those of you old timers like me, you remember a product called Workplace.  The SAP portal products have come a long way in that time but the demands of everyday business mean there is plenty more to do. 


One area of customer interest that I’m seeing almost daily is how can I use my current investment in the SAP NetWeaver Portal as an external facing web presence?  We have a number of customers that are successfully running the SAP NetWeaver Portal as a vendor/supplier portal, an employee self service portal, a web store and even as their company’s internet home page.


But for everyone customer that is using the portal as an external web presence, there are probably five or more who are not.  So SAP is looking for input from customers who have and have not implemented an external facing portal.  So in an effort to improve the functionality and quality of the SAP NetWeaver Portal solution, we are looking for your help.


In this survey, we focus on customers who have implemented or are planning to implement a web-based portal for access by users external to their organization. It doesn’t matter if you used SAP or another solution. Your input will be very valuable to us when planning and prioritizing product enhancements.  It will also help us identify gaps in documentation and implementation processes that we can fill by various means like enhanced e-learning, how-to guides, etc.  It will help us to deliver solutions with maximum value to organizations such as yours.


Here is the link to the survey:


Please consider spending 5 to 10 minutes to let SAP know your thoughts on the subject. For you time we are offering 20 SDN points.  The survey is anonymous but if you would like to receive the SDN points we will need SDN user id and email address to be able to assign the points.  They will not be distributed and will be deleted at the conclusion of the survey. 


We are also looking for a few customers to do a follow-up phone survey with.  If you are interested in participating in this follow-up survey, there is a place at the conclusion of the online survey to indicate that. The follow-up should be no longer than a half an hour. If you are interested, we will need your name and email to schedule the call.  Again, this info will not be distributed and will be deleted at the conclusion of the survey.


Thanks in advance for you help with the project.

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  • the SAP Education eAcademy site, is powered by SAP Portal.
    The site is actually a mashup of PHP-based social and retail engines and SAP components such as REST web services/RSS Feeds deployed on the ABAP Tier and an SAP Enterprise Portal for delivering eAcademy courses and functionality.
    The Learning Portal uses SAP Enterprise Learning at its core.

    Much closer to home, Learning on Demand by SAP, also uses SAP Enterprise Learning in an external-facing portal model.


  • HI,
    We did implement SAP Netweaver portal as EFP for ITC’s ESPB business (not as good as wyeth), but covers all the functionalities needed by the business. The external users need to verify themselves using RSA SecureId before one can log into the portal. More details can be had from

    Although there were initial hiccups, things seems to be going great forITC business now, post 1.5 years of implementation.


  • I have seen websites like Wyeth and Valero but the amount of code level customizations required to achieve that behavior makes me wonder if all they ended up using is the J2EE container that runs the SAP portal and a few user admin services to maintain security roles.

    If it needs dozens of developers to develop a simple web portal – just with a bunch of web pages, then I don’t think SAP portal is the right tool. And it shouldn’t be marketted as such a tool and should stick to its older purpose of a pure SAP-application front end portal only.

    Just some thoughts..

  • John,

    As a general rule, it appears that SAP Portal is not great for external facing.  Reasons are:

    Accessibility levels are poor due to the way the frames are set up.  A lot of organisations want their presence to be W3C A or AA compliant.  To meet this at the moment you have to do an awful lot of coding.  So big improvements in this would be useful.
    Additionally – SAP scenarios where it is likely to be used – external suppliers in SRM and external customers in CRM, maybe have an way of self-registration in the portal linking in with these scenarios better.

    Hope that helps

  • Many clients in my experiance they do not want to use SAP Portal as external , because business people thinking that we are exposing SAP  business data to public (actually not, only SAP portal, this is similar like any other websites ), that is why very less external portals and external Web presence.