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What is a Portal ? Let’s look at a typical dictionary definition:

   What is a portal.JPG

IT Landscape Architecture design should start at the Portal [the door] with everything

else behind it, and not the other way around.

Portal is the foundation stone of the IT Infrastructure in an organisation and as we all
know, get the foundations wrong and the design is doomed from the  beginning.

Too many software landscapes are evolved designed from the inside outwards, and

then a front door is bolted on somewhere as an after thought, infact in many cases

there are many front doors and things become messy, and confusing for Users.

The architectural design approach needs to be the other way around, start from the

entrance and work inwards.

A Portal is a door, an entrance, a secure door, and as we all know, for the last 11 years,
the SAP Portal has transformed Customer SAP Landscapes by providing and by being,

SAP Portal, the door to the SAP Landscape providing

out of the box access to any SAP system from any connected

device any time any place any where

Recently the SAP Portal has evolved again, this time splitting into two flavours:

           . the on-premise SAP Portal / SAP Mobile Portal which we all know [and love]

     and the

          . SAP Hana Cloud Portal

The on-premise SAP Portal which for the last 11 years has been the door to the
[on-premise] SAP Landscape, is now complimented by a further still, external door,

the SAP Hana cloud Portal which will now provide the single url common entry point

to the off-premise and on-premise IT infrastructure.

The SAP Hana Cloud Portal brings a new dimension, it’s off-premise, it’s up in the cloud,
it has a friendly interface, it’s quick to work with and agile for solving requirements.

The SAP Hana Cloud Portal is now giving SAP Architects more possibilities for solving

the challenges of encapsulating and containing in a logical user friendly oriented manner

the off-premise and on-premise IT assets of the organisation.

At a time when organisations/companies are dipping their toes into the cloud software
provisioning market, and procuring services here and there for cloud based business
software, the contempory challenge is how to bring everything together, logically,
and in a User friendly manner and design, ie, one url to everything, one Portal opening
the door to everything.

The answer and solution is Hana Cloud Portal as the aggregation UI framework for all
business applications, cloud and on-premise. The Hana Cloud Portal can have Users
Provisioned and easily and securely integrate with customer’s on-premise landscapes
and expose those assets along with cloud based applications.

The IT world is changing as we speak, and cloud is something which cannot be ignored,
which means the SAP Hana Cloud Portal cannot be ignored.

SAP Architects, Enterprise Architects, IT Architects should be looking at the emerging
SAP Hana Cloud Portal and considering it’s place in forward looking architectural design,
prototyping it and including it in design concepts from the beginning, from the foundation,

designing from the doorway inwards and learning from the past.

If your company is thinking of using any kind of cloud software, then you need to be
planning how to securely handle access to the cloud applications and manage Users

and the User’s experience, which means you should be looking at the SAP Hana Cloud

Portal as the doorway to everything on-premise and off-premise.

One look and feel, one url, one door, securely containing access to all areas.

There is mountains of documentation in the SAP Hana Cloud Portal area of SCN and also

a free trial area – https://account.hanatrial.ondemand.com/

The SAP Hana Cloud Portal is a very new cutting edge area of SAP. If you want to get

involved in it in these early days, the Product Managers at SAP for Hana Cloud Portal

are very friendly and approachable. There’s the trial area, and there’s even an

ongoing competition to create the most creative and appealing site which you can take part in .

Have a look and don’t get left behind.

All the best,

Andy.

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12 Comments

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  1. Richard Yarde

    Hello Andy,

        Another great blog, another adaption of the portal for a technology which is now upon us. But how many will adopt it? As stated before for 11 years this has been around, encapsulating and containing content in a user friendly way. We hope that this is the technology to get IT Architects, IT Managers etc to see that they have something already available to place on top of their backends systems to make their environment ‘cloud ready’.

    Thanks

    Richard

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  2. Chris Paine

    Ok, I’m going to put my devil’s advocate hat on here 😈

    Whilst I think that HANA cloud portal is a great leap forward in user friendliness it is slightly constrained by the fact that it is SaaS (one could point out that it’s probably less constrained than the onPremise version of the portal, but point being, you cannot make it look/do exactly what you want.)

    I believe that the use case for HANA Cloud portal is not as the gateway to all your onPremise and cloud solutions, but instead a simple and easy to use way to enhance solutions.

    Why? Because I think HANA cloud portal is missing some key components that are needed in a modern “portal”.

    Social is a requirement, I must be able to link to and share anything I see in my portal, with whoever in the business I choose to share that with. The social integration (especially with SAP Jam) is progressing, but not yet at a level I’d want for a new “gateway” portal.

    Complete flexibility with theming, if I’m building a corporate portal, it must reflect my business, and it must be able to look exactly how I want it to. Being constrained by the solution is not an option.

    Access control to media etc including media hosting. Whilst the new video plug in is great, do I really want to embed YouTube videos in my corporate portal? How would I control that only internal employees see them?

    Embedded enterprise search functionality (well I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to make this happen, but it’s the sort of thing that you’d expect out of the box.)

    I think the most telling though is this in the cloud portal FAQ – SAP HANA Cloud Platform, Portal Service: Frequently Asked Questions

    Is SAP HANA Cloud Portal a successor of SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3x?

    No, it is not a successor of Portal on-premise. The Cloud Portal can be an extension to Portal scenarios and can be integrated with your on-premise applications.

    Now, I completely love the flexibility and ease of use of the Cloud Portal, but I don’t think (remember I’m wearing my devil’s advocate hat here, so please don’t shoot me on sight Yariv) that it is designed for or could/should compete with the various other portal solutions out there.

    That said, I’m using it 🙂 but not as a portal, instead as an easy way to consume, theme and display SAP HANA Cloud Platform developments.

    Cheers,

    Chris

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    1. Andy Silvey Post author

      Hi Chris,

      that’s  a relief,  I thought you were going to say I don’t have

      permission to use the picture   🙂

      I will come back to you later today with my thoughts on what you’ve

      said.

      All the best,

      Andy.

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      1. Chris Paine

        I thought you were going to say I don’t have permission to use the picture

        I’d guess you probably don’t 😉 but that’s between you and your conscience  😀

        I’d suggest also that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_portal might give you a better definition to work from too 🙂 . Looking forward to your comments!

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        1. Andy Silvey Post author

          Hi Chris,

          my fault for taking the conversation in this direction, but we’ll stop it here as it devalues and distracts from the point of the blog, we can continue this over a stubby one day.

          Andy.

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    2. Andy Silvey Post author

      Hi Chris,

      thanks for joining this blog and continuing the discussion.

      Whether or not the Cloud Portal has Social Networking features is not the question for me at this stage, the motivation and goal of this blog is to explore this Usage Type ‘Content Aggregator’ and discuss and philosophise with like minded people over the possibilities of how this technology could be used and implemented.

      And to that end, as you point out SAP have made it clear that Cloud Portal is not going to replace the On-Premise Enterprise Portal, but that’s not the hypothesis of this blog, the question is, for a committed SAP Customer, I mean a Customer who focuses on the SAP suite of products and not best of breed, using the Hana Cloud Portal as an Entry Point and Content Aggregator for On-Premise and Cloud content producers.

      The fact that you are using the Hana Cloud Portal to,

      That said, I’m using it 🙂 but not as a portal, instead as an easy way to consume, theme and display SAP HANA Cloud Platform developments.

      means, you are doing precisely part of what this blog is philosophising, using the Hana Cloud Portal as an Entry Point and content aggregator for cloud assets. Your Hana Cloud Portal as an Entry Point to & Consumer of other cloud assets would possibly then become a Producer to the Entry Enterprise Portal in your Portal landscape which in turn is a Consumer.

      There is no right or wrong answer to this blog, the blog is philosophising usage types for the Hana Cloud Portal (and there will be more blogs like this to openly and transparently discuss potential usage types and usage scenarios for the Hana Cloud Portal), the goal being to get us all thinking of how our companies and customers can best utilise this new technology as it matures in the company’s/customer’s long term SAP architectural strategy and on top of that to get us all to have a go with it and think how it can create value.

      All the best and have a good weekend,

      Andy.

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      1. Chris Paine

        Andy, thanks for taking the time for such a detailed reply and clarifying those ideas. I do very much agree with you (devil’s advocate hat off now) that HANA cloud portal is something that companies could well be thinking about using. That said, I’d suggest that every decent portal solution out there is already capable of consuming SaaS content, so the reasons to use it as a producer for federation are limited, but there are certainly some cases that are worthwhile.

        You have a great weekend too!

        Thanks for a really good and interesting post.

        Chris

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    3. Yariv Zur

      Hi Chris,

      One comment about the video – Fully agree with you on the YouTube point. Which is why we already have a partnership in place with Kaltura – As you can see in the Video widget you have an option to use videos from them and not from YouTube. This way – You could have your private video storage embedded in the site. For more details – see here

      (BTW – This is what SAP does internally – we have a video service powered by Kaltura for all the strictly internal videos).

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      1. Chris Paine

        Hi Yariv,

        (devil’s advocate hat back on) but wouldn’t one expect an enterprise portal to provide it own video hosting solution rather than paying a partner additional amounts for this?

        (hat off),

        SAP Jam supports uploading and streaming of video, I’m surprised not to see that functionality leveraged here, certainly the additional bonus of making the content more social/sharable using the SAP Jam APIs would seem to make sense.

        That said, what is there currently is awesome! You’re doing a great job! I’ll try not to be any more of a naysayer, in case I get a wallop when I see you in LV. 😉

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        1. Yariv Zur

          Hi Chris,

          All valid points.

          1. We do supply unstructured storage – You can upload/store documents, videos, images, etc. to the cloud platform ECM layer. But – A professional video solution is much more than storage. Its the decoders, players, etc. All of which we did *not* want to develop on our own when there such cool companies already doing that.

          2. We are enabling integration to Jam – but not all customers have jam (alas!) – And the Jam video/media service is again – something where you can upload a single video and view in the context of a group. Its not a good solution for lets say an external facing web site where you would like to place product videos for your customers.

          Last but not least – Expect a wallop. it is coming 😉

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          1. Richard Yarde

            Hello Yariv,

            Again the portal comes up with the answer.

            It’s quite amusing how the world has not caught on yet. Oh well one day I guess.

            I will wake up and see the portal is the defacto tool for Cloud and UX etc.

            Thanks

            Richard

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