Hi SAP Portal Community,
Creating external facing portals is quite an important topic for many companies and there are lots of things to consider regarding architecture, security, user access etc. Today, I would like to take a closer look at how you can use SAP Portal Site Management by Opentext (PSM) with the SAP NetWeaver Portal to create even better, more appealing sites with a maximum of flexibility.
PSM provides customers with a rich set of features and functions to enable non-technical business experts to easily manage their content within the SAP Portal. To benefit from the close integration between Portal and OpenText Web Site Management and the advanced Site Management features of the product, you first need to install the OpenText Services and deploy the PSM Portal components.
From the Portal side of the solution, you get lots of functionality for providing an external facing site out of the box like navigation via short URLs or quicklinks, a navigation cache, a light framework page, and a resource-sensitive page builder. You can find more about this topic in the SAP help portal at http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/48/1d0555a4ef4e6fe10000000a42189c/content.htm?frameset=/en/48/1d054fa4ef4e6fe10000000a42189c/frameset.htm. For general information on SAP NetWeaver Portal, please take a look at the SAP NetWeaver Portal space in SCN where you can find for example a Getting Started blog and a roadmap presentation, or watch the portfolio video.
With the usage of PSM, you gain all features of a best-of-breed web site management solution for administrators and an easy-to-handle, quick editing tool for site editors in addition. Besides, PSM offers Asset Management to manage images you used on your web-sites, support for the whole content process and, very importantly, lots of options for building dynamic sites. For more detailed information on PSM in general, take a look at this presentation.
Well, how do PSM and Portal work together when building up an external site? Let’s take a look at different important decisions you have to make, when building up your site:
- Access: The OpenText Delivery Server, the powerful, XML-based tool for dynamic delivery of web site content to the Portal, has its own anonymous user. SAP Portal Site Management by OpenText automatically recognizes if the portal user is an anonymous user and then maps it the Delivery Server anonymous user without any configuration needed.
- Navigation: Since your external site will be first of all a portal, you can use the normal SAP NetWeaver portal concept to provide a role-based navigation structure. With PSM you can complement the role navigation by adding either single pages or complete navigation trees to a portal role and very easily link between pages. In addition, you can choose between static and dynamic links when adding pages or page structures to a role, so that in the second case, even after having connected the page to a role, all changes to the page structures will be automatically visible in the portal once they are published. You can see how to add pages to a role in this video.
- Look and Feel: In many cases, SAP Portal customers will create their own portal desktops and framework pages based on the Ajax framework page to shape the portal design according to their needs. You can easily integrate the same css and if needed js file both in the OpenText Management Server as part of the portal framework to attain a seamless experience both in your External Facing site and in your editing environment.
To ensure a consistent look of Portal/PSM pages, the OpenText Management Server (the part of the solution where the actual page creation, editing and publishing workflow is handled) offers also a clear separation of content and layout and helps to enforce strict adherence to a predefined design, even when content creation is delegated to content experts in the LOB. To reach this, the whole content creation process heavily on templates that can be created in a way to fit seamlessly into your portal environment.
- Portal Content: In many cases, you will decide to bring together structured and unstructured content on the same page. In fact, this can be done easily by using the Application Integration feature of PSM. Thus, PSM pages are not just nice web pages created using cool templates and based on a stylish css, but they can also contain any application that is available in your portal as an iView, so that you can for example display the list of current purchase orders next to some information on the purchasing process in your supplier portal. The application integration is done in the template, so power users can provide a set of templates including different applications and add red dots to the template to modify iView properties of the application, e.g. root node and display options for a document list or transaction code for an SAP transaction.
- You can easily provide a mobile version of your external facing site, but that will be the topic of my next blog. To see an overview of the complete series about creating sites with SAP NetWeaver Portal, go the introductory blog.