Six Tasks to Ensure a Successful External-Facing Portal Implementation

  • by Ameya Pimpalgaonkar, Senior SAP Architect
  • March 18, 2009
To implement an external facing portal, you first need to configure the server side of the portal. Learn how to prepare the necessary portal components and develop light top-level navigation with interactive hover functionality, configure master rules and a URL alias, and implement security for this single point of access for your external portal users.
Key Concept

NATing is a process of network address translation. Because of the limited number of IP addresses with the form X.X.X.X, private networks with large numbers of computers and devices need addresses that do not conflict with Internet addresses. Certain addresses (10.X.X.X and 192.168.X.X) have been designated for use on these private networks, which are not part of the Internet. No computer on the Internet is allowed to have these addresses. When such a network wants to communicate with the Internet, it does so through a NAT gateway.

IT and business groups are both putting forth enormous efforts to make products, services, and business-related processes available to all of their external users — suppliers, vendors, company shareholders, and customers — through a single external facing portal (EFP). But often they fail to address some very important concerns, which can result in the following issues:

  • Portal navigation issues
  • Portal speed (if light content for the portal is missing, the portal page load time is increases and causes delays for users)
  • Proxy URL issues due to a URL alias not being set in a master rule
  • Public content requires login, missing anonymous user setup and content
  • Customers are not in a corporate LDAP, which indicates inaccurate identity management
  • Portal availability issues over Internet, because the NATing and Secure Socket Lays (SSL) configuration are incorrect or missing

The EFP aims to solve these problems by presenting a single gateway to the information and services a company wants to share with its external portal users. An EFP is a collaborative platform that extends the capabilities of the SAP NetWeaver Portal by allowing a company to provide information, services, and applications to users from a single, secure point of access. The model for an EFP integrates technologies that allow quick access to information in a role-based manner.

The EFP creates one system for accessing organizational information and updates, eliminating the need for multiple applications. An EFP bridges the gap between your organization and your external portal users, making it easier to do business with you.

Ameya Pimpalgaonkar

Ameya Pimpalgaonkar is a senior SAP architect. He specializes in SAP Netweaver Portal, SAP BPM, BRM, MDM, and SAP Mobile. His interests include UI and front-end technologies, SAPUI5, Responsive Design, and integration of modern technologies with SAP UI. He has also worked on HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery. Ameya is also a certified usability analyst from HFI, USA.

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