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What's the alternative to an Enterprise Java Portal? Any experience moving away from a Portal?

author and cow tipper
Posts: 5000
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I'm trying to garner up some insight on what alternatives exist in the Java space for large, enterprise customers looking to move away from their current portal server environments.

I'm seeing a lot of disillusionment in this particular space, especially with WebSphere Portal Server customers. Development seems to be difficult, integration of applications has never panned out like adopters originally envisioned, and the costs are horrendous, especially if you've not using the technology to its full potential, which it appears that many many customers are not.

There's an older CodeRanch thread on the topic, but most responses just seem to list alternate Java portals, not an alternate to using a portal altogether.

Enterprise Java Portal Alternatives - Old CodeRanch Thread

My struggle is figuring out what type of alternative to suggest to the disillusioned. Moving to and open source solution isn't embraced, as those who have been burned by the portal figure if they are going to move away from WebSphere Portal, they may as well just move away from a Portal server entirely. I'm not sure if that's the right choice, as I love Liferay and eXo, but the fact is, the term 'portal' has often become a dirty word.

So, are there any suggestions about good, solid alternatives out there, in the Java space, that are viable alternatives to implementing a global IT strategy that doesn't include an enterprise portal server?

I'm trying to garner as much insight as possible on the topic, and hear about experiences from various users, so I've started up posts on a few other boards. Here's the thread I started over on StackOverflow:

What is the alternative to a Portal software strategy in the enterprise Java space? (Stackoverflow)

I've also written a few articles over on TSS about the same topic, hoping for insight:

Insight Required: We need an alternative to Java based portals. But what is the alternative?
Everyone corporation needs an employ portal. Or do they?

I'll also be referencing this post from those other sights as well, so people with the same problem and the same set of questions about the portal experience can easily sift through the various answers and experiences.

So, any experiences or insights on what to do about the enterprise Java portal problem?
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I would be interested in alternatives as well. Anyone?
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Right now we are also thinking about moving away from websphere portal and looking for a solution. So looking forward for the alternatives.
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