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The Anti-Portal: mashup and forget it


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A workshop session presented by myself and Russell Allen at IWMW2009 at the University of Essex

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The Anti-Portal: mashup and forget it

  1. 1. The Anti-Portal: mashup and forget it Jeremy Speller Director of Media Services UCL Russell Allen Project Manager University of Bradford Institutional Web Managers Workshop University of Essex 29 July 2009
  2. 2. Starting points UCL UoB • What we're going to cover o How UoB and UCL got into the portal game o What we discovered during development o Outcomes of proof of concept o UoB BETA and afterwards o The end...or not? o Along the way: group work • BTW - we don't hate portals (necessarily!)
  3. 3. Starting points UCL UoB • UoB project driven by grant...there was research and a business case • UCL driven by user requirement • Common issue: explaining portals
  4. 4. Starting points UCL UoB GROUP SESSION Explain what a portal is and does to stakeholders and/or users
  5. 5. Starting points UCL UoB • Is there a simple definition? • How would those definitions change if you were explaining it to a: o Dean o Web Developer o End User • Feature-based analysis o web-based services  which ones are actually required • Benefit-based analysis o 'selling' the benefits
  6. 6. Laying tracks UCL UoB Building the test sites • UoB approach • Serendipity CEAI and UoB • High profile lots of internal press. Portal seen as salvation. • Disconnect between techies experimenting and business expecting full-blown portal • POC was to test Oracle portal (not shown to users) • The technology works • But something was missing...the picture gets blurrier • N tier architecture, my baptism of fire
  7. 7. • UCL approach o 6 month project o "Borrowing" staff - including excellent PM o integrate a small number of critical apps • Common issue: resources • Common issue: politics • Common issue: "easy" to build, difficult to maintain and develop Laying tracks Building the test sites UoB
  8. 8. Happy passengers? UCL UoB Proof of concept • UCL o Focus groups o Online survey • Common issue: amount of work required for success
  9. 9. Happy passengers? UCL UoB Proof of concept GROUP SESSION What are the critical factors for success?
  10. 10. Happy passengers? UCL UoB Proof of concept • Business case • User benefit • Clear definition • Technical skills • Identity management • Application silos • Politics
  11. 11. Steaming ahead UCL UoB BETA site • From Proof of Concept to Beta • Relying on partially available resource o matrix teams o getting a student in • Recreating what already exists o UoB's existing intranet • Don't beta me up - what the users thought
  12. 12. Beeching cut? UCL UoB End of the line? • Beta two we'll beta you to death! • What do users want? Not this! • Building the case for dismissal from user evidence • Getting the Board to agree o we already had web-based services o it's that 80/20 rule • Moving from SSO to SSO. Keeping the essence. • How to 'do' politics or how to kill a Zombie project • Let's suspend
  13. 13. Beeching cut? UCL UoB End of the line? GROUP SESSION How do we achieve portal benefits without resources or a formal portal framework?
  14. 14. Beeching cut? UCL UoB End of the line? • Features o SSO o Authorisation o Personalisation o (Portlets) • Straightforward access to services for users • Value-added for users • Service providers can see the value to their users • Don't build an extra tier into architecture
  15. 15. Branch line? UCL UoB Under construction? • No money (really!) • Lightweight development • Existing technologies • 3rd party services? • A "page of buttons" • Is any of this the "anti-portal"?
  16. 16. The making of the Anti-Portal: Pt1
  17. 17. The making of the Anti-Portal: Pt2
  18. 18. The making of the Anti-Portal: Pt3
  19. 19. The making of the Anti-Portal: Pt4