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What is a portal / portlet?

Barry Andrews
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Joined: Sep 05, 2000
Posts: 523

I keep hearing these 2 buzzwords, portal and portlet? Can anyone give a description of what these things are or a link? I did a search on Google, but surprisingly did not find anything but tool vendors.
many thanks,
Amol Desai
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 82
Portlets are web components -like Servlets- specifically designed to be aggregated in the context of a composite page. Usually, many Portlets are invoked to in the single request of a Portal page. Each Portlet produces a fragment of markup that it s combined with the markup of other Portlets, all within the Portal page markup.

For details, have a look at

Barry Andrews
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Joined: Sep 05, 2000
Posts: 523

Ok, so I think I understand what it is, but how is it used. Can someone give an example of a real life application of this technology. Thanks!

William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke

Joined: Mar 22, 2000
Posts: 13037
If you are a returning customer at Amazon or you have signed up for particular news items at Yahoo, you are using a portal. The page you see is generated on the fly based on what the site knows about you.
Chad McGowan
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 265
MyYahoo is a good example, where you identify the content you want to see, then it is retrieved from the various sources you selected.
Check here for a good overview of one popular portal vendor.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8927

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: What is a portal / portlet?
It's not a secret anymore!