Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why we are not interested in Portals - 2

From my last post, I have worked up a model of a Portal implementation so we can now compare our model with that of a Portal. Of course, there is a lot more functionality in your average Portal than I have modeled, but the point remains as this model fits the fundamental structure of the vast majority of Portals.

If we look at the Portal model we see that all of the information flow is from the User to the Portal. There is no information moving back to the User, except that they are looking at on the Portal. The control of the presentation, organization and interface is with the Portal and stays with the Portal. Even the comments don't move back to core Institutional database, but remains within the Portal. As the Portal is almost always under the control of the Institution anyway, this means that information not only moves from the Users to the Institution (no change there), but also the control of the way the information is managed, presented, accessed and ordered remains with the Institution as well (again, no change there).

If we look at our model, there are three fundamental differences. First, the information that goes to the hub, is not organized, presented nor ordered there, but simply PuSHed from there to the Subscribers' servers. It is at the Subscribers' servers that the information is organized, presented and ordered many times over, and in the local context. There is also the key difference that comments are not simply attached to a Portal instance, but are available to return into the Institution as part of the object's primary record. Most fundamental of all, though, is that our model is reversible. Any Subscriber in our model can become a Publisher, and any Publisher a Subscriber. Knowledge developed through the local use of Institutional information, can be PuSHed back to the Institution to enhance their documentation of the object. A Portal cannot be reversed as it is not a distribution system, but a broadcast system.

No comments:

Post a Comment