Portals Pointers @ TECFA

Since 2005 I spend much less time on portals, therefore upgrades will become more and more sporadic .... Rather got to either:

"Portals" is used in a wide sense here. We focus specifically on collaborative information portals, but sometimes have pointers to any sort of portal software, e.g. enterprise application integration (EAI software), "smart" Forums and News Pages, Enterprise Information Portals, even a little bit of CSCW or Groupware systems. On the Internet we can see the emergence of what I call C3MS systems: Community, Collaboration and Content Management Systems.

If you are interested in the pedagogical use of portals to support activity-based teaching (vs. "content transfer") there is one place to go: tecfaseed.unige.ch ! It's one of our PostNuke Portals and is open to a public at large.

You can find more variety in this older page. We specifically do NOT target educational platforms in this page. We just mention a few free and/or non-behavioristic platforms.

Portals @ TECFA

Tecfa doesn't have a central portal, but we might use some portal technology to re-implement our own and dead little Virtual Campus. Inside our traditional large website we do run some portals (PostNuke, phpWebSite and PhpWebLog, phpWiki, Swiki and more) and we may add a portal add-on to our homepage (in summer 2002) if we have time...



(this is outdated and not complete now - DKS / feb 2005)

Some community related theory and concepts

Knowledge Management

Portals, learning and education

WebLog Toolkits and thoughts about weblogs

Business speak

(too little, just a few so you can learn some vocabulary)

Information architectures and large CMS

(by NO means complete !)


Most small portals in which we are interested here do not implement "web services" in standardized form. However, this might change, so I start collecting some information here. IGNORE this part, if you are just interested in "leight-weight portals".


There are many players in this field.

Standards and alike

Things do get complicated, e.g. here is a probably wrong example webservice "stack" made up from the very little I know (See also What's Next for Learning Technology Systems and Standards? by Daniel R. Rehak, CMU.

( HTTP -> ) SOAP -> UDDI -> WSDL | WSIF ? -> WSFL ? -> -> ebXML? | WSIL ? -> WSRP? -> Portal

Papers and links

FAQs & MLists


Open/Free News & small CMS Portal software

See the Links section for other lists.

RSS related

If you just want to agregate News feed, you don't necessarily need a portal

Clients and APIs

This section needs work ! (5/2003)

Coll. Hypertexts / Wikis

If you don't know what a wiki is:

Open/Free News & CMS Portal software comparisons

Weblog hosting sites and programs

Commercial or free. (am not familiar with these, and there must be many more).

Other Hosting

I am not familiar with these.

Application servers

See also Information & News Portals, increasingly they serve just anything, including applications. Note: Commercial stuff like BEA Weblogic, IBM WebSphere, IPlanet, Domino Caucus Systems , Microsoft SharePoint Services (WSS, see also at microsoft) etc. are not mentionned here. I hate to say this, but the new MS Sharepoint Portal Server with its WEB Parts can do a lot and seems to be less complicated than other "big" infrastructures. For more free stuff, see other places, e.g. Web Environments on Source forge

XML-based Webapp, Content & Document Management Systems

(well: mostly XML-based, some traditional commercial CMS also)

Other groupware

Educational platforms

This section is BY NO MEANS complete. There are other pages for this, e.g. the Comparison of Web Based Course Environments @ edutech.ch or Bruce Landon's Online educational delivery applications or the entries at DMOZ. None of these commercial systems are deployed at TECFA. The only commercial educational platform we ran (so that our students gain some experience in the area) was WebCT. We cancelled in 2002/2003. We now use either Claroline or Moodle (both work fine) or community portals like PostNuke (6/2003). For an alternative list of free software look at UNESCO Free Software Portal or Scott Leslie's List of Open Source Course Management Systems. SchoolForge may have some additional pointers. In particular Edupacks for Linux. See also ELBA: "Im E-Learning-Baukasten finden Sie einfache, von einander unabhängig einsetzbare E-Learning-Applikationen, welche mit wenig Mehraufwand die Interaktion in Ihrem Unterricht verbessern können". This is the toolset ETHZ is offering to their teachers: so far: Survey (Virginia), SurveyMonkey.com, Plone Portal, Phorum, PmWiki) [Jan 2005]. Finally, here is an index for Quzzing Software. Tthere is a EU sponsored initiative (start 2005): FLOSS - Free/Libre/Open Source Software: Worldwide impact study that may lead to some good lists.



Other / Various

Examples of Portals

(info, community, weblog, commerce, combined, ...)

In Education

(Of course there are portals for education/educators etc. These are not all mentionned here. Also this section is very rarely updated !)


(only simple ones)



See also general Webmaster's indexes or more specialized things like serverpages.com, in particular for do-it your own with PHP, JSP, whatever.


Mostly centered around community building for now

Validate this page

Last modified: Fri Sep 29 10:30:15 CEST 2006