Allow me to elaborate: I can’t think of a reason I would suggest to any of our clients to use a portal server. In my personal experience, portal servers, especially commercial ones, are just gigantic bags of more or less related, often quite useless functionality that create far more problems than they solve. One could say that Portals are the ESBs of front-end technology (and many of the arguments for and against them apply).
My suggestion for any company looking at a portal server would be to instead a) hire a good Web designer to create some nice reusable CSS files and example HTML layouts and put them somewhere developers can include them from b) establish single sign-on functionality by means of a shared service, ideally supporting something like OpenID and OAuth and c) offer a few URIs where people can pull useful HTML and/or JS fragments from to include in their Web apps. If needed, I’d make sure I get bonus points in the
bullshit marketing category by labeling this a “pragmatic open portal strategy”.
What do you think?