Oracle9iAS Portal is the latest name for a product that is actually in its third version as an Oracle offering. The product was originally a piece of shareware called WebView, whose primary purpose was to make it possible to interact with data in an Oracle database via HTML in a browser. The first officially released version of the product was known as WebDB. WebDB took the functionality of WebView and added the ability to create collections of information, known as sites, through a component called Site Builder.
Oracle9iAS Portal builds on the capabilities of WebDB and adds a whole new layer of functionality: it lets you develop portals, which can display more than one grouping of information in a single page through the use of portlets.
These three broad areas of functionality are described in more detail in the following sections. We’ve also included a brief description of the administrative options available in the product.
The most important characteristic of Oracle9iAS Portal is its orientation toward the Internet computing platform. Everything you create with Oracle9iAS Portal is deployed as standard HTML, which can be displayed in most modern, graphical browsers. The Oracle9iAS Portal development environment, shown in Figure 14-3, is hosted in a standard browser and is itself created from Oracle9iAS Portal components.
Figure 14-3. The Oracle9iAS Portal development ...