Review: ATG Portal 6.0

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-11-04
ATG Portal 6.0
The latest version of ATGs portal server will add customer and employee service capabilities to a business. While not the top portal weve seen, ATG Portal 6.0 provides generally good EIP capabilities. Good integration with customer relationship management and self-service features; good community creation features. Some unnecessary steps for administration tasks; officially supports only a few platforms.
Starts at $40,000 per CPU for production systems, $20,000 per CPU for staging systems and $4,000 to $5,000 for developer seats. The Relationship Management platform costs $40,000.

While ATG Portal 6.0 includes all the features most companies look for in a standard EIP, the product is unique in that it is built on top of ATGs Relationship Management Platform. This provides some benefits, especially in customer and employee self-service capabilities and in personalization.

As a J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition)-based application, ATG Portal can run on nearly any platform. However, ATG recommends that it be deployed on HP-UX, Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Advanced Server, Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris or Windows 2000 Server. The portal runs on BEAs WebLogic application server or ATGs Dynamo Application Server.

In tests, we found that the browser-based administration interface for ATG Portal is good, although not among the best weve seen. Some tasks, such as copying a template, required seemingly needless steps. Still, we found the interface to be intuitive and were able to easily manage almost any task.

ATG Portal uses the concept of communities to handle creating unique portal sets and capabilities for different types of portal users. One new feature we liked in ATG Portal was the ability to create new communities using the settings from another community as a template. This makes it simple to deploy communities for new user groups.

User rights and roles were handled well in ATG Portal 6.0, allowing us to control access across all communities and content in the portal. User management was a little difficult in that users are managed by community. This model makes localized management by delegated administrators easy, but it makes global tasks a little more difficult.

ATG Portal also integrates with Microsoft Corp.s Active Directory and Suns Sun ONE Directory for user access.

Like most portals, ATG Portal comes with a collection of premade portlets (or gears, as they are called in this version) that provide a wide variety of collaboration and user productivity tools. Because portlets are based on JSP (JavaServer Pages) and Java, creating new ones doesnt require learning proprietary languages or scripts. It was also simple to tie these applications into back-end enterprise systems using ATGs Data Anywhere, which provides prebuilt and extensible data integration.

Pricing for ATG Portal 6.0 starts at $40,000 per CPU for production systems, $20,000 per CPU for staging systems and $4,000 to $5,000 for developer seats. The required Relationship Management Platform costs $40,000 per CPU.

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