Review: Sybase Enterprise Portal 5.1

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2003-11-04
 
 
 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Sybase Enterprise Portal 5.1
For companies that want a powerful and highly extensible EIP with strong data integration capabilities, Sybase Enterprise Portal provides very good capabilities with broad platform and standards support. Excellent user interface; robust portal capabilities; good portlet creation features. Interface for managing user rights is not intuitive.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
USABILITY EXCELLENT
CAPABILITY GOOD
PERFORMANCE GOOD
INTEROPERABILITY EXCELLENT
MANAGEABILITY FAIR
SCALABILITY GOOD
SECURITY GOOD
PRICING
Enterprise Edition is priced starting at $4,000 per developer, $42,500 per CPU for development and testing, and $85,000 per CPU for deployed systems.

In many ways, Sybase Enterprise Portal 5.1 is typical of the EIPs that come from big database and enterprise information infrastructure vendors—including strong back-end and data integration capabilities. But Sybase Enterprise Portal also features many of the capabilities found in products from EIP-only vendors, such as strong portlet development capabilities and intuitive interfaces.

And, despite the fact that it comes from a company with a broad enterprise infrastructure portfolio, Sybase Enterprise Portal is impressively agnostic, working with a variety of vendors servers and databases, as well as running on most operating system platforms and application servers. The Sybase EIP also features excellent standards support for integration and for Web services standards.

During tests, one of the most impressive features of Sybase Enterprise Portal was its user interface, which proved capable and intuitive. We especially liked some of the capabilities the Sybase portal makes possible for end users, including the ability to create portlets and unique portal pages and to share them with other portal users.

The Sybase EIP has solid workflow features for carrying out management tasks, and the browser-based Portal Studio interface is capable of tasks such as portlet and template creation and management.

Sybase Enterprise Portal provides many options for controlling users, roles and rights, but the interface for doing this was probably the least friendly of the portals we tested. In addition, to perform some high-level management, we had to access other Sybase application tools and interfaces.

Sybase Enterprise Portal does provide nice options for creating and linking portlets. Using the new messaging portlet capability, we could create portlets on a page that would tie together and affect the data being shown in one another. This will be especially useful in analytical or customer service portlets. Sybase Enterprise Portal also now includes the ability to create single-sign-on portlets, where the portlet drives authentication to back-end systems.

Depending on the size and complexity of the implementation, pricing for Sybase Enterprise Portal 5.1 varies greatly. Information Edition, which includes only the portal interface and Portal Studio and is designed for small implementations, starts at $99 per developer and $4,000 per CPU. At the high end is Enterprise Edition, which is designed for high availability and large enterprise implementations. The cost of Enterprise Edition, the version we tested, is $4,000 per developer, $42,500 per CPU for development and testing, and $85,000 per CPU for deployed systems.

Rocket Fuel