SAP Streamlines Portal Administration

SAP enhances portal administration.

SAP AG has added enhanced administration capabilities, upgraded collaboration functions and broader language support to its portal software.

SAP Enterprise Portal 6.0, which SAP began shipping last week, enables corporate users to access information from internal applications and external sources.

Portal administration has been simplified in Version 6.0, a part of SAPs NetWeaver integration stack, through an object-based administration model. This provides a more streamlined interface for delegating access and control of portal components, said officials at the Walldorf, Germany, company.

For better communication on both sides of a companys firewalls, Enterprise Portal 6.0 offers support for what SAP calls collaboration rooms: virtual work spaces for teams, workgroups and communities. With the upgrade, collaboration rooms can be defined and controlled locally so content, permissions and membership data can be updated by a business user rather than only by IT staff. In addition, Version 6.0 is integrated with instant messaging and Web-based application sharing capabilities that are run within the confines of the portal.

Along with collaboration upgrades, Version 6.0 has predefined adapters that allow users to work with familiar formats for e-mail, calendaring and hosted conferencing services—WebEx Communications Inc., for example.

An enhanced knowledge management capability that takes advantage of existing repositories and current portal content makes unstructured data accessible and reusable, officials said. The upgrade provides some extra features as well: content management, data retrieval, advanced categorizing, searching, alerting and notification.

Version 6.0 supports the Unicode characterization code, thus adding support for more than 20 languages.

SAP has been reaching out with partners to widen use of its Enterprise Portal. Last month, for instance, it announced a co-development deal with Citrix Systems Inc. The companies said joint customers could integrate Citrixs MetaFrame Presentation Server with SAP Enterprise Portal using a newly developed iView in SAPs Business Package for Citrix. This gives IT administrators a way to provide access to SAP and other business applications and to manage those applications from a single point.

Citrix, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also announced software that lets Presentation Server users merge their applications with IBMs WebSphere Portal and PeopleSoft Inc.s Enterprise Portal.