Oh No, Not Another Web Portal

Opinion: Microsoft's newest shared-source project, Business Portal Lite, is torn from the tech headlines of 1997.

Hands up, everyone who remembers when portals were the be-all and end-all of Web development.

Just what I thought, pretty much everyone who was around in the late 1990s and early 2000, aka the days of the Internet bubble.

Here it is, 2005, and what do I see?

Why, its Microsoft trying to revive that tired, old concept yet again in its Business Portal Lite.

In this new version of the old idea, we see a Web-based, thin-client interface which connects browsers with Microsoft Business Solutions Portal server and the Solomon ERP (enterprise resource planning) system.

The "news" hook this time is that its semi-open-source. The code, which comes from the Microsoft Business Solutions Solomon team, and the portal itself is under Microsofts new shared-source, Microsoft Permissive License.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Microsoft slashing its shared source licenses.

Excuse me as I yawn.

The Business Portal Lite code is just non-browser specific portal code.

There must be thousands of examples of this kind of code lying around some of it dating back to the Net bubble days.

Theres the original portal code, which tended to be written in HTML/CGI (Common Gateway Interface) code, the later stuff that was written in PERL, JavaScript, Microsofts own ASP (Active Server Pages) and on and on.

Lately, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python) and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript), have become the languages of choice for this kind of thing.

In short, theres really nothing new here as far as the code goes, and the fact that its under a shared license is really pretty pointless.

Now, what is interesting is that its Microsoft getting its toes wet in an ASP (application service provider) model.

On top of that, Microsoft isnt just embracing a thin-client, Web-based model; its getting busy with a non-browser specific Web-based application.

Next Page: More monster stories.