Enterprise information portals have the potential to change the way we work, but only if they are adopted by the end users. Developers of portal software have done their part by creating flexible, easily integrated components that we can use to develop and deliver portal-based applications. The success or failure of portal deployments now hinges on how well these components are crafted and combined to meet business objectives and how well they fit the way portal users work.

In this article, we will outline five best practices that are present in effective portal strategies and often missing in failed portal implementations. (For more on these issues, see "Ensuring Adoption of Information Portals," DM Review, August 2002, and " When the Emperor Has No Clothes: Understanding Why Knowledge Workers Do Not Use Enterprise Information Portals," DM Review, September 2002.)

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