The hottest buzzword in the business intelligence (BI) space today is "portal." The enterprise portal and tangential markets are taking off as businesses understand the value of integrating information across the enterprise and as vendors shift from claiming OLAP capabilities to claiming portal capabilities. In fact, the ubiquitous access to data warehouses for many is portals, not desktop OLAP. In general, enterprise portals are costly and challenging to implement; but once fully deployed, they are as large or larger than any other enterprise application.

What is the real value of an enterprise portal? Is it access to weather or sports scores? Probably not. What more executives are realizing is that the advantage is in sharing pertinent business information across departmental boundaries, integrating the company business intelligence so that all users can share a common view of the business. How can this be accomplished?

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