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Building and Managing Enterprise-Wide Portals

Inspired by similar questions, we decided to put together a systematic review of current Web technology and trends to meet two goals:
  1. Provide information to people who need general, rather than in depth, technical knowledge such as information technology (IT) development mangers, software designers, architects, IT students, and project and program managers. Our ideal reader is technically inclined, with broad interests and management responsibilities.
  2. Describe the logical development of business applications technology, from client-server to Web, Web Services, Portal, and computer Grids.
The book is practically oriented; it gives a large amount of industry focused advice and down-to-earth observations. The reader will probably need to seek more detailed information in specialized books, but he or she will be able to maneuver in the sea of available information.

It is not necessary to read the book sequentially, but there are advantages in doing so as the topics build on previously discussed topics.

The reader should be familiar with the basics of current information technology, the fundamentals of Web architecture, and introductory Java. It is possible to understand the ideas without understanding the Java examples that appear in the text. We rely heavily on the XML concepts, and we envisage that the reader will consult the Web for additional information when reading this book.

We found many definitions and principles on the Web, and, where possible, we quote the source for the reader. Published Request for Information (RFC) material is used extensively throughout the book.

Some information will become obsolete with time, as many suggestions and design principles refer to the current industrial strength implementations. Many examples and practical observations refer to IBM WebSphere as the authors have experience with the product. We encourage readers to critically evaluate some of our more controversial advice.

About the Author
Dr. Jana Polgar is a lecturer at the School of Network Computing, Monash University where she teaches software engineering and web technologies in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She holds a PhD from RMIT, Melbourne, Australia and a Masters degree from VUT Brno, Czecholsovakia. In addition to her research in software engineering she has published many articles and book chapters and presented several papers on managing quality of service of streaming multimedia over the Internet.

Robert Mark Bram teaches at Monash University, in Australia.

Tony Polgar holds a Masters degree from the Faculty of Engineering, Charles University in Prague and a Masters degree in Computing from Monash University. He has been a practicing manager for large enterprise applications and portal development for more than 20 years. He also worked ten years for IBM and holds an IBM worldwide qualification as a Certified Project Manager.

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