Oracle Portal FAQ:
 What is Oracle Portal and what is it used for?
Oracle Portal is a browser based, self-service, content publishing and development solution that allows end users and web developers to build data driven web sites. Portal gives content creators the tools needed to publish their own documents on the Web, by directly editing Web site from within their Web browsers.
Portal also lets you decentralized content management, while maintaining centralized control of your Internet infrastructure.
Oracle originally heavily touted the development capabilities of Portal, but it is cumbersome to develop anything other than the default generated forms and reports in Portal. Other products like Oracle Reports must be used along with Portal to generate much meaningful content. The management capabilities of Portal are strong however and are tied directly to the Oracle database. If you are already an Oracle shop Portal should be considered seriously as a portal framework. Given Oracle's dominance in the marketplace the product will certainly be very prominent.
Oracle Portal is part of Oracle iAS (Internet Application Server). Portal was build on top of Oracle PL/SQL. Consider Plumtree as a possible alternative.
Some Product Features:
- Integrated web publishing services for content publishing and data publishing.
- An intuitive portal framework for organizing, structuring, and customizing corporate information.
- A central environment for portal deployment, management, monitoring, and maintenance.
- Available in other languages like French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French and Danish.
- Compatible with Oracle database (versions 7.3.4, 8.0.5, 8i up to the latest releases).
 What is the difference between a portal and a portlet?
A portal is a web site that acts as hub, gateway or window to other information and services on the Web. Common Web portals are Yahoo, Netscape, etc.
A portlet is a specialised content area that occupies a small window of a portal page. Portlets from different sources (Portlet Providers) can be integrated into the portal framework. Example portlets: weather info, news flashes, stock tickers, etc.
 What is Oracle-Portal-to-Go and what is it used for?
Oracle Portal-to-Go provides wireless services to mobile devices. It ships as part of the Oracle iAS (internet Application Server) Wireless Edition product.
Portal-to-Go dynamically translates existing Web content into XML, and then parses out that XML content into the format required by the mobile device; such as WML for WAP compliant devices, or "tiny" HTML for Palm devices. Additional output mark-up language capabilities include HDML, TTML, Pager-text and VoxML (for IVR systems).
 How does one create a new Portlet?
Oracle provides a set of PL/SQL procedures to create new portlets.