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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle Portal
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10235-01
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5.2 What Can You Do with Oracle Instant Portal?

As you begin working with Oracle Instant Portal, you'll immediately see how quickly you can customize it to reflect your organization. As time goes on, you'll find that it's very easy to administer the portal, and extremely easy for your users to come up to speed with it and to start contributing and sharing content. Let's take a look at some of these tasks.

5.2.1 Contributing Content

Here again is the sample page from the TangFish Software portal:

Figure 5-1 Items on the Sales Page

Sample content on the Sales page

Each block of text delineated by horizontal lines is an item within the portal. In this example, there are two items: "Welcome to the Sales Department" and "Sales Forecast Expected Soon." Items are the means through which you add content to your portal. You can add items to the portal in edit mode. To toggle to edit mode, click the Edit Mode icon, located at the top of every Oracle Instant Portal page. You will see the Edit Mode icon (Figure 5-2) only if you have privileges to add content to the page:

Figure 5-2 Edit Mode Handle Bar

Edit Mode handle bar

(More about privileges later.) Once you are in edit mode, you'll see the New Item button, located in the content area:

Figure 5-3 New Item Button

New Item icon on the Sales page

When you click the New Item button, a list of item types is displayed:

Figure 5-4 Available Items in Oracle Instant Portal

New Item menu

The type of item you select depends upon the kind of content you want to add, as described in Table 5-1:

Table 5-1 Items in Oracle Instant Portal

If you have this kind of content... Add this type of item

Longer text

Expandable Rich Text item. Apart from a title and summary, the actual text of the item is not displayed until the user reveals it by clicking an icon. For this reason, Expandable Rich Text items are ideal for conserving real estate on the page.

Shorter text, such as a news item

Rich Text item. A title, a summary, and the text in its entirety is displayed right on the page itself.

Content that already exists in a separate file, such as a.doc or html file

File item. A title, a summary, and an icon that looks like a file are displayed on the page. When the user clicks the icon, the file you named opens in a secondary browser window.

The file is uploaded to the portal repository, a central clearing house for content stored in portals.

A picture or graphic image

Image item. The image appears on the page itself, along with an optional title and description.

The image is uploaded to the portal repository.

Another location, either internal or external to your Oracle Instant Portal

URL item. A title, description, and an icon that looks like a globe appears on the page. When the user clicks the globe, the destination you named opens in a secondary window.

The TangFish home page, for example, has a URL item that takes users to the TangFish corporate Web site.

An email, pre-seeded with an address

E-mail item. A title and an icon that looks like an envelope appears on the page. When the user clicks the icon, an e-mail editor displays a blank e-mail, already addressed to the person or organization you named.

Once you select the type of item you want to add, all you have to do is follow the prompts to supply the necessary information. For example, when you add a File item, you are prompted for the file you want to upload. Once you confirm the file name, the file is uploaded to the portal repository. Then you can add the title and summary text to the page so that others can understand what you just uploaded.


Unlike Oracle Portal, the set of items available to Oracle Instant Portal users is fixed. Custom item types are not available in Oracle Instant Portal.

The first time you add a Rich Text or Expandable Rich Text item, you'll be impressed by how Oracle Instant Portal's in-place editing capabilities drastically simplify the task. As soon as you add an item, it appears on the page in context, ready for you to begin editing:

Figure 5-5 Adding a Rich Text Item

Adding a Rich Text item to the Sales page

Now you can start entering the title, the summary, and the text of the item, exactly as it will appear to your users. And while you're writing your text, you have access to a full range of text editing controls, including bulleted lists, numbered lists, tables, cut and paste, indents and outdents, and so on. You can even work directly with HTML code, or switch back and forth between modes as you need to. You can also enrich your text by including images, hyperlinks, and tables. In this example, a table is being added, which can be populated or modified using the standard table editing tools:

Figure 5-6 Inserting a Table in a Rich Text Item

Adding a table to a Rich Text item

To give you the flexibility you need, Oracle Instant Portal enables you to cut and copy items, move items to different pages, delete items—all the tools you need to develop content-rich portals and allow you to manage and share that content with others. And if something isn't quite right with what you've done, you can use the Revert key to restore the portal to the way it was before you started editing.


If you have WebDAV enabled, you can add your Oracle instant portal as a Web folder and interact with it right from your desktop.

5.2.2 Creating New Pages

It's just as easy to add top-level pages and child pages in Oracle Instant Portal as it is to add items. One of the aspects of Oracle Instant Portal that makes it so easy to use is that navigation and creation are inextricably linked. You don't have to create an entity and then introduce that entity later into an existing structure. Everything is done in context. For example, you can create child pages right in the navigation area, then use simple controls to reposition, edit, or delete that page:

Figure 5-7 Working with Child Pages

Controls for working with child pages

Similarly, Oracle Instant Portal administrators can add, delete, or edit top-level pages right in context:

Figure 5-8 Working with Top-Level Pages

Controls for working with top-level pages

5.2.3 Administering Oracle Instant Portal

Managing an Oracle instant portal is far less complicated and takes significantly less time than managing a full-scale enterprise portal. With just a few simple steps, you can brand your portal with your corporate identity, select a color scheme for your portal, and set up accounts for all your users.


If you're the Oracle Instant Portal administrator, look for the topic called "Setting Up Oracle Instant Portal: A checklist" in the online Help for a complete list of the customization options available to you. Customizing the Look and Feel

There are three main ways in which to brand your portal, two of which occur in the portal's banner. The banner is the top region of the page, which is identical for every page within the portal. Here is an example of a typical banner:

Figure 5-9 Tangfish Banner

Banner from the Tangfish portal

The Welcome link at the top of the banner contains the name of the logged in user (in this example, MARCO), along with links to log out of the portal or change aspects of the user's account. You can also add your own corporate logo to the right side of the banner, and provide a name for the portal on the left.

Selecting a style for your portal is equally easy. By clicking the style icon, you can display ten different styles, each centered around a different color scheme. As you run your cursor down the list, you can instantly see how your portal appears in each color. When you select the one you want, the entire portal is rendered in that color scheme for every user.

Figure 5-10 Selection of Styles in Oracle Instant Portal

Selection of styles Controlling Access to Your Portal

Creating users and managing the roles they are to play within the portal can be an arduous task. In Oracle Instant Portal, however, a simple security model protects your content without placing an undue burden on you, the administrator.


In order to provide a simple security model, Oracle Instant Portal does not support a public access mode. To access an Oracle instant portal, even for simply viewing content, users must be logged in. Also, Oracle Instant Portal does not support groups, only individual users.

A single user can have a different level of security for each top-level page within the portal: View, Contribute, or Manage.

  • View privileges allow the user to view content on the page.

  • Contribute privileges allow the user to add items to the page.

  • Manage privileges give the user full permissions over the page, including the ability to add child pages.

The privileges you set for a top-level page cascade down to the child pages as well.

Users are created and their permissions managed through a single, easy-to-use dialog:

Figure 5-11 Manage User Rights Window

Highlight user to see what access level to which pages

The left pane lists all registered users. When you select a user on the left, the pane on the right reflects that user's privilege level for each top-level page in the portal. Granting or revoking privileges is as simple as checking or unchecking a box.

You can also control access to a page from the page itself, by clicking the Manage Page Privileges icon (circled in Figure 5-12):

Figure 5-12 Establish Security for a Page

Establish security for a top-level page

The Manage Page Privileges window looks similar to the Manage User Rights window, but the privileges you can set there are confined to the page from which it was launched.

When a user is granted Manage privileges on any portal's home page, that user is considered an Oracle Instant Portal administrator and has full privileges over that particular portal. Additionally, the Oracle Instant Portal administrator can:

  • Create new users.

  • Delete any user in the Manage User Rights dialog, even those he or she did not create. (For this reason, it's wise to restrict the number of users who have Manage privileges on a home page.)

  • Create new Oracle instant portals.

Users that were created through Oracle Portal can also have access to Oracle instant portals, as long as you first add the users to the OIP_AVAILABLE_USERS group. Then you can use the Manage User Rights dialog to grant appropriate privilege levels to the users. What Users Are Created By Default?

During the Oracle Portal install process, two users are created: PORTAL and ORCLADMIN. Both of these users are considered Oracle Instant Portal administrators for every Oracle instant portal, regardless of who created them. In addition, two user groups are created during installation:

  • OIP_USER_ADMINS, who can both create Oracle instant portals and perform user administration on them. PORTAL is a member of this group.

  • OIP_AVAILABLE_USERS, list of users who can access Oracle instant portals. This list appears in the Manage User Rights dialog.