JISC Information Environment Architecture

Baseline Portal Functional Specification


This document provides a baseline functional specification for JISC IE portals. The intention is to provide a list of the key functionality of JISC IE portals. The following list is neither exhaustive nor mandatory, however it is anticipated that most JISC IE portals will provide most of the functionality outlined here in some form. Many portals will provide additional functionality that is not listed here. In particular, note that this document focuses on the 'resource discovery' aspects of JISC IE portals. Many portals will offer other, non-resource discovery related, functionality. Such functionality will typically be incorporated into the portal using Web services standards (such as SOAP) and 'portlet' standards (such as WSRP and JSR-168).

Functionality has been separated into the high-level use cases identified in the JISC IE Functional Model.

This baseline functional specification is based, in part, on the work of the Subject Portal Project.







It should be noted that some of the functionality in the Detail, UseRecord and Request use cases may not be provided directly by the portal but by an external OpenURL resolver.


In the general case, it is not anticipated that portals will provide any 'useResource' functionality. In most cases, discovered resources will be downloaded directly to the user's Web browser (or other client) and used within their desktop environment.

There is one major exception to this. Where the portal is an Instructional Management System (IMS, a.k.a. VLE or MLE) and the discovered resource is a learning package, then it will be appropriate to download the resource to the IMS, unpack it and 'install' and run it within that environment.