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A portal application is a Web-accessible, interactive tool on a secured website that delivers both related and unrelated applications, services and links. Portal applications provide data in an easily understandable format, modify or manipulate the data, and communicate with companies or individuals about the data. After a user logs in, a portal application also enables the service provider to track users’ website activity.
A portal application may also be known as an enterprise portal.
Portal applications should meet a customer’s needs. For example, an online banking site provides a variety of current account(s) information and allows secure chat room, email or other messaging services to answer specific questions. Bank customer service can use the same portal application to access relevant information needed to answer the customer’s inquiries. The customer may also modify the website to include links of interest, gain entrance to chat rooms and email and even change the colors and backgrounds they see when they log in.
Generally, although the activity of those who use portal applications may be tracked, this is done for marketing analysis purposes and companies are careful not to compromise users' privacy and security.