Functional System Design
The main system functions provided by the DENR Enterprise Web Portal are the following:
All users accessing public DENR websites do not require authentication. All users accessing DENR intranet sites require authentication.
A very limited number of DENR ITS personnel are designated as system administrators, and are authorized to configure all aspects of the Portal. System administrators can configure websites and manage users.
For each website configured on the Portal, system administrators can authorize users to be website administrators. Website administrators can authorize users to be content creators for their website, and can authorize users to have access to the intranet pages on their website.
The Portal's integrated content management system (CMS) functions as the authoring tool for all of its websites. Only website administrators and content creators have access to the CMS for their website. Website administrators use the CMS to manage the website's page structure, each page's layout, and the content on each page. Content creators can only use the CMS to update page content on their website.
The most important feature of the Portal is its abstraction of websites into their basic components – site design, site structure, page layout, and content. The CMS provides functionality to define and configure each of these distinct components separately, and the Portal dynamically combines these components to deliver every page it displays. This allows the design to change without affecting page content, or content can be changed without affecting the site structure or page layout, etc.
The overall design of all pages on the Portal, is determined by the Web Portal Team user group. The design is produced by web design specialists and graphic artists in the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs' Creative Services Group. The design is implemented jointly by the DENR ITS Web Integration Branch and Creative Services as a Portal theme. The theme frees content creators from website design concerns, which allows them to concentrate on what they and end-users consider to be the most important aspect of their sites – content. This also allows DENR to enforce a common design, which promotes a unified DENR “brand” for all of its websites.
The Portal's authorization system allows users to access various resources on the Portal by associating specific permissions to each user for each resource. System administrators can assign individual permissions for users to access specific pages, content, sites, portlets, documents, etc. Website administrators can do the same for other resources on their website, such as documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, data files, etc.
Various portlets are available for website administrators to use on their website's pages. These portlets provide common functionality such as: document/file storage, message boards (forums), web forms, event calendars, wikis, blogs, searches, etc. The Portal also provides a platform for the deployment of portlets and applications developed DENR ITS.
Web services are available to retrieve system and portlet data in a variety of formats, as designated by system and website administrators. The Portal also provides a platform for the deployment of web services developed DENR ITS.