Increasingly, the "window" through which customers, business partners, and employees view a business is a computer screen. Expectations as to what a business provides in terms of online access to services through this window or portal are increasing rapidly. And it's not enough to provide people with a consistent way of accessing the online tools they need to work, collaborate, or buy. Today's businesses stand to achieve many benefits by implementing an enterprise-class portal that provides consistent access to customized tools that improve productivity, fuel innovation, and improve customer satisfaction. This is the thinking behind the growing family of IBM accelerators for WebSphere Portal. This book provides business people and IT staff with an easy-to-read introduction to the IBM accelerators. It will start by introducing the concept of a portal, the WebSphere family, and WebSphere Portal Server. Each IBM accelerator will then be introduced and explored in terms of both the business value it provides and how it works. To illustrate how the IBM accelerators can be employed to solve business problems, three hypothetical businesses are described and then outfitted with the appropriate IBM accelerator solution. This book will help you: • Understand how portals can help businesses be more successful. • Learn about IBM WebSphere and WebSphere Portal Server. • Get inside the IBM accelerator strategy. • See the business value of IBM accelerators in various environments. • Learn by watching as three businesses implement IBM accelerators. About the Author Jim Hoskins has been involved with computer technology design, implementation, and education for over 25 years. He is the author of many articles, books, and ebooks covering a wide range of technology and Internet business topics. Jim spent over a decade with IBM designing computer systems and directly helping businesses of all sizes design and implement real-world solutions. He is the author/editor of the popular "Exploring IBM" series of books, which has sold over 350,000 copies in 12 languages. Jim has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and resides in GulfBreeze, Florida with his wife and five children.