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The rise of Microsoft SharePoint as the predominant departmental portal solution has led to two divergent reactions among traditional enterprise portal suppliers, with IBM, Oracle, and SAP now dividing up the top tier of the marketplace while a plethora of open source alternatives are expanding rapidly to compete directly with SharePoint, according to research undertaken by CMS Watch, a vendor-independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies.

At the top tier, Oracle acquired two more portal products via BEA, but has now positioned its Oracle WebCenter Suite offering as the strategic choice for the future, while IBM continues to expand WebSphere Portal Server. Oracle and IBM have taken to emphasizing complex, enterprise integration scenarios that SharePoint typically cannot meet. “Both vendors are also betting heavily that new Web 2.0 features will keep their portal offerings relevant,” notes CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne, “But many customers remain quite properly wary of extra portal overhead within their social computing projects.”

CMS watch also states that open source portal projects continue to expand vigorously. “Open source communities increasingly tout themselves as an alternative to SharePoint for simpler scenarios,” points out CMS Watch contributing analyst Janus Boye. Apache, eXo, Liferay, and uPortal have all recently undergone major upgrades.

Looks like Lotus Domino, Plumtree are out of the picture.