What sort of access does the PortWeb "DLL" have to a Catalogue?

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[This article reflects the fact than many users wish to use PortWeb either with or without Portfolio Server on a remote/hosted server. As the server's owners most likely know nothing of Portfolio or PortWeb, hopefully this article will help quell fears that PortWeb is a danger to their server]

In simple terms, PortWeb accesses any Catalogue it works with in the equivalent of Reader level access; see here to understand what Reader access allows. In essence, the relationship is read-only and the DLL is best thought of as a wrapper round a bunch of CGI scripts. This is why you can't use PortWeb on a remote server (e.g. your hosted PortWeb site) to update the Catalogue. You are best to assume - where something is undocumented - that in most cases PortWeb will work much more conservatively than the regular client; for instance PortWeb is less flexible in the formats you use for submitting date/time information (it is free though!).

As regards running and updating your PortWeb-served Catalogue, it is easiest if everything is (physically) in-house. Documentation on this aspect of Portfolio use has not yet been written as far as I am aware. To have any greater control of a Catalogue being PortWeb-served, you should consider using Portfolio Server software at the website. If you will be administering the site externally, a fast or broadband connection is recommended. If restricted to a dial-up, investigate Windows Terminal Services (like Citrix) or Timbuktu on the Mac.

Note that if you are going to mix client-based and web-based users you will need to be running Portfolio Server. You should also consider running the Portfolio Server application on a different server to the web server software to balance out load; this isn't mandatory but more a sensible move to assist performance where your organisation/budget offers this option.


PortWeb runs in the Web Server process so *if* it crashes it is likely take this will that site's web service down. In the context of a single physical computer running manner web services it will only affect the PortWeb site's service. Honesty compels one to make this observation whilst noting that feedback from users is that PortWeb is actually pretty stable - so server owners take note.

Each web visitor invokes a separate instance of PortWeb though the catalogue (with or without Portfolio Server) only sees all of these as a single user access. There are no published metrics of the 'horsepower' needed per user or per multiples of the same. However, you should see from the above that the 'consumption' of resource occurs in the web server and not in the Portfolio side of things (more pertinent when Portfolio Server is being run on the same physical computer).

Question: What sort of access does the PortWeb "DLL" have to a Catalogue? [FAQ00140.htm]
Last Update:- 31 May 2006

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