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SAP Cloud Platform Portal is the recommended portal for all new implementations. On-premises SAP Enterprise Portal, on the other hand, is best used for existing intranet applications. SAP Cloud Platform Portal has biweekly releases with new features that are quickly catching up to those of SAP Enterprise Portal. The biggest feature difference between the two portals is that Web Dynpro Java apps and HTML-Business for Java are not supported in SAP Cloud Platform Portal -- you will either need to use SAP Enterprise Portal as a content provider or migrate to newer SAP Fiori apps.
On-premises SAP landscapes are complex. A large enterprise can have hundreds of instances managing a diversity of databases, OSes, high availability and load-balancing mechanisms, transport paths across multiple tiers and a series of runtimes from traditional Advanced Business Application Programming, SAP BusinessObjects, mobile device management, Java and even ABAP plus Java, which is every SAP Basis administrator's biggest nightmare.
While the appeal of a Java-based, on-premises SAP portal may have sounded strategically wise to engage the massive Java development community, in reality, SAP support and operations teams have 99% of their focus on the ABAP-based system. Because the data in ERP Central Component originates in an ABAP system, it is easier to develop Web Dynpro for ABAP and not have to develop half of an application in ABAP and the other half in Java.
Also, let's face it: No one wants to manage an on-premises SAP portal because of the complex system landscape and Basis challenges, but every enterprise with multiple systems really needed one. Now, enterprises should instead transition to SAP Cloud Platform Portal.
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