Since getting back from the Users Conference in San Diego where we got wowed by all sorts of cool GIS applications, implementations, and the like, question of Portal for ArcGIS vs. ArcGIS Online has been popping up. Honestly, I was a bit confused about the whole Portal for ArcGIS as it seemed to me that it would involve a lot of work for not much gain for our organization. We don’t need to have ArcGIS Online on premise for any major reason I’m aware of at least not on our main ArcGIS Server. The only thing that made it look attractive was the 50 named users that we would get should we implement this. Finally, this morning while waiting for the coffee to brew, I came across this blog post and quick video from SSP innovations that breaks down the difference between the two.
The decision boils down to whether [your] organization requires full control over the data and system security. Portal for ArcGIS offers that required security completely within the system’s firewall. If [your] organization desires a SaaS, cloud-based deployment, ArcGIS Online is the ticket. In the event aspects of both features are desired where some data content is restricted to within the firewall, a hybrid approach should be considered.
Thank you Brian Higgins!!! Now I have a reference for the next person who ask me this question.