Mark Poag, the General Counsel of DataCert email@example.com, speaks about Passport in the Met.Corp.Counsel, Nov. 2010 at 44. He explains that Passport is a “platform” for law department software that knits together so-called “point” applications,” their somewhat disparaging term for single-purpose applications. He mentions that Qwest Communications and Carillion have already selected Passport along with a dozen other departments out of the 400-plus users of legal systems implemented by DataCert.
The concept of Passport intrigues me. Its benefits are several, according to Poag. Passport provides core components “such as business intelligence, security, and database.” I think that business intelligence has to do with a reporting function. It provides tools to let clients configure the system, integrate their other applications in the law department and in the wider enterprise, and even build new applications. Not that the software consists solely of modules and tools, it can come pre-configured with legal infrastructure such as roles, a data model for matters, and legal-specific fields.
It is not clear to me how a platform differs from a portal, but the way Passport is described, it allows users to do more than simply warehouse, enjoy a common interface, and report on data from multiple databases (See my post of June 27, 2006: portals with 4 references and Aug. 16, 2006: what does the term portal convey.).