For websites with forum-based content, which I believe is most of the cases of IPS websites, the idea of having a separate database like IPS Pages does not appear to be a good idea. Besides, I think Pages is beyond the need of most of the websites of this kind (though it still lacks many fundamental or important features, and is not easy to use). On the contrary, the current Portal app is just too simple.
I suggest something in the middle of the two, with the following features:
Truncating options to set length, to choose whether to keep the formatting (i.e. rich text).
Article thumbnails (generated from images in the post, if no image available then choose a default one).
To ability to manually modify the displayed articles: remove or re-order/rearrange them (so that old articles can go on top if needed). Currently the list is built from a set of chosen forums, with a predefined order (based either on creation date or on the date of the last post).
Category: the ability to define a category for each added article. The ability to remove/add/re-order an article in a category.
Permission: which groups are able to manage the list. Moderations action in topics: promote to or de-promote from Portal (can choose category).
With these feature, the app does have a database, but it is very simple: just a list of arrays of topic IDs. Each list corresponds to a category, which contains the name of the category and an array of article IDs in this category.
I strongly recommend @Mike John to make a paid app with these features, as a Pro version of Portal. I believe it will be a success. Of course I would be very happy buying it If somebody else is also interested in this, please let Mike know.