We can implement Salesforce Community Portal, Customer Portal, Partner Portal, or Self Service Portal (aka Community Cloud).
What is Salesforce Community Portal?
Salesforce Community Portal is creating a place on a website where people cal login with a username/password that you provide for them, and they can access information that you want them to see that is in your Salesforce.
Community Portal is the latest version of the portals offered by Salesforce. It looks much better from a design and interface persepective. We anticipate that the rest of the standard interface of Salesforce will look more like the community portal and the service console hopefully soon.
Community Portal, Salesforce Customer Portal, and Salesforce Partner portal are all pretty much the same thing. There are little differences between the different licenses. But Salesforce looks to mainly be combining the Customer and Partner portals they used to offer seperatly into just the single Community Portal now.
The Salesforce Community Portal gives you the ability to setup a portal for your customers or partners very quickly. It could take some time to build a portal that is connected to your Salesforce but this is a portal you can get up in running in a day with minimal development/configuration time or you can even try to configure it yourself.
You pay for licenses though for each person who needs to login to the portal or you can also pay for a certain number of logins per month to be shared accross everyone who has a login. To figure out which license is best you just need to consider how many logins you will be giving out, and how often those users will be logging in. You may provide your 1000 cusotmers with a login to your portal for example but you don’t expect everyone to login either at all or maybe once a month. In this case buying licenses based on logins could make more sense.
So when you configure the portal you can setup a domain like https://mycompany.force.com where people will go to login. You can make a link on your website to direct to this url. You can also create a link like http://portal.mycompany.com on your own domain that doesn’t have force.com in there, then forward and mask that url to point to the force.com url.
Then you can easily add your logo to the login page and to the portal header. You can also easily configure the header color to fit your brand.
You create a user profile for your portal users so you specify what objects, tabs, fields, records each user can see. You can define specific page layouts they will see. You can basically control everything they see. You can give them access to view information and edit information. New licenses even allow for Chatter now.
The interface and look of the community portal is very similar to the standard salesforce interface you see when you login. It has the top with a logo, your name, then the tabs accross the tope like Home, Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Dashboards, you can click on the tab and select a view, view the records, and have a sidebar. All pretty much the same.
With some visual force apex custom coding you pretty much make the portal look how ever you want. You can make it look exactly like your website. Totally change the UI. This just takes more development time. So you just need to decide if its worth it. We often will make a very custom home landing page in the portal that really helps to direct the user to what they should go to.
Creating users for your portal is done by going to their Account record and clicking a button to enable them for the portal, then to the specific person’s Contact record related to that account and enabling them for a portal login. It’s pretty easy. You can also configure to auto create portal users and you can also allow people to register for the portal on the login page themselves.
Our Standard Community Portal Implementation Service Includes:
Configure the portal, create the url.
Brand the portal with your logo and header color.
Setup a permissions/profile for the portal users.
Train you how to manage users.
Not included is doing advanced customizations of the design/UI of the portal. We can do this and can provide an estimate.