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Salesforce Portals and Salesforce Communities

Salesforce Portals and Salesforce Communities

Salesforce Portals and Communities empower your customers and partners by providing a social forum directly related to your internal business processes. Using these portals, they can connect with the correct information and the right people at the right moments. They also provide insights on updates and development. However, communities in Salesforce have replaced Salesforce portals. 

Types of Portals in Salesforce

Portals in Salesforce are a thing of the past. They are not available for new organizations. When they were available, there were different types of portals in Salesforce for organizations like:

  1. Customer Portal: It allows customers to manage their cases, view solutions/knowledge that contributes to communities (questions, answers, ideas), and access data within custom objects.
  2. Partner Portal: The critical difference between the customer portal and the partner portal is that partner users can access leads and opportunities. It allows your organization and its partners to collaborate on your organization’s sales pipeline. Partners can also manage cases, view solutions/knowledge, contribute to communities (questions, answers, ideas), and access data within custom objects.
  3. Self-Service Portal: It allows customers to manage cases and view solutions or Salesforce knowledge.

Communities in Salesforce

Communities in Salesforce replace these portals. Portals gave external users (partners, customers, etc.) the ability to access Salesforce. In contrast, Communities are aimed at connecting the right people, whether internal users, partners, or customers within Salesforce.

The structure of the features is similar, but there are several differences as well:

  1. External users (partners/customers) can communicate via Chatter in Communities. Portals do not support Chatter.
  2. The standard Communities user interface is very close to that of a regular internal Salesforce user. The out-of-the-box portal user interface looks dated.
  3. The licensing model for each is similar; however, Communities in Salesforce may have a slightly higher fee.

There are various examples of Communities and portals, like:

A company can showcase its products on portals, or it can create customer communities for various categories of customers, like VIP customers or wholesale customers, with different levels of access and functionality. They can also integrate it with multiple support channels, like email, chats, etc, in communities for a seamless experience for the customers.

A company can create a community where its existing customers can leave reviews, ask questions, and connect with other customers.

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