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Salesforce Portals and Salesforce Communities

Salesforce Portals and Salesforce Communities

Portals and Communities in Salesforce

Salesforce Portals and Communities empower your customers and partners by providing a social forum directly related to your internal business processes so that they can connect with the right information and the right people at the right moments.

Salesforce Portals 

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

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.

Partner Portal:

The key difference between the customer portal and the partner portal is that partner users can access leads and opportunities. This 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.

Self-Service Portal:

It allows customers to manage cases and view solutions/knowledge.

Salesforce Communities:

Communities in Salesforce replace these portals. Portals essentially gave external users (partners, customers, etc.) the ability to access Salesforce whereas Communities is 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 may have a slightly higher fee.

There are various example of Communities and portals, like:

  1. A company can showcase their products on portals, or they can create customer commuties for various categories of customers like VIP customers or wholesale customers, with different levels of access and functionality. They can also integrate it with various support channels like email, chats, etc in communities for seamless experience of the customers.
  2. A company can create a community where their existing customers can leave reviews, ask questions and connect with other customers.


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